International Women’s Day: working through the community

Since its inception in 1990, Ping Anchorage Travel & Tours has fashioned its tours in Malaysia to channel income to local women, by way of community tourism.

Tours around its home state of Terengganu, as well as Kelantan and Pahang, feature village visits, during which guests can experience the rustic environment and interact with villagers to learn about their lifestyle.

Lee supports local village women by retailing their handicraft in his craft shop, Terradala

Managing director, Alex Lee, said most of the hosts are local women, who will take guests around and serve them delicacies made by fellow villagers.

“We pay the villagers a fee for hosting the guests. It is also an opportunity for the village women, who make beautiful handicraft such as mats, baskets and handbags, to showcase their craft. Foreigners love purchasing authentic products to take home as souvenirs,” said Lee.

Lee also buys handicraft from the villagers and resell them at the company’s craft shop, Terradala.

“This is our way of supporting the local women, many of whom due to personal commitments, such as having to care for their family, are unable to work outside their homes. We offer them the flexibility to produce lovely handicraft from the comfort of their homes, and the guests we take to the villages are their potential buyers.”

Lee said the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting disruption of travel and business events have impacted the income of these women. However, he is confident that the industry will gradually recover, and bring about more orders and jobs for the women.

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