Sarawak on track to hit 5 million tourist arrivals — Lee

KUCHING: Sarawak is still on track of hitting its target of five million tourist arrivals by end of this year.

Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the Visit Sarawak Campaign 2019 is attracting more tourists to Sarawak.

He said there was a 2.68 per cent increase in tourist arrivals in the first five months of this year from the same period in 2018.

He said records showed that tourist arrivals numbered 1,797,634 from January to May this year, while 1,750,640 were recorded in the corresponding period last year.

Most of the arrivals are from Brunei, Indonesia and China.

“We still believe that the five million tourist arrivals target can be achieved. We expect more tourists in July and August, which is the peak season,” he told reporters after the unveiling of tourism brochures for Sarawak’s nine divisions yesterday.

To a question, he said July was a month of festivals in Sarawak, when the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) and Borneo Jazz Festival (BJF) are held.

The RWMF, which now enters its 21st year, will be held from July 12 to 14 at Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong.

BJF, now in its 14th year, will be held at Copa Cabana in Miri from July 19 to 21.

“We hold the festivals in July to attract tourists who are vacationing for the summer holidays,” he said.

On a related matter, Lee hoped that the vehicle clearance system currently being implemented at the Sungai Tujoh Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex in Miri
would be improved as soon as possible to facilitate the arrival of tourists coming through Brunei.

He said the system had been a source of frustration for travellers, and feared that it would turn away tourists especially those coming for the BJF.

“It is sad to see that tourists are waiting at our doorsteps but they are turned away because of this system,” he said.

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