Sarawak tourism encouraged by rise in visitor’s arrivals — Minister

KUCHING: Visitor’s arrivals to Sarawak showed an increase of 3.93 per cent in the first quarter of the year over to the same corresponding period last year.

Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Sarawak recorded a total of 1,117,843 in visitor’s arrivals between January and March this year, adding that the majority of the visitors were from Brunei.

“The top five (destination) sources of visitors for Sarawak are Brunei (304,823), Indonesia (94,303), the Philippines (14,419), China (9,983) and Singapore (9,024),” he said in his ministerial winding-up speech at the DUN sitting yesterday.

Abdul Karim said with the launch of Visit Sarawak Campaign (VSC) last Dec 31, his ministry should see continuous growth in visitor’s arrivals, especially during the coming mid-year peak season.

“We expect to receive five million visitor’s arrivals in 2019, and RM8.18 billion in tourism receipts.”

In addition, he pointed out his ministry, together with Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and other agencies, would step up their efforts towards positioning Sarawak as a premier tourism destination.

Citing the China market as an example, he said his ministry had carried out initiatives to enhance the development of this sector in the first quarter of this year.

“Among them are the establishment of Mandarin-speaking market Taskforce at ministry-level, and the placement of ‘Immigration Clearance’ reminder notices in Mandarin at Kuching International Airport, for the benefit of the Chinese tourists.

“The taskforce is also actively looking into (setting up) Mandarin signages and information at various tourism destinations.”

Abdul Karim added that as a result of a working visit and collaboration with China, the Yunnan Cultural Troop had confirmed their participation in the Borneo Cultural Festival 2019 in Sibu, slated for this July.

“In addition, the Nanning City of Guangxi Province and Miri City have started to work on a friendship city relationship for tourism cooperation and collaboration.”

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