Sarawak minister: Continuous promotion among key initiatives to attract 3 million tourists this year
KUCHING, March 21 — Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Sarawak Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah today said that continuous promotion and marketing of domestic tourism will be among the key focus initiatives to attract tourists to the state this year.
He said the ministry will also focus on enhancement of air connectivity to Sarawak by increasing flight frequency and establishing Kuching as a regional Umrah gateway.
“We will also focus on promoting Sarawak Delta Geopark, establishing new homestay tourism clusters, and supporting festivals, homegrown events, and legacy-driven business events,” he told reporters after chairing the Sarawak Tourism Steering Committee (STSC) meeting.
He said the ministry will also focus on preserving arts, culture, and heritage through implementation of Sarawak Heritage Ordinance 2019 and enacting Sarawak Craft Council Bill 2022 and the federal-state negotiation on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) for tourism-related licensing and regulatory measures.
“We will also leverage on initiatives under Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines-East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) and the Sarawak-Brunei, Sabah-Sarawak-Labuan Joint Tourism Collaboration and Cooperation,” he added.
Karim said his ministry is targeting three million visitor arrivals and a tourism receipts of RM7.25 billion for this year.
On visitor arrivals, he said the state registered an increase of 761.84 per cent or 235,245 in 2021 to 2,027,446 in 2022.
He said the tourism receipt had increased 825.93 per cent as compared to 2021 to RM4.96 billion in 2022 which is an estimated total increase of RM4.42 billion.
He added from January until February of this year, visitor arrivals increased by 320.2 per cent to 600,037 visitors as compared to January to February 2022.