Sarawak's tourism industry back on track - Abdul Karim

24 Jul 2023 11:23am
Participants waved the giant Sarawak flag at the 60th Anniversary Rally and Parade - photo by Bernama
Participants waved the giant Sarawak flag at the 60th Anniversary Rally and Parade - photo by Bernama

SIBU - The performance of Sarawak's tourism industry has begun to show encouraging development and is expected to reach the target of attracting three million visitors to the state by the end of this year.

Sarawak's Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts, Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the number of tourist arrivals to the state this year would be able to approach the arrival figures in 2018 and 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world.

Based on the ministry's statistics, a total of 4.43 million visitors were recorded in Sarawak in 2018 and 4.66 million in 2019. Between January and June this year, a total of 1.96 million were recorded.

"The number of tourists arriving from within the country and abroad to Sarawak will continue to increase due to many national and international events taking place in Kuching and other parts of the state until the end of this year," he said.

He said this when speaking on behalf of Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg to inaugurate the closing ceremony of the Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) 2023 at Dataran Tun Tuanku Bujang here last night.

BCF is one of the annual events listed in the Sarawak tourism calendar organised by the Sibu Municipal Council (MPS) in July every year since 2003 and this year, the festival showcased cultural performances, food and handicrafts from Sarawak, Sabah, Indonesia, China and Thailand.

Abdul Karim said the national-level International Museum Day celebrations from July 31 to August 6, the ASEAN International Film Festival (Aug 2 to 4), in addition to the Sarawak Regatta and the Dragon Boat Race in October are expected to attract thousands of visitors to the state.

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In the meantime, he said Sibu City can be promoted as an eco-tourism centre with the Sibu-Kapit road connecting the city to the interior areas of the state which opens up a lot of new tourism potential to be developed in the central area of ​​the state.