CM: New approach, asset restructuring to boost tourism industry

Abang Johari (third left) presenting the award and mock cheque to a winner at the 8th Sarawak Hornbill Tourism Awards. Abdul Karim is standing at second left.

KUCHING, Dec 8: Sarawak government will continue to adopt new approaches to improve its tourist attractions to boost the tourism industry, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He added that the government is now restructuring the most frequently visited places such as Bako, Semenggok, Mulu and Niah national parks.

“The state government will give strong emphasis in such areas by developing tourism infrastructures, product development, as well as connectivity,” he said at the 8th Sarawak Hornbill Tourism Awards 2019 here yesterday.

Abang Johari cited the setting up of the state’s wildlife agency under the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) that would help ensure better facilities and infrastructures in tourism attraction places in the state.

He said although the asset (tourism area) belongs to the government, SFC will work with the private sector in their operation, while providing interaction with the asset holder (state government).

The state will intensify tourism promotion worldwide, he continued.

In addition, the state government will continue to explore other alternatives of connectivity to promote Sarawak tourist destinations.

“This will be done through negotiation with the tourism operators, either with domestic or international airlines and there is a formula that is being calculated for us to enter into this airlines industries,” he said.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, said the state will continue to enhance cooperation with industry players to boost tourism and achieve its 5 million tourist arrival for 2020.

The state government’s digital transformation agenda is very much an anticipated move that will enable the tourism industry to tap into its potential through digital economy and eCommerce, he continued

“As such, we have to double our efforts in the upcoming tourism campaign, as well as leveraging on the ‘Visit Malaysia 2020’ campaign and boost our own ‘Visit Sarawak’ campaign, with the aim of 5 million visitor arrivals, together with projected RM8.18 billion tourism receipts in the year 2020,” he said in his speech earlier.

Abdul Karim noted that there is a need to adopt a coherent strategy to re-energies the whole state tourism industry by injecting a soul into it.

He said the state’s health tourism can provide lucrative opportunity to the local hospitals and medical practitioners, as well as the related tourism and the hospitality industry.

“As of October this year, Sarawak have generated RM47.6 million in tourism receipts from about 34,100 health visitors.

“Thus, my ministry will continue to collaborate with the private medical institutions, relevant authorities and Malaysia Health Travel Council (MHTC) to boost the growth of health tourism industry in Sarawak.” — DayakDaily