Direct flights from Shenzhen boost tourist arrivals, says minister

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

KUCHING, July 16: The Kuching-Shenzhen direct flights that started in December 2017 brought in 19,641 tourists from China in the first five months of this year. This is 20.22 per cent higher than the number recorded over the same period last year.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah told the august House today that the increased tourist traffic from China was due to the direct flights.

On visitor arrivals, he said the state received 4.8 million visitors last year, bringing in an estimated tourist receipt of RM8.59 billion.

The number of visitor arrivals in 2017 was higher than the year before by 4.2 per cent, and the Top Five source of tourist markets for the state were Brunei (1.73 million), Indonesia (513,442), Philippines (68,380) Singapore (42,177) and China (38,204).

As of May this year, visitor arrivals have reached 1,750,640.

“The figure also indicated a positive increase in tourist arrivals from Singapore, which registered an increase of 15.80 per cent, with a total of 17,856 arrivals in the same corresponding period,” he said.

Abdul Karim said based on the performance and trends of the past few months, his ministry was targeting 4.5 million visitor arrivals with RM8.05 billion in tourist receipt.

“To ensure a sustained growth of visitor arrivals, my ministry is actively embarking on a ‘Visit Sarawak’ campaign which shall be launched at the end of this year. We will continue to work closely with all relevant stakeholders to deliver on our mission to position Sarawak as a premier tourism destination,” he revealed. — DayakDaily