Half million West Kalimantan residents visit Sarawak in 2023, primarily for health tourism

Azizul speaking to Sarawak reporters who are in Pontianak for a Twin Tourism Destination programme from April 18 to 21, 2024.

By Nancy Nais

PONTIANAK, April 19: Around 500,000 residents from West Kalimantan in Indonesia visited Sarawak last year, with the majority seeking medical treatment.

Malaysian Consul in Pontianak, Consul Azizul Zekri Abdul Rahim, highlighted that Sarawak’s appeal in medical tourism extends beyond affordable treatment as it also boasts excellent medical facilities and well-trained professionals.


“Sarawak has several reputable hospitals in its capital city (Kuching), credible doctors, high-quality service, and overall cheaper cost because they can travel on land.

“From Pontianak to the Entikong border in Tebedu, it is relatively close, with a travel distance of about six hours.

“Although there are no direct flights between Pontianak and Kuching at this moment, they can still use land routes via direct bus services, travel agents that arrange van services or drive on their own,” Azizul told Sarawak reporters who are in Pontianak for a Twin Tourism Destination programme.

He asserted that the Malaysia Consulate in Pontianak has been and will continue to collaborate with the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB).

Organised by the Indonesian Consulate Kuching, the four-day familiarisation trip includes stakeholders from Sarawak’s health tourism sector, namely Normal Medical Centre, Timberland Medical Centre, and Borneo Medical Centre.

Economic Consul of the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia (KJRI) in Kuching, Theodorus Satrio Nugroho, added that the consulate is also hosting Borneo Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) forum in Pontianak and Singkawang for two days starting today (April 19-20).

Sarawak will offer its internationally renowned health facilities and overall tourism destination in West Kalimantan, while the latter will showcase its tourism destinations such as Pontianak, Pasir Panjang Beach in Singkawang, Temajuk Beach in Sambas, and other local products. — DayakDaily