Minister confident Sarawak’s 2023 visitor arrival numbers can surpass 3 million by September

Abdul Karim (seated centre) during the What About Kuching (WAK) 2023 Festival Calender Reveal press conference on Sept 15, 2023.

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By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, Sept 15: With Sarawak recording 2.6 million visitor arrivals as of this month, Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah is confident that the numbers will surpass the three-million target by next month.

The Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts Sarawak said this has shown an increase compared to the same period last year.

“The number of foreigners has increased tremendously, and as of August 23, the number of foreigners that came in is 168,822 compared to 78,880 in August 2022.

“For domestic (Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia) visitors, as of this month, it is 155,351 in 2023 compared to 115,132 (in August 2022),” he said to reporters at the What About Kuching (WAK) 2023 Festival Calendar Reveal press conference today.

Abdul Karim elaborated that in terms of tourism receipts, as of August 23, Sarawak has recorded RM818 million compared to the same month in 2022, which was RM476 million.

“The number of foreigners alone from January until August 2023 is 1,414,443. These figures are actual numbers given by the Immigration Department. Some visitors come through our border. The number in 2022 was only 206,328.

“The number of domestic visitor arrivals for 2023 is 1,179,593, and in 2022, it was 691,575.

“I believe this year, we should have more than three million (tourists) to Sarawak, and I expect more (tourists) next year, especially with the promotions we are doing,” he said.

Kuching City North Commission (DBKU) mayor Hilmy Othman, Padawan Municipal Council chairman Tan Kai, and festival director Donald Tan were also present. — DayakDaily