More accommodation needed to cater to anticipated influx of visitors in coming years

Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, June 24: Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah sees the anticipated influx of visitors arriving in Sarawak as a ‘good problem’ as it indicates that the tourism industry is thriving.

Abdul Karim said that he received feedback from hotels that there is an influx of visitors, which means more demand for accommodation, especially when Sarawak is hosting more events.


“I see it (the influx of visitors) as a good problem. Because more people are coming, it means the tourism industry is thriving. That is how I see it,” he told reporters when met before the ‘Dancing Queen Concert—A Tribute to ABBA and Queen’ held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) last night.

Abdul Karim said he had discussed the expected increase in visitors as well as and the need to solve the shortage of hotel accommodation with Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“I know the government through State Planning Unit (SPU) has approved three more new hotels but the question is when the private sector is going to build the hotels,” he said.

Abdul Karim urged the private sector to do it fast in view that events will continue to be held and as such, hotel accommodation is needed.

“If it’s not a 5-star hotel, a 3-star hotel or homestay is welcome. I want to see things like this.”

Without revealing the specific number of rooms needed in coming years, he expressed his hope the total could be in the thousands.

“This would make the hotel industry players happy, and I am sure they will not complain.”

He said despite the Sarawak Premier focusing on the energy sectors, other industries, like hospitality, are related to the masses.

“They (energy sectors) are also benefiting through this kind of thing. Sukma (Malaysia Games) is coming up. The regatta is coming up. I could not ask for more,” he said. — DayakDaily