Sarawak poised to break visitor arrival record with 5 mln expected by year-end, says minister

Abdul Karim (sixth left) together with seminar co-organisers and panellists in a group photo.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, June 25: Sarawak is confident in achieving its target of five million visitor arrivals by the end of this year, breaking the record of 4.6 million achieved in 2019.

Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Art Sarawak Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah expressed optimism that Sarawak will record its largest number of visitors this year, with an increase in foreign visitors compared to those from Peninsula Malaysia.


“There is a lot of excitement in Sarawak, including the upcoming Sukma Games 2024 to be hosted soon. I am also monitoring the number of visitors arriving from January to May.

“We have never seen such an upsurge in visitors coming in (to Sarawak). The last time was in 2019, before Covid-19 hit. These numbers are obtained from the Immigration (Department),” he said when addressing the Positioning Sarawak as a Key Tourism Hub in the Asean seminar at a hotel here today.

Abdul Karim also expressed gratitude for the hard work and efforts of all stakeholders, especially in the tourism industry, in making various achievements possible.

“As such, the organisation of this seminar is timely as Sarawak gears up to accelerate its progress in realising our goals of achieving economic prosperity, social inclusivity and a sustainable environment under the Post-Covid Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030,” he added.

Acknowledging that Sarawak’s rich biodiversity, vibrant cultural heritage, and warm hospitality will continue to attract visitors from around the world, he emphasised that the influx of visitors to Sarawak can significantly contribute to economic growth.

“Over the past decades, the various unique tourism attractions in Sarawak have consistently attracted millions of tourists annually, and it has positioned our homeland as a prominent tourism destination within Asean,” he said.

With the gathering of great minds representing various sectors of tourism, including aviation, digital platforms, gastronomy, geopark, community development and education at this seminar, Abdul Karim anticipates the stakeholders will gain valuable insights into Sarawak’s potential as a prominent Asean destination.

“I hope this seminar provides a unique opportunity to explore new perspectives and strategies that can elevate Sarawak’s appeal to the global audience and effectively market its offerings to potential tourists,” he added.

The seminar was organised by Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Sarawak in collaboration with AirAsia and Malaysia Transport Institute (Mitrans) of UiTM Shah Alam.

Deputy Minister of Tourism Dato Sebastian Ting, Kuching South City Council (MBKS) Mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng, UiTM Sarawak Deputy Rector (Academic and International Affairs) Associate Professor Dr Mohammad Isa Mohamadin, Mitrans director Associate Professor Ts Dr Wan Mazlina Wan Mohamed and AirAsia Deputy Group chief executive officer Datuk Captain Chester Voo were present. — DayakDaily