By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Aug 8: Sarawak has recorded a total of 703,891 visitors as of July 31 this year, which is an increase of 851.81 per cent compared to the corresponding period last year.
Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said with this record, the State can achieve the target of 1.2 million visitor arrivals this year.
“This is because within six months (Jan 1 until July 31), we are already getting over 700,000 visitors. Of the figure, 127,448 visitors are foreigners (non-Malaysians), while 576,443 are domestic visitors.
“Last year, we only recorded 11,785 foreigners and 62,168 domestic visitors for the same period,” he told reporters after the soft opening of Borneo Cultures Museum Restaurant earlier tonight.
He also mentioned that Sarawak’s tourism receipts had reached RM1.64 billion as of July 31 this year, compared to RM171.29 million for the same period last year.
In July 2021, Sarawak only recorded 9,186 visitors to the State, but the number has shown an outstanding 1,318.16 per cent growth for July 2022 with 130,272 visitors.
“For foreigners in July 2021, it was 1,310. This year, we recorded 45,659 foreigners. In terms of percentage, it was a growth of 3,385.42 per cent.
“That is why we are very confident (to reach RM1.2 million tourists arrival). Looking at it, with the number of flights already back to normal and with the kind of events we are organising practically every week, we will bring in many more visitors.
“The hotel operators are very happy. I’ve spoken to the Waterfront Hotel manager, monthly occupancy is more than 90 per cent. I’ve spoken with the Hilton Hotel manager, the occupancy is also 90 per cent. And I believe the other hotels are doing well too,” he added.
Amongst those present were Abdul Karim’s wife Datin Sri Zuraini Abdul Jabbar, Daro assemblyman Safiee Ahmad, MTCP permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton, Sarawak Museum Department deputy director Dayang Morzanah Awang Haddy, Nex Vision F&B (BCM) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Ngui Ing Ing and managing director Damien Sii. — DayakDaily