Sarawak’s tourism receipts skyrocket to RM8.07 bln, boosting State’s GDP by 5.75 pct

An infographic depicting the scenario and outlook for the tourism sector which was shown during Abdul Karim's ministerial winding-up speech at the DUN complex today (Nov 28, 2023). Screenshot taken from Sarawak Public Communications Unit’s (Ukas) Facebook livestream.

By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, Nov 28: Sarawak’s tourism receipts totalled RM8.07 billion as of October this year—an increase of 143.81 per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2022—which contributed about 5.75 per cent to Sarawak’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts (MTCP) Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah told the august House that Sarawak has received 3.18 million visitors as of October, an increase of 131.34 per cent compared to the same period in 2022.

“My ministry had projected 3 million visitor arrivals with RM7.6 billion in revenue in 2023.

“Looking at this encouraging trend, my ministry would like to revise visitor arrivals in 2024 to 4 million, with an estimated RM9.76 billion in revenue,” he said when presenting his ministerial winding-up speech during the Second Meeting for the Second Term of the 19th Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) at the DUN complex here today.

Abdul Karim, who is also Asajaya assemblyman, disclosed that tourist arrivals in Malaysia in 2022 increased by 7,375 per cent to 10.07 million compared to the corresponding period in 2021, generating tourism receipts of RM28.2 billion.

He added that as of September 2023, 14.4 million international tourist arrivals were recorded against the targeted 16.1 million for the year 2023, generating RM47.4 billion in tourism receipts.

“According to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), international tourism recovered 84 per cent of its 2019 pre-pandemic level in the period January to July 2023.

“Travel demand continued to show remarkable resilience and sustained recovery amid economic and geopolitical tensions.

“Compared to 2019, international tourist arrivals in 2023 were 80 per cent in the first quarter, 85 per cent in the second quarter, and 90 per cent in July 2023.”

Abdul Karim continued: “International travel trends saw an estimated surge of 700 million tourists between January and July 2023, which is 16 per cent short of the 2019 pre-pandemic figures. However, on a positive note, if we are to take the same period in year 2022, this is a 43 per cent increase.” — DayakDaily