Sarawak’s tourism surges in 2023: 3.92 mil visitors generate close to RM10 bil in revenue, contributing 7pct to GDP

An infographic showing statistics on Sarawak's visitor arrivals disclosed by Abdul Karim during his ministerial winding-up in the august House on May 14, 2024. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit livestream

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, May 14: Sarawak received 3.92 million visitors in 2023, marking an increase of 93.82 per cent compared to the same period in 2022, with this influx generating RM9.99 billion in tourism revenue, a rise of 101.41 per cent, contributing approximately 7.11 per cent to Sarawak’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah pointed out that Sarawak’s visitor arrivals accounted for about 20 per cent of Malaysia’s visitor arrivals in 2023.


“This year (2024), the Ministry projects to have four million visitor arrivals, bringing in an estimated RM10.19 billion (RM10,193,695,000.00) in tourism revenue and contributing 7.25 per cent to Sarawak’s GDP,” he told the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUS) when delivering his ministerial winding-up speech here today.

Abdul Karim also highlighted that Sarawak’s visitor arrivals from January to April 2024 witnessed an increase of 25.46 per cent, rising from 1.3 million during the same period in 2023 to 1.62 million.

So far, this has generated an estimated RM4.17 billion in tourism receipts—an increase of 27.43 per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2023 with RM3.27 billion.

“My Ministry forecasts that the tourism industry will continue to recover throughout 2024 as both local and foreign visitors return.

“By the end of 2024, the industry is expected to reach around 90 per cent of its pre-pandemic levels. This is in line with UNTO World Tourism Barometer prediction of 85 per cent recovery rate in 2023,” he said. — DayakDaily