By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Nov 11: The Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is the first wildlife centre in Sarawak to win the Malaysia Tourism Council Gold Awards on October 25 as the Best Wildlife Rehabiliation Centre in Malaysia.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the award is recognition for the centre’s excellence in wildlife conservation and rehabilitation.
He said Sarawak is blessed with many beautiful national parks which are rich with exotic flora and fauna, and these national parks have been preferred destinations for both international and local tourists.
“As of September 2019, our national parks have recorded a total of 369,630 visitor arrivals where 110,634 visitors are foreigners and another 258,996 visitors are domestic visitors.
“Bako National Park, Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Matang Wildlife Centre, Niah National Park and Santubong National Park have recorded the highest number of visitors as a result of their diverse biodiversity, beautiful and unique landscape, favourable facilities, accessibility and other factors,” said Abdul Karim during his winding up speech at Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) here today.
Meanwhile, on health tourism, Abdul Karim said it is providing lucrative opportunities for local private hospitals and medical practitioners while also benefiting the tourism and hospitality industry.
“As of October, Sarawak received 34,100 health visitors generating a total of RM47.60 million in receipts, where most of the visitors came from Indonesia. This is followed by China, the Philippines and India.”
He said his ministry has been collaborating with hospitals, relevant authorities and Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) to boost the health tourism industry in Sarawak.
“In the year 2020, with the launching of Malaysia Year of Healthcare Travel 2020, we hope this campaign will bring more healthcare travellers.”
On Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office Singapore (STATOS) which was launched in June this year, Abdul Karim said the Tourism Ministry is promoting Sarawak to boost Singaporean arrivals in Sarawak.
“As of January to September 2019, 34,266 arrivals from Singapore were recorded, an increase of 2.82 per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2018.
“Working closely with the Sarawak Tourism Board, my ministry is looking into weekend getaway packages and food trails for the Singaporean market.
“At the same time, Business Events Sarawak has been working closely with STATOS to develop corporate meetings and incentives,” said Abdul Karim. — DayakDaily