MIRI: The relaxation of the COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) since May 1 and the increase in flights in and out of Sarawak augur well for tourism in the state.
Deputy Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts (MTCP) Datuk Sebastian Ting, revealed this during a visit to IANA chief executive officer Mohammad Hafidz Rohan’s Hari Raya Open house here on Wednesday.
“The number of flights from Singapore and Penang has increased. Scoot Airlines flies from Singapore to Kuching three times a week and twice a week in Miri.
“Firefly is coming in from Penang to Kuching. We also believe that other airlines will follow the suit. AirAsia has already resumed, and flights are coming in from Singapore,” he said.
Ting pointed out that more relaxations, especially during the Hari Raya celebration, were good and wonderful after two years of lockdown.
“With this announcement, many flights are coming in and more cars are on the road. The shopping complexes and eateries are all packed.
“If you go out, you have to queue to get a seat, to eat,” he said.
Ting explained it showed that people finally had the confidence to go out in the public.
“These are good signs for tourism. More people are coming from overseas, especially our nearby neighbours from Singapore and Indonesia.
” I believe we are on the right track in making sure our tourism industry is moving forward,” he said.
Ting assured that the initial target of 1.2 million tourists this year would be reached soon.
“I personally believe we’ll be looking at least 1.5 million. That’s my target. These past two days, people are coming in and out.”