KUCHING: Local hotels adversely affected by the cancellation of the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships will work hard to attract tourists from around Asia.
Malaysian Hotels Association Sarawak president, Ibrahim Nordin, said despite losses caused by the cancellation, the hotels are expecting an increase in the number of Asian tourists particularly Singapore and China.
“All the Kuching Golden Triangle hotels are the official hotels for the event, and estimated losses incurred by them amounted to RM1.5 million,” he said when contacted yesterday.
He said about 2,600 rooms were “blocked” (booked) directly for the swimming event.
“It’s really a serious setback for the industry, in particular the hotel sector. We were hoping to boost our overall business as the swimming championships would have been a major event under the Visit Sarawak Campaign,” he said.
To make up for the loss, he said the hotels must look at the brighter side as this coming July there will be another big event in Sarawak which is the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) which will-being in more international tourists.
The 2019 World Para Swimming Championships was supposed to be held here at the Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre from July 29 to Aug 4.
It is said some 600 swimmers from 60 countries were expected to compete in the championships.
On Jan 27, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president, Andrew Parsons, cancelled the event because Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad banned the entry of Israeli athletes into Malaysia.