MIRI: Sarawak’s Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry and its agencies have been implementing short-term measures for the recovery of the tourism, arts and culture industry with the support of various tourism industry players and stakeholders.
Assistant Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Sebastian Ting told a press conference this after chairing the Sarawak Tourism Coordination Committee (STCC) meeting here on Thursday (Nov 4).
“The short-term recovery measures include building confidence to travel through stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs) endorsed by the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), discounted travel incentives through Sia Sitok Campaigns to promote domestic intra-state travel and Visitor Incentive Packages (VIPs) Campaign to promote interstate travel.
“Besides that, the Sarawak government through our ministry also assisted the hotel industry by designating them as Covid-19 quarantine centres. In addition, incentives were introduced to encourage home grown business events, continuous capacity building, attending virtual marketplaces or travel marts to prepare for the return of tourists,” he said.
Ting added that Sia Sitok Sarawak Tour Package 1.0 had generated more than RM1,569,026 in sales for 941 tour packages and 5,668 pax while version 2.0 of the package generated a total of RM2,996,214.10 in sales for 861 tour packages and 6,363 pax as of October 31.
“The wider range of domestic tour packages will create more interest among locals to travel widely in our state and this will benefit the tour industry as a whole.
“We are also working with the hotel industry through Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) and Malaysian Budget Hotels Association (MyBHA) to have the Sia Sitok Accommodation staycation campaign with 50 percent discounted hotel accommodation.
“At the close of the booking on October 31, a total of 8,360 room nights were booked with a subsidy of RM1 million,” he revealed.
Ting said a joint collaboration between Sarawak Tourism Board (STB), Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF), Association of Sarawak Inbound Agencies (ASIA), and Shopee Malaysia had also launched the ‘Jom Ke Sarawak’ campaign.
“The interstate campaign offers 16 discounted tour packages throughout Sarawak’s Southern, Central and Northern region from as low as RM176 per person for a three-day and two-night stay package,” he added.
Ting disclosed that visitor arrivals to Sarawak from January to September this year plunged 92.02 percent to 92,174 compared to the same corresponding period in 2020.
He said the tourism receipt had also dropped 92.29 percent to RM213.98 million compared to RM2.88 billion for the same corresponding period last year.