KUCHING: Visitor arrivals in Sarawak have increased by 593.20 per cent for the first three months of this year.
Deputy Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts (MTCP) Datuk Sebastian Ting said arrivals increased to 229,678 compared to the corresponding period in 2021.
“This is a wonderful increase and on average, there are at least 76,000 visitor arrivals per month,” he said in a press conference after attending the Sarawak Tourism Coordination Committee (STCC) Meeting at Imperial Hotel on Monday (Apr 11).
He added that the tourism receipt has also increased by 569.25 per cent to RM517 million compared to the corresponding period in 2021.
“With that, we see that we are able to achieve our target of receiving 1.2 million visitors and generate RM3.2 billion in tourism receipts for this year,” he said.
In addition, with the opening of the country’s borders since April 1 as well as the Biawak, Lundu border on April 14, he believes that Sarawak could see a tourist arrival of 1.5 million.
“Sarawak has opened its borders to international visitors with effect from April 1, and with our border reopening, the first international flight from Singapore touched down in Kuching on April 3 with a total of 157 passengers.
“At this moment, we have three flights per week from Singapore to Kuching and two flights per week from Singapore to Miri through Scoot Airlines,” he said.
For domestic flights, he said that Firefly will start the Penang-Kuching route seven times per week with the inaugural flight on April 11 and the Penang-Miri route seven times per week.
“Apart from that, we also hope to resume international flights from Pontianak and Brunei soon,” he said.
As a whole, Ting is hopeful that 2022 is a better and good year for Sarawak particularly for the tourism industry.
Also present were Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) chairman Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Datuk Abang Openg, and MTCP permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee.