KUCHING: Sarawak has recorded a groundbreaking growth of nearly tenfold in the number of visitors to the state since January to July of this year compared to the same period last year.
Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah in revealing this, said the state, this year, is projected to achieve its target of having over 1.2 million visitors.
He said the state recorded a total of 73,953 visitors between January 1 to July 31 last year, while the same period this year saw a total of 703,891 visitors, a growth of 851.81 percent.
“We should be able to hit that target (1.2 million) because within six months, we are already hitting over 700,000.
“Of the total, 127,448 visitors were foreigners, meaning non-Sarawakians and non-Malaysians, recording a growth of 981.44 percent compared to last year’s 11,785,” he said.
Abdul Karim said this during a press conference after officiating the soft opening of the Borneo Cultures Museum Restaurant here yesterday.
He said a total of RM1.64 billion was recorded in the state’s tourism receipts between January to July of this year, generating a growth of 865.95 percent compared to RM171.29 million last year.
“So that is why we are very confident (in achieving our target), with the number of flights returning to normal on top of the various events taking place in the state week after week, it should bring in a lot more visitors to Sarawak,” he added.
He said the local hotel industry was also pleased with the state’s recovering tourism industry resulting in high occupancy rates.
“I spoke to a number of renowned hotels here and they told me that they are at over 90 percent occupancy at most times.
“This is very good and I believe most hotels are also doing good at the moment,” he said.