Sarawak tourism minister says possible for state to record five million visitor this year

KUCHING, March 22 — Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said he will not be surprised if Sarawak registers a record 5 million visitor arrivals this year.

He said the highest number of visitor arrivals ever recorded was 4.6 million in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said he is surprised to see the rise in visitor arrivals so far as the January-February period is normally considered to be a low tourist season.

“Normally, the high season is from June to November when we see more tourists coming to Sarawak because of the festivals and activities we have during this period,” he said after the launch of the 27th edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF).

He said for the January-February 2024 period a total of 750,768 visitor arrivals were recorded compared to 600,037 for the same period of last year.

“This is a growth of 25.12 per cent,” he told reporters after launching the 27th edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) here.

He added for February this year alone, a total of 397,785 visitors entered Sarawak compared to 280,973 for the same month of last year.

He said this is an increase of 41.57 per cent.

He added 237,778 out of 397,785 were foreigners while 162,007 were domestic visitors.

He said in February of last year, 155,026 foreign visitors and 125,0947 domestic visitors came to Sarawak.

He said Bruneians made the bulk of foreign arrivals, registering 151,794 in February this year compared to 95,253 in the same period of last year.

He said the Indonesians came second, registering 48,601 last month and 38,287 in February last year.

Karim said visitors from China came up to 6,476 last month compared to 2,443 in the same period of last year.

He said the low arrival from China could be due to their government not encouraging their citizens to go overseas at this moment.




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