KUCHING: Sarawak has seen an increase in tourist arrivals from China and Singapore in the first five months of this year.
Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said 19,641 China tourists came to the state from January to May, an increase of 20.2% compared to the same period last year.
“This is attributed to the Kuching-Shenzhen direct flight which commenced in December 2017,” he told the Sarawak Legislative Assembly in his winding-up speech yesterday.
For Singapore tourists, Abdul Karim said there was an increase of 15.8% with 17,856 arrivals from January to May.
“To ensure a sustained growth of visitor arrivals, we are actively preparing to embark on a Visit Sarawak Campaign which will be launched at the end of the year,” Abdul Karim said.
He said the ministry would also continue to work with tourism industry players to support and organise various events to attract tourists.
This includes the signature Rainforest World Music Festival which took place at the Sarawak Cultural Village last weekend.
“This year, the festival expanded its venue to the adjacent Damai Central as more activities were introduced.
“Other notable international events lined up this year are Borneo Jazz Festival, Miss World Malaysia, Borneo Fashion Week, Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival (all in September), What About Kuching (October) and Kuching Waterfront Festival which comprises the Sarawak International Dragon Boat Regatta (October) and Sarawak Regatta (November),” he said.
On the new Sarawak Museum Campus, Abdul Karim said it would be the second largest museum in the region after Singapore’s National Museum when completed in 2020.
The five-storey building will have 6,500 sq ft of exhibition space to showcase Borneo’s rich history, he said.
“The permanent narrative will use interesting themes to link a variety of collections, photographs, footage and stories into a cohesive and interactive experience.”
In addition, he said an administrative and conservation centre was being built with state-of-the-art conservation and laboratory facilities.
“It will serve as a resource and research centre to achieve its vision of becoming a global centre for Bornean heritage by 2030,” he said. -TheStar