Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sarawak Targets 3.6 Million Tourist Arrivals This Year

KUCHING -- Sarawak has target 3.6 million tourist arrivals this year, a nine per cent increase from the 3,280,656 visitors in 2009, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Geroge Chan said Wednesday.

Dr Chan, who is also the state Tourism and Heritage Minister said in the first quarter of this year, Sarawak performed well with an encouraging growth of 5.16 per cent in visitor arrivals.

"Statistics released by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) showed that world-wide international tourist arrivals grew by seven percent in the first two months of this year.

"The ministry remains rather cautious in its overseas marketing campaigns and will stay vigilant as many factors beyond our control can still jeopardise the pace of recovery," he said in his winding-up speech at the state assembly here Wednesday.

Dr Chan said domestic arrivals have shown a marked increase of 34.24 per cent, with visitors from Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah increasing by 24.28 per cent and 49.09 per cent respectively in the first three months of this year.

He said foreign arrivals for the first quarter of this year was not that encouraging, down by 7.68 per cent as compared to the same period last year.

"We are confident that arrivals will grow as we are not at the start of the peak period, with our regular international activities like the Miri International Jazz Festival, World Harvest Festival and the Rainforest World Music Festival.

"Other major events are the Sarawak World Interhash and several international conventions," he added.

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