Monday, April 30, 2012

Tourism to contribute to Sarawak's GDP over next five years

KUCHING:  The state can expect higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution from the tourism industry over the next five years, said Sarawak Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The acquisition of majority shares in MASwings, which is currently under negotiation, would contribute significantly to the industry following plans to increase air connectivity to East Asian countries.

The emerging of new economic force of India and China is expected to push the region’s tourism sector into new heights.

“East Asian countries such as Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong and India have proven to yield strong numbers of tourists. The strong economy of China and India will produce new middle class citizens with financial muscle to spend. This included spending on overseas travels, which will enhance tourism of new emerging markets such as the state.

“Having our own airline and with our own promotion, MASwings will become a bridge for foreign visitors to both the states of Sabah and Sarawak,” Abang Johari, who is also Housing Minister, told a press conference at his residence at Petra Jaya near here yesterday.

Also present was Assistant Tourism Minister Datuk Talib Zulpilip.

He explained that tourism sectors in this region could provide fierce competition to European countries that will see an increase in travel cost due to its Carbon Emission Tax.