Monday, February 04, 2013

Sarawak gets more tourists than Sabah


KUCHING: Sarawak registered more tourist arrivals than Sabah last year despite the comparative lack of direct air connectivity.

Deputy Sarawak Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit said the state recorded 4.03 million tourists last year compared to 2.8 million tourists for Sabah.

“Thus, it is not true that Sabah is more popular because more tourists visit Sarawak. Though Sabah has direct air links to Hong Kong and South Korea, Sarawak has more tourists coming from Europe, who are attracted to our nature and eco-tourism products.

“Nevertheless, I was told by Europeans whom I met during a recent visit to Europe that they like to go to Sabah and Sarawak not only because they want to enjoy nature but because they enjoy more freedom compared to if they stayed in the Peninsula,” he said when launching the Mambong constituency-level ‘My Beautiful Malaysia’ programme at Kampung Simpok, 40km from here yesterday.

Dawos added that the country received RM60.2 billion in revenue from the tourism sector last year, compared to RM58.3 billion in 2011.

Malaysia currently ranked ninth worldwide in terms of tourist arrivals. France ranked first, followed by the United States of America in second place and China third. Thailand ranked 15th and Singapore 18th.

“The villagers in the state should take advantage of this opportunity and make efforts to beautify their villages and develop attractions which can bring in tourists. Villages can also make good money out of this.”

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