Saturday, December 07, 2013

Tourist arrivals to Sarawak on the rise

KUCHING: Sarawak’s tourism industry grew in the past few years due to the government’s continuous focus on this sector, said Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

The Chief Minister said tourist arrivals in the first nine months of this year alone had increased by six per cent when compared to the corresponding period last year.

From January to September this year, the number of tourists received was 3,118,049 visitors, out of which 1,885,182 were foreigners.

He said this at the ground-breaking launch of UCSI Hotel Kuching at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on Thursday. His text-of-speech was read out by Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.

Taib said he believed the availability of the hotel would have a major impact on the state’s tourism sector.

“With the state government continuously seeking new ways to boost tourism, the coming of the hotel will certainly have a positive impact on the tourism industry, which has already shown positive growth in the last few years.”

On hotel accommodation, Taib said the number of rooms had grown by almost 50 per cent since 2009.

Taib said overall 2013 had been quite an eventful and vibrant year for the state’s tourism sector, adding that the state won international recognition, especially in the area of promotion, marketing and meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibition.

The Orang Utan project at Matang Wildlife Centre, for instance, was considered the best in terms of “responsible wildlife experience” at the World Travel Market in London last Nov 8, he said.

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