Tuesday, June 25

Japanese tourists want to stay longer in S’wak

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A MOMENT TOGETHER: Koichi (fourth left), Rashid (third left) having a fun karaoke session together with friends.

KUCHING: Sarawak has the potential to be a chosen destination for Japanese to go for longer stay especially during winter period in their country.

Chairman of the Japan Association Travel Agency Western Co-operative (WJTA) Koichi Kumashiro said he expected more tourists from Japan to come to the state through direct flights offered by Malaysia Airlines.

“Malaysia is one those preferred destination among the Japanese to opt for longer stay, which is more than one month, and is normally during the winter time,” he said, adding that Sarawak’s main attraction for the Japanese is the Orang Utan.

He explained that most Japanese who visited the State were keen to know more about the Orang Utan’s living habitat.

Apart from these, he said the State’s various ethnic group and cultural, natural surroundings, forests, and the widespread use of English was also an attraction to the Japanese.

He was speaking to reporters during a welcoming dinner hosted by Sarawak Tourisim Board for WJTA members, held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on Wednesday.

Malaysia Tourism promotion board director Ahmad Johanif said it expected more Japanese to participate in the ‘Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H)’, while pointing out a total of 1,300 participants were recorded up to May 1, this year since MM2H was introduced in 2006.

In a latest development of the Rainforest World Music Festival event, chief executive officer of Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) Datuk Rashid Khan said, they were seeing sales growth of 15 per cent this year from the 19,000 ticket sales last year.

“This is something that is encouraging even though we raise the ticket price, our sales volume increased by 50 percent which is mostly foreign tourists.

“We are confident of achieving the target number of visitors exceeds 20,000,” he said.