SARAWAK recorded 3,795,373 visitor arrivals last year, an increase of 16 per cent as compared to the 3.27 million recorded in 2010.
“This figure was the highest figure ever achieved by the state so far,” said Minister of Tourism Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg in his winding up speech at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) here yesterday.
According to him, 62 per cent (2,343, 236) were international and 38 per cent (1,452,137) were domestic visitors from Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah with estimated revenue generated from tourism last year at RM7.1 billion thus contributing 13.5 per cent towards the state’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“In the first quarter of this year, total visitor arrivals to Sarawak maintain a positive growth of 16 per cent recording 998,557 visitor arrivals. Of this, 66.3 per cent were foreigners and 33.7 per cent were domestic.
“The top ten visitor arrivals by countries and regions to Sarawak in the first quarter of this year were Brunei (448,809; 44.9 per cent), Peninsular Malaysia (193,359; 19.4 per cent), Sabah (143,513; 14.4 per cent), Indonesia (99,604; 10 per cent), Philippines (26,294; 2.6 per cent), Singapore (12,588; 1.3 per cent), China (9,876; 1 per cent), Thailand (8,644, 0.9 per cent), United Kingdom (7,800; 0.8 per cent) and India (7,546; 0.8 per cent),” Abang Johari revealed.
In a reply to Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa) on the astonishingly high number of arrivals of Bruneians to the state, he said that this was based on recorded visitor arrivals from the neighbouring country to Miri and Limbang.
In view of this, Abang Johari remained optimistic that there was still room for improvement to further increase arrivals especially from Singapore, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and India by year end.