KUCHING: Tourist arrivals in the state reached 3.1 million as of August this year, disclosed Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.
According to him, the figure was the same as recorded during the same period last year.
“Though there may be certain downside (that affected the state tourism), Sarawak’s tourist arrivals still maintained just like last year,” he said at the launch of the Borneo Talk Privilege Card held at a leading hotel here yesterday.
While acknowledging that he has yet to receive the latest statistics on tourist arrivals in the state, Abang Johari expressed optimism that the ministry would achieve its target of five million visitors this year similar to the number of arrivals last year.
“My ministry together with assistant ministers of tourism Datuk Talib Zulpilip and Datuk Gramong Juna as well as Ministry of Tourism permanent secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik are working very hard to promote Sarawak as a tourism destination.”
He also pointed out that Borneo Talk magazine and its newly launched privilege card, besides the support of the media, would serve as another incentive for his ministry to promote Sarawak.
“I will be in Buenos Aires, Argentina for the 54th International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Congress next week because we are going to be the next host of the congress after successfully bidding to be the host.
“In view of this, I will be bringing Borneo Talk with me there so that the Latin Americans and those attending the congress will know where Sarawak is and therefore more tourists will come over and visit the state,” he assured.
Meanwhile, Borneo Talk editor-in-chief Ivy Pan said the launch of the privilege card marked another milestone for the magazine which had always strived to showcase to the world what a “superb tourism destination Sarawak is.”
“The Borneo Talk Privilege Card is our reward to you for your unfailing support. Our sponsors will now have another platform to cascade information and privileges on their enterprise.
“At present, we have over 50 merchants partnering with us, offering privileges throughout Sarawak, Sabah, Peninsular Malaysia and also Brunei Darussalem,” she revealed, adding that the card is available for purchase at RM10.
Merchants of the privilege card include Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV), Damai Beach Resort, Taka Cake House, ChaTime, SCR Restaurant and many more.
Among those present at the launch were Talib and Ik Pahon.