Ministry targets 5.25m visitor arrivals this year


KUCHING: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports is targeting 5.25 million visitor arrivals to the state this year.

Its minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah is optimistic the state will be able to reach the target, considering there are more international flights from countries such as China and Indonesia to Sarawak via Kuching starting this year.

“We have a lot of new connectivities such as daily direct flight from Shenzhen, China to Kuching where the response has been quite good and we also have the inaugural flight from Singapore to Bintulu as well as the number of AirAsia flights from Singapore to Kuching has increased from nine to 16.

“Apart from that, we also have the Xpress Air flight from Pontianak to Kuching and Miri and also by month-end Wings Air will be operating from Jakarta-Pontianak to Kuching twice a week,” he told reporters after witnessing the handover of duties from his ministry’s former Permanent Secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik to new Permanent Secretary Hii Chang Kee at Baitulmakmur Building here yesterday.

Abdul Karim pointed out that with the new connectivities, the state would be able to attract more visitors.

“With more flights and more conferences or sporting events to be held in the state, we believe we should be able to reach our target of 5.25 million arrivals this year,” he remarked.

He noted that visitor arrival to the state from January to November last year was more than 4.8 million.

“But since December is a holiday month, we have a lot of arrivals and I believe we have reached five million visitor arrivals.”