KUCHING: A new strategy is needed to boost tourist arrivals and strengthen the Sarawak tourism industry.
A board member of Malaysia Productivity Board (MPC) Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Abang Openg said tourism industry was one of the main agenda of the Sarawak government.
He said Sarawak recorded a total of 4.86 million tourist arrivals in 2017, who spent an estimated RM8.59 billion and contributed 7.9 per cent to Sarawak’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“To further strengthen the Sarawak tourism industry, a new strategy such as increasing air conectivity to Kuching is needed to boost tourist arrivals.
“I was informed that the government, through Sarawak Tourism Board (STB),has entered into a partnership with Malaysia Airlines in the campaign and promotional activities to attract more visitors from the United Kingdom.
“But our problem with Sarawak is that we do not have many air routes. I am asking for consideration from airlines to introduce more routes between Sarawak and international destinations,” he said at the opening ceremony of ‘Showcasing Tourism Products’ (STP) here yesterday.
The STP programme is a joint venture project between Tourism Productivity Nexus (TPN) and MPC to identify and promote new tourism products and highlight the uniqueness of Sarawak.
Commenting on the programme, TPN chairman Uzaidi Udanis said the launch here was the fourth one after Negeri Sembilan, Terengganu and Pahang. Sabah will be next.
A total of 80 tourism industry players from Peninsular Malaysia and 100 from Sarawak participated in the three-day programme, starting yesterday.
For the STP programme in Sarawak, several tourist destinations have been selected to be visited and appreciated as new tourism products and for their uniqueness.
Among them are Jong Crocodile Park, Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Sarawak Natural History Museum, Orang Utan Mural, Sarawak Cultural Village, Kek Lapis Factory, Satok Market, Kuching Waterfront, Food Trail, Floating Mosque and Tua Pek Kong Temple.