Abdul Karim expects more tourists with more flights from Brunei


KUCHING: More tourists are expected to come into Sarawak with the availability of Sibu-Bandar Seri Begawan and Bintulu-Bandar Seri Begawan flights.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah believed that with the routes being introduced at the end of October, tourists from China, Korea, Japan, Australia and Europe could fly to Brunei and then come into Sarawak.

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

“Royal Brunei will be starting the Bandar Sri Begawan-Sibu and Bandar Sri Begawan-Bintulu routes at the end of October, apart from their existing Bandar Sri Begawan-Kuching flights, which are daily now. Brunei is aggressively promoting their tourism, and they can go all over the world. So we (Sarawak) cannot just rely on West Malaysia, the Kuala Lumpur-Kuching route.

“We need to work on our own trying to get more airlines to come over to Sarawak, so we will be seeing more visitors coming in through Brunei,” Abdul Karim told a press conference at the Baitulmakmur Complex after meeting interns under the ‘Ausbildung WeltWeit International Cultural Exchange Programme’.

Abdul Karim also stated that apart from the aforementioned routes, the state government was also in the process of working out direct flights from Shenzen and Jakarta to Kuching.

“We will make an announcement when we pen the agreement for the flight from Shenzhen to Kuching and we will name the airline later, because it would not be proper to announce until the agreement has been signed. But that route is among the routes we are working on.

“We are also working out the Kuching-Jakarta, and we will also announce that after we have penned the agreement. By next year, we will try to get more flight connectivity from Sarawak,” Abdul Karim said.

He also urged those in the tourism industry to look after places of interest and tourist destinations well.

“I hope that those in the tourism industry and those looking after tourism areas and places of interest will build up and ensure that these places are taken care of properly for the tourists,” he said.

Abdul Karim had previously announced the Sibu-Bandar Sri Begawan route when officiating at the Sibu International Dance Festival at the Sibu Civic Centre on Aug 13.