The Official Website of
Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture,
Youth and Sports Sarawak
RM7 billion from tourism spending
Posted on : 01 Jan 2019  Source of News: Borneo Post
 

KUCHING: The ‘Visit Sarawak’ campaign is expected to rake in RM7 billion from tourism spending, as well as contribute seven per cent to Sarawak’s GDP, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The number of tourists is also expected to soar, as Sarawak has been working closely with carriers like AirAsia, Scoot (Singapore) and Royal Brunei Airlines, apart from enhancing the inter-connectivity between Sarawak and other destinations.

“Local airlines have also been given the greenlight to work on special routes and destinations,” Abang Johari spoke prior to officiating at the New Year 2019 Countdown and launching the ‘Visit Sarawak’ campaign at Kuching Waterfront last night.

Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah – also the minister in charge of the event – was among the thousands of spectators witnessing the ceremony.

Adding on, Abang Johari   said Kuching would improve its tourism packages following the opening up of the stretch from Sarawak Museum up to Jalan Padungan, regarded as a part of the city’s heritage walk.

Moreover, the facilities in Bako, Niah and Semengoh national parks would be upgraded, he added.

“Five million tourists will come over (to Sarawak) – our hotels, our taxis, our restaurants and our vegetable sellers, among others, will benefit from this campaign,” said Abang Johari, who is also chairman of Sarawak’s ruling coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

On a slightly different matter, the chief minister assured the people that they had nothing to worry about as the Sarawak government would proceed with infrastructure developments in Sarawak, despite its status as the opposition at federal level.

He said the Sarawak government would raise the money through the implementation of the five per cent tax on oil and gas production extracted from Sarawak’s onshore and offshore resources.

Back on ‘Visit Sarawak’, Abang Johari said he heard about Chinese nationals wanting to get chartered flights and as such, the campaign would give a positive impact on the tourism sector.

He added that to facilitate growth, new trade offices would be set up and the existing ones would be reinvigorated in Singapore, Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei and Pontianak in West Kalimantan (Indonesia) – all slated for promoting Sarawak as a preferred tourism destination.

According to Sarawak Tourism Board (STB), the ‘Visit Sarawak’ campaign is envisioned to place Sarawak on the tourism map – making it among the preferred tourism destinations in Southeast Asia.

“Its objectives are to enhance visibility of ‘Brand Sarawak’ in domestic and international markets; to inculcate in Sarawakians that ‘sense of belonging’ for all tourism attractions in Sarawak; and to provide excellent content of tourism products and/or services and value-for-money product experiences,” STB said in a statement.

The celebration kicked off at 5pm yesterday, with members of the public converging on the waterfront.

They were first treated to a medley of variety shows that included performances by popular local bands and buskers such as At Adau, Belio Buskers, Legacy Band and On String Band – plus performers from Universiti Teknologi Mara Sarawak and Lim Kok Wing University of Creative Technology.

The spectators were then entertained throughout the night by a host of top Malaysian artistes like Noryn Aziz, Rem and Shafiq Farhain, as well as popular local singers like Roxanne Lee, Felicia Gek, Gabriel Fairuz Louis, Mohd Firdaus Materang, Siti Hajar Mohidin and Nur Fauzana Wahid.

There was also a musical fountain display, followed by more stage performances featuring Sarawak’s major ethnic groups such as the Malays, the Ibans, the Chinese, the Bidayuhs, the Melanaus and the Orang Ulus.

Other captivating attractions were the water show, the lighting-up of the Darul Hana Bridge, as well as the 3D imaging presentation and a video show from STB in conjunction with the ‘Visit Sarawak’ campaign launch.

The finale was a grand fireworks show at the stroke of midnight.

The organiser had placed four giant LED screens strategically around the event area so that the spectators could have good views of all the happenings.