KUCHING: Sarawak hopes to welcome more visitors in the last quarter of 2020, after seeing a marked drop in arrivals in the last two months.
State Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said there were only 44,156 arrivals last month against 338,130 in August 2019.
"There is a big drop compared with last year. It was similar in July, which is normally our peak month because that is when we have our Rainforest World Music Festival.
"Unfortunately, this July, we had about 72,000 visitors when it is normally more than 400,000," he said when launching the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching's (BCCK) "Size Matters" campaign here on Monday (Sept 14).
However, Karim was hopeful that the number of arrivals would pick up from this month onwards, as flight frequencies between Sarawak and peninsular Malaysia had returned to normal.
Commercial flights into the state had been reduced from Aug 1 to 14 as part of measures to contain a spike in Covid-19 cases at the time.
"Now it's back to normal and I understand there will be at least 2,000 arrivals per day in Kuching alone.
"So we expect September, October, November and December to be months which will see a slight increase (in visitor numbers)," Karim said.
He added that the ministry was now focusing on next year, including preparing for events which had been postponed from this year.
"In the event that Malaysia or Sarawak is able to address Covid-19 and the global pandemic is under control, I think things will be good next year," he said.
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