Sarawak expects to exceed tourist arrival target this year

KUCHING: Sarawak expects to exceed its target of 1.2 million tourist arrivals this year as it has already received more than half this figure to date.

State Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Sarawak recorded 703,891 visitor arrivals from January to July.

"We should easily beat the target because based on past records, the second half of the year always sees more visitors coming in, especially in October, November and December," he said when announcing the upcoming Borneo Music Festival Live 2022 here on Wednesday (Aug 10).

Abdul Karim said the return of many musical and arts events this year, along with the reopening of borders for travel, helped to strengthen Sarawak's position as a prime destination in the region.

Citing an example, he said the Rainforest World Music Festival last month was attended by 16,000 people, exceeding its target of 12,000 visitors.

Similarly, last month's Borneo Jazz Festival had 3,800 visitors, more than its 3,000 target.

"There are more music festivals to come, including the Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival and Miri Country Music Fest.

"The support for these music events is part of my ministry's unremitting efforts to promote Sarawak's diverse tourism offerings in culture, adventure, nature, food and festivals," he said.

On the Borneo Music Festival, Abdul Karim said it would feature a line-up of international artistes including Alan Walker from Britain and DJ Soda from South Korea.

Artistes from Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia will also perform, as well as Malaysian singers Rynn Lim, Thomas Jack and Priscilla Abby, and Sarawakian bands At Adau, Tuku Kame and Buloh Berkocak.

The festival will take place at the Sarawak Cultural Village on Sept 9-10.

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