Sarawak sees more visitors with RM1.14bil in tourist receipts in March this year

State Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (centre) announcing the Sarawak Pavilion at the upcoming IMEX Frankfurt trade show. - ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: Sarawak is continuing to see an upward trend in visitor arrivals this year, with 438,950 recorded in March compared to 397,785 in February.

State Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the March figure was also higher than the 323,960 arrivals in the same month last year.

He said foreign visitors comprised 287,171 of last month's arrivals while 151,779 were domestic visitors.

"Tourism receipts also increased to RM1.14bil last month from RM817.75mil in March last year," he told reporters after announcing Sarawak's participation at the upcoming IMEX Frankfurt trade show for business events on Wednesday (April 17).

Abdul Karim said the latest figures brought Sarawak's visitor arrivals to 1.2 million for the first three months of the year, while tourism receipts totalled RM3.07bil.

"We are on track to achieve our target of four million arrivals this year. From past experience, the number of visitors will continue to increase after June, so we expect to hit our target easily by September," he said.

Meanwhile, Abdul Karim said Sarawak would have its own pavilion for the second year at IMEX Frankfurt on May 14-16.

He said Sarawak attracted over 2,000 visitors to its inaugural pavilion last year.

"We shall leverage this year's potential footfall and our strong relationship with the IMEX Frankfurt team to generate opportunities with international players," he said.

Abdul Karim said the Sarawak Pavilion's key talking points would include the state's post-Covid-19 development strategy and the legacy impact of business events.

He said a third talking point would be led by the Culinary Heritage and Arts Society, the Unesco Creative Cities Network Kuching and local food and beverage provider The Bibber's Tale.

"This year, we showcase the interesting relationship between business events and the creative food and beverage communities.

"Food is a universal language and visitors will have a special opportunity to learn about who we are through our local dishes and hand-crafted beverages made live at the pavilion," Abdul Karim said.

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