Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the Sarawak national parks have proven to be a hit with foreign and domestic tourists in Sarawak.
He said out of 369,630 visitor arrivals in the national parks as of September this year, 110,634 of them are foreigners and another 258,996 are domestic visitors.
Some of the highest numbers of visitors are places like Bako National Park, Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Matang Wildlife Centre, Niah National Park, and Santubong National Park because of their diverse biodiversity, beautiful and unique landscape, favorable facilities, accessibility, and other factors.
The ministry is currently upgrading WIFI facilities in these most visited national parks for better visitors’ experience.
He said that Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is the first wildlife center to have won the award of the Malaysian Tourism Council Gold Award as the Best Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Malaysia on October 25 and that the award is a recognition for its excellence in the areas of wildlife conservation and rehabilitation.
He also spoke on the Visit Sarawak Campaign which will give weight to destination branding through stronger call-for-action messages with celebrities, key opinion leaders and influencers to excite the campaign.
United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia will be the major markets of the destination branding exercise in 2020 through media and PR exercise with stronger brand appeal through digital, broadcasting and printed advertisements.
Karim said at the beginning of this year the Sarawak Tourism Board has participated in MATKA Scandinavian, Northern Europe premier trade fair for its outbound market.
He said the board has been putting emphasis on this market considering the product acceptability among the Scandinavians and also they have a longer average length of stay of 7 to 10 days and have bigger spending power.
He added that the board will also venture into the India market with a focus on the southern cities as they have more flight accessibility into Malaysia as they have shown a continuous steady increase in arrivals over the years.
The board will be looking into the possibilities of partnerships with local Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia tour operators specializing in the India market.
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