Minister of State Tourism, Arts and Culture Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said that foreign and domestic tourist arrivals in Sarawak declined by 74.2 percent last year, compared with 2019 following the COVID 19 pandemic.
He said that only 1.99 million tourists were received by Sarawak last year compared to 4.62 million the previous year.
“Foreign tourist arrivals totalled only 363,304 compared with 2,082,444 in 2019, a reduction of 82.55 per cent.
"During the same period, the number of domestic tourists shrank to 836,568 compared with 2,579,975 the year before, a decline of 65.67 per cent,” he said after attending the Journal of Responsible Tourism Management forum here.
As a result, Abdul Karim said that state receipts for tourism decreased from RM11.57 billion in 2019 to RM2.88 billion by 75.12 per cent.
He said it is important for the Government of the State to promote domestic tourism products by means of various campaigns and partner with industrial players to solve the current problems together to ensure that the tourism sector does not become frozen.
“Although Malaysians can’t travel between states, Sarawakians can still enjoy the tourism products in the state, and this will help the tourism sector in the state to survive,” he said.
Last year, Sarawak launched the 'Sia Sitok Sarawak' campaign to provide discounted packages of up to 50 per cent for Sarawakians and non-Sarawakians, who have work permits to benefit from the tourism products in Sarawak.
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