KUCHING: Sarawak’s tourism sector, along with others, will have to capitalise on digital technology to boost industry competitiveness, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He said as the digital economy was the way forward for Sarawak to leapfrog towards a developed state status and high-income economy by 2030, the sector needed to look seriously at digital marketing strategies, online reputation and use of social media and mobile phones.
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“It is also vital for the corporate sector to facilitate and create a platform for Sarawak to share information, cross inspiring, explore business opportunities and create bilateral trades with ASEAN and other countries in the region.
“The ASEAN-China Entrepreneurs Association (ACEA) Digital Tourism Forum today can be a platform for Sarawak to start a smart partnership among the ASEAN and greater ASEAN region in promoting digital tourism for mutual growth and benefits,” he said at the launching of ACEA Digital Tourism Forum here today.
His text speech was read by Sarawak Minister of Tourism, Art, Culture, Youth and Sport, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
“Sarawak is rich in natural resources and there are still a lot of potentials waiting to be explored and developed. As a result, through the Travel App that will be launched later, I believe it will help to boost the local tourism industry,” said Abang Johari.
He also pointed out that tourism was an upcoming economic sector which the Sarawak state government was training its focus and emphasis on.
“In 2017, Sarawak recorded 4.86 million visitor arrivals with a total spending of RM8.59 billion that accounted for 7.9% of its gross domestic product (GDP).
“We anticipate that tourist arrivals will continue to increase and we have set a target of 5.25 million arrivals for 2018. ASEAN countries being our neighbours continue to be our source of visitors which accounted for 48.98% or 2.38 million arrivals in 2017,” he said. — Bernama