He also said that leaders and policy-makers have no choice but to grow simultaneously with the advancement of information communication technologies.
KUCHING: Sarawak Tourism Minister Abang Johari Tun Openg said today the advent of the Internet has undeniably change the travel landscape, pattern as well as trend, and has a profound impact on the industry.
He said over 60% of travel and tourism bookings were made through the Internet because it provided unlimited information directly accessible at low cost and great speed.
Abang Johari said travel and tourism had become the single largest category of products and services sold over the Internet and the proportion of business being transacted through this medium constantly.
“As leaders and policy-makers, we have no choice but to grow simultaneously with the advancement of information communication technologies if we want to survive and succeed,” he said when officiating the Asean Tourism Conference 2014 here.
Abang Johari represented Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud. Also present was Federal Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.
Abang Johari said that as of November 2013, Sarawak received a total of 3.9 million visitors, an increase of 6.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2012.
He said the tourism sector was expected to contribute RM8.6 billion or 15% to the state’s Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013, totalling RM57.77 billion.
“This is the result of the government’s continued and concerted efforts and initiatives to promote the Culture, Adventure and Nature (CAN) and Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) segment as the main tourism attractions in the state,” he said.
Abang Johari said that last year, Sarawak won 57 bids as compared to 45 in 2012 for both national and international events, bringing in a total of 248 conference days.
“This accumulated to 37,865 delegates and an estimated RM42.3 million in direct delegates’ expenditure,” he said.