Miri Mayor: Give Tourism Development Top Priority Now
TheStar: Yii (in yellow shirt) says tourism is poised to become a source of growth in northern Sarawak
MIRI: Tourism has been identified as the “number one” engine of socio-economic growth in Miri and northern Sarawak in 2018 to replace petroleum.
Miri mayor Adam Yii said the Sarawak Tourism Ministry is giving tourism development top priority due to the depressed growth of the oil industry.
Yii said this yesterday in his new year message to the people of Miri, adding they must be ready to embrace change if they want to sustain the pace of development.
He noted that 2017 was a difficult year due to the poor performance of the petroleum sector, once regarded as “black gold”.
“We went through tough economic times in 2017 due to the depressed state of affairs in our petroleum sector as well as the decline in the price of timber and palm oil.
“In 2016, tourism was number four in this part of the state behind petroleum, timber and palm oil.
“However, looking at the continuous decline of the first three industries, tourism must be developed to take over the top spot.
“Tourism will be the new engine to propel socio-economic growth in Miri and the northern region,” he said.
Yii added there will be more flight links between Miri and international destinations in 2018.
Xpress Air of Indonesia has started direct Pontianak-Miri flights and AirAsia will have more Singapore-Miri direct flights every week, he said.
Last week, AirAsia’s inaugural flight from Singapore to Bintulu landed in Bintulu Airport.
It was reported that the availability of more direct international flight are part of AirAsia’s plans to improve international connectivity to Sarawak, in line with the state government’s efforts to boost the tourism industry.
“These international air links are not only for tourism development, but also to generate new investments in other arenas including improved business linkages,” noted Yii.
Yii added foreign exchange from Brunei to Miri will remain crucial in sustaining the growth of the retail, food and hospitality sectors in 2018.
He extended his new year wish of good health and prosperity to the people of Miri.