KUCHING, June 19 — The Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) 2022 achieved its targeted number of 12,000 visitors, said Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

Expressing satisfaction with the attendance, he said 92 per cent of the visitors were locals and the rest foreigners, with 41 countries involved in the festival physically.

“On the first day, we had about 2,000 visitors, second day we had 7,000 and today we got another 3,000 visitors. I was not expecting this but to my surprise many have come over to Sarawak to enjoy the show. Top five physical attendees are Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Indonesia and Australia,” he said.

Speaking at a press conference at the Sarawak Cultural Village here this evening, he said among the other countries involved were Spain, Russia, Japan and Brunei, while virtual tickets for the three-day festival were mostly sold to countries such as China, Australia, the United States and Sweden.

Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the number of visitors from overseas was not very encouraging as many countries still imposed mandatory quarantine and this deterred people from travelling.

However, Nancy said she was confident that by next year, the festival would be able to attract more foreign visitors as her ministry had been actively promoting Malaysia as a tourist destination, including RWMF as one of the attractions.

“We had just opened the border from last April and starting May, the SOPs (standard operating procedures for border entry) have been more flexibile, and it’s probably the best SOPs you (tourists) can get in the world,” she added.

Themed ‘25th Legendary Rainforest Celebration’, the iconic Sarawak festival from June 17 to 19 featured musicians from countries like China, Australia, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Canada, Estonia, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, the United States and Vietnam. — Bernama