KUCHING, April 23 — Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah today told the private sector to venture into building more hotels to accommodate the growing number of international tourists coming to the state.

He said soon it will be harder to accommodate tourists with the expected influx of visitors from China

“I am quite confident that the number of tourists coming to Sarawak will shoot up very high, from next year,” he told reporters at his Hari Raya Open house here.

He said a monthly average of between 300,000 and 400,000 arrived in Sarawak since the middle of last year.

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“This is why I say the time has come for the private sector to build more hotels,” he said, adding that it does not matter whether the hotels are rated three stars or five stars.

He said locals may not be able to afford high-end hotels and this was something that needs to be considered as well.

“But those that come for the convention or business, they are expected to stay in higher end star hotels and those that come for sports tourism or medical tourism, they may want to stay in two or three stars rated hotels,” he said.

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He said the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and the Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) have done well to promote the state to other countries.

Karim said he is surprised that more Singaporeans are now coming to Sarawak following the opening of the Sarawak Tourism and Trade Office in Singapore.

He added that many international conventions and conferences on green technology and renewable energy have been held.