Sarawak eyes reopening of border with Brunei to reboot tourism sector, says Ting
Posted on : 12 Oct 2021  Source of News: The Borneo Post

MIRI (Oct 12): Sarawak is looking forward to the reopening of its border with Brunei to reboot the state’s tourism industry, said Datuk Sebastian Ting.

The Tourism, Arts and Culture Assistant Minister said this will be the way forward along with domestic tourism, which can begin again thanks to the scrapping of police permits for interstate travel from Monday this week.

“Sarawak will consider opening borders with Brunei Darussalam, which managed to maintain a low record of infection and has the virus kept under control,” he told The Borneo Post on the state’s tourism revival plan.

“My ministry will continue to bring in more Bruneians into Sarawak leveraging on the BIMP-Eaga platform and future Statos (Sarawak trade and tourism) office in Brunei.”

Ting said the tourism ministry would keep a close eye on all stakeholders to ensure compliance with stipulated standard operating procedures (SOPs) and regulations, including improving ventilation.

In 2019, Sarawak recorded 1,296,017 Bruneian visitors, who generated estimated tourism receipts of RM3.63 billion, contributing to 2.74 per cent to the state’s total gross domestic product (GDP).

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 which closed borders, Sarawak recorded 180,616 Bruneian visitors.As a result, the tourism industry, particularly in the border towns of Lawas, Limbang, and Miri, suffered as revenue dried up, causing some to shut down permanently.