The opening of direct flights –Wings Air from Pontianak, West Kalimantan to Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia or vice versa may potentially increase tourist arrivals to Indonesia, both from Sarawak Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam. In his press conference at Miri International Airport on Thursday (March 15), Consul General of Indonesian Embassy in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, Jahar Gultom said that in 2017, tourist arrivals from Sarawak to Indonesia, especially West Kalimantan have increased after several airlines opens a flight route from Sarawak to Indonesia without having to transit first in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“For West Kalimantan, in 2017, the tourist visits from Sarawak increased significantly, reaching more than 27 percent from 32,261 people in 2016 to 40,919 people in 2017. This is the highest tourist number recorded from Sarawak to West Kalimantan within 10 years. This 27percent growth was because more airlines have opened their routes from Pontianak to Sarawak and vice versa, such as Air Asia, Xpress Air, and now Wings Air,” Jahar Gultom said.
Jahar Gultom further said that with additional direct flight routes from Indonesia to Sarawak or vice versa, it is expected that cooperation of related stakeholders between Indonesia and Malaysia can be improved. One of them is by cooperating with travel bureaus and other business sectors such as plantation, wood processing and various other industries in Sarawak which may involve many workers from Indonesia. (VOI/Rezha/RHM)