MalaysiaThe Malaysian Bornean state will soon have dedicated account to capture tourism-related statistics

Sarawak to launch Tourism Satellite Account in December

Sarawak has plenty of diversity and unique cultures – both draws for tourists.
Sarawak has plenty of diversity and unique cultures – both draws for tourists. Photo Credit: BESarawak

SARAWAK – Malaysia’s largest state, Sarawak, is slated to have its own Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) soon.

The TSA will hopefully be launched in December, said Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, state minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport, who added that this will make Sarawak the first Malaysian state to do so.

Two years ago, in Malaysian news reports, the minister had said the TSA would be set up as he then noted that capturing tourism-related statistics is important to help improve, strengthen and help plan and implement relevant strategies.

The New Straits Times reported on Monday that Datuk Abdul Karim said that there would be various branding exercises and development for both long- and short-term strategies from 2020 to 2035.

As of October, Sarawak received 3.76 million visitor arrivals with an increase of 4.6% as compared to the same period in 2018. The top five source markets were Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and China.

In conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 campaign, Sarawak aims to achieve five million visitor arrivals with RM8.2 billion (US$2 billion) tourism receipts.

According to the United Nations, a satellite account measures the size of economic sectors that are not defined as industries in national accounts. Tourism, for example, is an amalgam of industries such as transportation, accommodation, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment and travel agencies.

Tourism is a unique phenomenon as it is defined by the consumer or the visitor. The visitor buys goods and services that can be either attributed to tourism or non-tourism industries. The key from a measurement standpoint is associating their purchases to the total supply of these goods and services within a country.

The TSA is designed to measure these goods and services according to international standards of concepts, classifications and definitions to allow for valid comparisons. The UN adopted the methodology only in 2000.

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