11/07/2024 05:37 PM

By Zaphne Philip

KUCHING, July 11 (Bernama) -- The hospitality industry, tourism and small entrepreneurs will reap the benefits when Sarawak plays host to 21st Malaysia Games (SUKMA 2024) scheduled to take place from Aug 17 to 24 at nine divisions in the state.

Sarawak Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said unlike previous events, SUKMA 2024 will involve nine divisions in Sarawak comprising Kuching, Miri, Samarahan, Serian, Sri Aman, Betong, Sibu, Mukah and Bintulu.

“If it is organised solely in Kuching, only people in Kuching will benefit, if it is spread out to nine divisions, imagine the myriads of people who will benefit. A little joy and satisfaction will abound too.

“That’s one of the reasons why we want to be organisers and put in efforts so that every place that hosts certain sports events will benefit, whether big or small, the hospitality industry, hotels, transport, food, etc. will all get its remuneration,” he said.

Abdul Karim, who is also Sarawak’s Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts, said this during a special interview with the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here.

Abdul Karim said at the same time, organising the SUKMA would be able to increase tourist arrivals to the state, which may reach 5 million by the end of this year.

“My target this year is to reach 4 million tourists and I am confident that we will reach that target in September, and in December we will match the highest number ever achieved in 2019 which was 4.2 million tourists.

“I will not be surprised if this year we are able to reach five million tourists, but it is enough if we surpass the target of four million which I think can be achieved by September or October,” said Abdul Karim.

The SUKMA 2024 will see 37 sports contested involving 488 events consisting of 236 men's events, 217 women's events and 35 mixed events, in addition to bringing together 12,619 athletes and officials.

The SUKMA, incepted in 1986, was hosted by Sarawak in 1990 and 2016 and emerged as overall champions in three consecutive editions - 1990, 1992 and 1994.




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