Tourism Analytics: Analysing Visitor Arrival Data for Tourism Industry in Sarawak
Tourism is identified as one of the six key economic sectors in the Sarawak post-COVID-19 development strategy with an expected higher GDP contribution of 11% by 2030. Visitor arrival datasets have been commonly used to measure the performance of the tourism industry but their significance to the Sarawak tourism industry has not been clarified. This paper aims to fill in the research gap by examining the recent 20-year visitor arrival data in Sarawak and its relationship with the local tourism industry. Leveraging various data sources and advanced visualisation techniques, four research questions related to the market outlook, seasonality and plausibility of the visitor arrival statistics have been formulated and addressed. The research findings have concluded that despite existing challenges in the local tourism industry, there has been a positive market trend since 2001. The top and emerging markets for the Sarawak tourism industry are also identified including Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, China, United Kingdom, Thailand, India and the two domestic markets (Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia). Finally, the study has confirmed that the Sarawak visitor arrival data are a reliable indicator and can be used to provide a high-level data-driven overview of the market outlook. Possible future research directions have been proposed including systematic data collection, data integration and travel tracking to achieve sustainable growth via tourism analytics.