PUTRAJAYA, 1 March 2019: Malaysia’s tourism sector contributed MYR84.1 billion (USD20.7 billion) to Malaysia’s economy last year, a 2.4% improvement year-on-year despite a slight 0.4% decline in tourist arrivals.
Tourism Malaysia reported, Wednesday, the country welcomed 25, 832,354 international tourists in 2018, compared with 25,948,459 in 2017.
The country has registered declines in arrivals since 2016 when visits reached 26,757,392. The peak year was 2014 when arrivals reached 27,437,315
Malaysia’s Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi announced details on Wednesday at a press briefing.
The top 10 sources markets were Singapore (10.6 million), Indonesia (3.28 million), China (2.9 million), Thailand (1.9 million), Brunei (1.38 million), South Korea (616,783), India (600,311), the Philippines (396,062), Japan (394,540) and Taiwan (383,922).
The minister noted that despite the drop in the tourist count, the per capita expenditure rose 2.9% from MYR3,166 to MYR3,257.
“The highest per capita expenditure was from West Asia, namely, MYR9,947 and the lowest was from ASEAN, namely, MYR2,678.7,” he told reporters.
Credited with having the biggest share in tourist expenditure, the ASEAN short-haul market generated MYR48.5 billion, although it represented a drop of 12.8% compared to MYR55.6 billion in 2017.
The non-ASEAN market contributed MYR35.6 billion, including East Asia (MYR18.4 billion), Europe (MYR5.5 billion), South Asia (MYR3.8 billion), West Asia (MYR3.1 billion), the US (MYR1.8 billion) and Australia (MYR1.6 billion).
Shopping dominated tourist spend at 33.4%, followed by accommodation (25.7%) and food and beverage (13.4%).
Average length of stay increased from 5.7 nights in 2017 to 6.5 nights in 2018.
Malaysia will aim for 28.1 million tourists this year, higher than the peak year of 2014, while the tourism revenue target has been set at MYR92.2 billion.
Promotions are gearing up for its Visit Malaysia Year celebrations when tourist arrivals should reach 30 million tourists and income surpass MYR100 billion.
(Source: Tourism Malaysia)