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Enhancing Malaysia’s position as a shopping hub

March 22, 2014 Destination ASEAN No Comments Email Email

Malaysia has long recognised the importance of shopping to help drive the growth of the country’s tourism sector. Hence, the formation of Shopping Malaysia Secretariat in 2002 under the ambit of Tourism Malaysia aims to develop Malaysia as a leading international shopping destination. 
Through close cooperation between the Government and the Malaysian tourism trade players in developing the country’s shopping sector, Malaysia successfully garnered various international recognitions. For instance, for two consecutive years (2012-2013), Kuala Lumpur was ranked by CNN Travel as the 4th Best Shopping City in the World, after New York, Tokyo and London. The city was ahead of Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok, making it the best shopping destination in Southeast Asia and among the top in Asia.

CNN Travel acknowledged Kuala Lumpur’s impressive score which was attributed to the city’s winning combination of high quality shopping, affordable prices and reliable sales, which can stretch for several months. The global news network also cited that three of the world’s 10 largest malls are in Kuala Lumpur, including 1 Utama, the world’s fourth-largest mall with more than 650 shops, as well as Asia’s largest indoor rock climbing facility and massive rooftop garden.More-fun-in-the-Philippines_250X250px

Kuala Lumpur was also crowned as the 2nd Best Shopping Destination in Asia Pacific in 2012 by Globe Shopper Index, created by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which is part of the Economist Group and commissioned by Switzerland-based shopping tourism company Global Blue.

Twenty five cities in the Asia Pacific region were assessed under five categories namely shops, culture and climate, hotels and transport, affordability and convenience. Kuala Lumpur achieved the second highest overall score of 65 out of 100, ahead of top shopping destinations like Singapore, Bangkok, Sydney, Tokyo and Seoul.

According to the report, Kuala Lumpur’s specific strength is its ability to combine low prices with a good range of products in a large number of stores, including three of the world’s 10 biggest shopping malls. These malls are bigger in size than the top 10 shopping malls in the United Kingdom. In terms of nett lettable area, the collective size alone is bigger by 20 per cent. Malaysia has more than 350 shopping malls, offering over 100 million square feet of nett lettable area, with a real estate value in excess of RM100 billion.

Malaysia is also known as a duty-free shopping haven with hundreds of duty-free outlets at many points of entry, including airports and designated destinations such as the idyllic islands of Langkawi and Labuan.

More premium shopping outlets targeted at discerning shoppers who prefer branded and luxurious items will also be established in the country. The formation of such outlets is in line with the strategies outlined under the Tourism National Key Economic Area (Tourism NKEA) with 12 Entry Point Projects (EPPs).

Three out of the 12 EPPs involve the development of the country’s shopping scene by positioning the country as a duty-free shopping destination, designating the Bukit Bintang-KLCC area as a vibrant shopping precinct, and establishing premium shopping outlets.

The Shopping Malaysia Secretariat also drives the National Shopping Campaigns to help boost tourist arrivals. Since 2007, tourist arrivals have increased between 0.4% and 7.6% during the thrice yearly national shopping campaigns:

•    1Malaysia GP Sale (15 March to 6 April): To catch the Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix fever by creating a shopping frenzy during the international racing season.

•    1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival (28 June to 1 September): To serve as the ‘Mother of All Sales’ with mid-year mega deals and mega bargains.

•    1Malaysia Year-End Sale (15 November to 4 January): To target year-end festive revellers and holiday makers, who are all set to unwind at the end of the year.

Shopping is indeed a lucrative component of Malaysia’s tourism industry. It holds the second biggest share of tourist expenditure after the accommodation sector. The year 2013 registered RM65.4 billion in tourist receipts, which was an increase of 8% against the receipts of RM60.6 billion in 2012.

Last year, tourists spent RM19.8 billion on shopping in Malaysia, which was an increase of 6.3% compared to RM18.6 billion in 2012. Shopping constituted 30.2% of the total tourist expenditure in 2013 against 30.7% of the total tourist receipts in 2012.

Back in year 2000, when the first Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival was launched, shopping only constituted 23.1% of the total tourist expenditure.

Tourism Malaysia and Shopping Malaysia Secretariat will continue to enhance Malaysia’s position as a shopping hub further, making the country one of the world’s premier and most vibrant shopping destinations.

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