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Malaysia’s Jan-June 2013 Tourist Arrivals Grow 7.9%

September 3, 2013 Destination ASEAN No Comments Email Email

Tourism-MalaysiaTourist arrivals to Malaysia for the first half of 2013 continued to soar, registering a hike of 7.9%. The country received 12.6 million (12,552,731) tourists from January to June compared to 11.6 million (11,632,478) tourists for the same period last year. 

Correspondingly, tourist receipts rose by 16.3%, contributing RM31.18 billion to the country’s revenue against RM26.80 billion from January to June 2012.

The top 10 tourist generating markets to Malaysia from January to June 2013 were Singapore (6,295,567), Indonesia (1,242,055), China (943,756), Brunei (593,536), Thailand (581,683), India (348,309), the Philippines (277,378), Japan (250,293), Australia (250,123), and the United Kingdom (211,286).

The ASEAN region continued to be the largest contributor of tourist arrivals with 73.3% share (9.2 million) of the total arrivals.

Cambodia registered the highest growth of 42.3%, followed by Myanmar (+19.9%), the Philippines (+16.5%), Indonesia (+12.1%), Vietnam (+10.3%), Singapore (+7.9%) and Brunei (+0.9%).

The establishment of new tourism products in Johor and the increase of flight frequencies from the ASEAN region played a major role in the growth of tourist arrivals from these markets.

Nevertheless, Thailand and Laos recorded a negative growth of 8.9% and 5.3% respectively. The drop in arrivals from Thailand was possibly due to the effect of unrest in the southern region and the competitive offers by airlines to other destinations like China, South Korea and Singapore, which were more appealing to the Thais.

The medium-haul markets contributed 19.6% or 2.5 million tourists to Malaysia’s total arrivals.

China registered a double-digit growth of 24.5% and so did Taiwan (+22.5%), Japan (+15.9%), and Sri Lanka (+13%) while tourist arrivals from Australia increased by 3.1%.

The upsurge of arrivals from China was due to the increase of AirAsia X and MAS flights from China and Hong Kong, as well as aggressive promotions by both wholesalers and airlines.

Nevertheless, a few markets recorded a decline in tourist arrivals namely Iran (-44.2%), New Zealand (-8.1%), India (-4.6%), UAE (-4%), South Korea (-3.6%) and Saudi Arabia (-2.7%).

The drop from the Middle East market was due to the shift in school holidays and the fasting month, as well as the competition from European destinations, which attracted many Middle Eastern travellers. However, the decline of arrivals from India was due to the depreciation of Indian Rupee compared to US Dollar in the last three months.

Tourist arrivals from the long-haul markets reached 890,000 in the first half of 2013, constituting 7.1% of the total arrivals to Malaysia.

The country’s success in attracting more tourists from the long-haul markets was due to the long winter season in Europe and better connectivity offered by a few airlines namely Turkish Airlines (Stockholm-Kuala Lumpur via Istanbul; 3 times weekly; beginning 25 Apr 2013), MAS (Kuala Lumpur-Paris by A380; starting 1 March 2013), and Air France/KLM (Paris-Kuala Lumpur; 3 times weekly; effective 23 March 2013).

Tourist arrivals from Sweden and Russia recorded a double-digit growth of 21.9% and 20.2% respectively, followed by France (+9.7%), Italy (+7.8%), United Kingdom (+7.4%), Germany (+6.5%), Canada (+6.5%), USA (+6.4%), Kazakhstan (+5.3%), and the Netherlands (+0.5%).

Only South Africa recorded a drop of 9.3%. The continuous decline of arrivals from South Africa was due to the decrease of the Rand exchange rate compared to the US Dollar.

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