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Tourism in Malaysia Sees Positive Recovery

March 28, 2017 Destination ASEAN No Comments Email Email

Malaysia’s tourism sector has shown positive recovery, with strong growth in tourists’ arrivals and revenue in 2016.

Speaking in Malaysia last week, Tourism and Culture Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz reported that Malaysia recorded an increase of about four per cent in the number of tourists’ arrival compared to 2015.

“In 2016, Malaysia welcomed 26,757,392 tourists, mainly from Singapore, Indonesia, China, Brunei and Thailand,” he said. Even better, according to Nazri,“Tourist receipts for 2016 were around RM82.1 billion which represents an increase of 18.8 per cent compared to RM69.1 billion in 2015.”

Compared to 2015, Nazri is also delighted that tourists’ retail spending in Malaysia has shown a significant increase of around 20.3 per cent year on year. “Tourists’ spending on shopping in Malaysia amounted to RM26 billion compared to RM21.6 billion in 2015,” he noted, adding that the current currency exchange rate and a falling ringit has made shopping even more affordable in Malaysia for foreign visitors.

This year, Malaysia is expecting a higher number of visitors from India and China through the e-visa facility in addition to the usual target of travelers from Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei. Nazri is optimistic and confident that the tourists’ arrival and receipts for 2017 will be better.

Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Tourism Malaysia director-general, is also confident that Malaysia will achieve its revenue target of RM168 billion and 36 million tourist arrivals by the 2020.

“In 2017, we are hoping for 31 million tourists, delivering revenue of RM114 billion. We’re still recovering from various issues that the nation has undergone over the last couple of years. However, the signs are positive and we are addressing all the right issues,” Mirza said.

The 2016 figures are reassuring but unsurprising according Tourism Malaysia’s Sydney Director, Ahmad Esa. “Right now Malaysia is one of the safest, most politically stable and value-for-money destinations in South East Asia,” he says.

“Increased flights out of Australia and the falling ringit also makes it exceptionally good value for Ausssies right now. Add in friendly people, amazing cuisine and almost unparalleled diversity in terms of our tourism offering, and we can virtually accommodate every type of traveller, from families through to honeymooners, from sun-seekers through to those after more adventurous pursuits. Plus we are not much further away than Bali.”

“There is no doubting that the last couple of years have been challenging for Malaysian tourism,” he acknowledges. “But we are incredibly buoyed by the continued support and faith shown in us by Australian tourists, agents and tour operators as reflected in the current travel figures and look forward to saying ‘Selamat Datang’ to even more Aussies to Malaysia this year.”

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