News: Tourism Receipts Hits Highest Level Last Year

May 13, 2019

Tourism receipts collected by Malaysia hit its highest-level last year at RM84.1 billion, of which RM12.3 billion is accounted for by China tourists’ expenditure. Despite the higher tourism receipts collection, Malaysian Tourism Board data showed that visitor arrivals to the country had been on the downtrend as it eased 3.0 percent in 2017 before moderating by another 0.4 percent last year to 25.8 million.

Maybank Kim Eng analyst Wong Chew Hann attributed the decline partly to the lack of promotion in the last few months, reported New Straits Times. 

“That is something that the government needs to do to step up its efforts.”

Singaporeans made up 41 percent of the 25.8 million tourists that visited the country in 2018.

Congestion at land checkpoints and the strengthening of the ringgit versus the Singapore dollar has prevented some tourists from coming over to Malaysia.

Meanwhile, a total of 2.9 million Chinese tourists visited the country last year.

China Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian reportedly said that he expects 3.5 million Chinese tourists to visit Malaysia this year.

Read More: All about buying properties in Malaysia

Maybank Kim Eng believes the higher inbound Chinese visitors will help moderate the adverse impact of lesser Singaporean visitors on the country’s tourism industry.

This comes as Chinese tourists spend an average of RM4,200 which is way higher compared to that spent by other visitors.

Tourism is important to the country’s economy as it serves as a driver of Malaysia’s services exports as well as the current account and foreign currency reserves.

The Maybank report also revealed that Malaysia has a glut of hotel rooms, particularly in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

With a total of 308,200 hotel rooms across the country, the research house noted that Airbnb had exacerbated the glut in recent years.


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