Skip to main content
Daily travel & tourism news portal for the Asia-Pacific market since 2012

Trends

25.9m international tourists visited Malaysia in 2017

Author: Theodore Koumelis / Date: Fri, 03/30/2018 - 09:48
4805
Palau Sapi
Palau Sapi

Although tourist arrivals dropped by 3%, in terms of numbers, Malaysia was the second most-visited South East Asian country after Thailand, which had 35.3 million tourists in 2017.

PUTRAJAYA - In 2017, Malaysia received a total of 25,948,459 international tourists and recorded a 0.1% growth in tourist receipts, thus contributing RM82.2 billion to the country’s revenue. Meanwhile, the average length of stay (ALOS) in 2017 for foreign tourists decreased to 5.7 nights from 5.9 nights in the previous year.

Although tourist arrivals dropped by 3%, in terms of numbers, Malaysia was the second most-visited South East Asian country after Thailand, which had 35.3 million tourists in 2017.

The East Asia market showed a 6.3% growth, while other markets saw a decline, i.e. ASEAN markets dropped by -3.9%, Europe (-1.7%), Americas (-4.3%), Oceania (-5.4%) Central Asia (-6.4%), Africa (-7%), West Asia (-12.3%) and South Asia (-13.3%).

ASEAN or the short haul market dominated with a 75.1% share of total tourist arrivals and brought a total of 19,478,575 tourists to Malaysia. The medium haul market share was 19.1% with 4,948,123 tourists, while the long haul market share was 5.9% with a total of 1,520,389 tourists.

For the top 10 markets, Singapore with 12,441,713 tourist arrivals heads the list followed by Indonesia (2,796,570), China (2,281,666), Thailand (1,836,522), Brunei Darussalam (1,660,506), India (552,739), South Korea (484,528), Japan (392,777), Philippines (370,559), and Australia (351,232).

For China, the market surpassed the target to this region with an increase of 7.45% to 2.28 million arrivals, while an increase of flight frequency by AirAsia X made Kuala Lumpur and also Kota Kinabalu choice destinations for the Koreans.

Wars in Syria, Yemen and Qatar affected the Middle East markets, further impacting Malaysia’s tourism performance after Malaysia Airlines discontinued its routes to Dubai and Kuwait in 2016.

Despite the decline in overall arrivals, Tourism Malaysia is optimistic that Malaysia’s tourism performance will improve. The increase in the number of visa applications from India and China as well as forward flight bookings, are positive indicators. Improved visa facilities in China and India are also making it convenient for more travellers to visit Malaysia.

Better connectivity from various key markets would also boost travel to Malaysia. Recently, Tourism Malaysia had announced during the ITB Berlin of its partnership with Condor Air to establish a thrice-weekly Frankfurt-Kuala Lumpur route beginning 5 November 2018 offering 960 weekly seats.

The Tourism Malaysia Integrated Promotional Plan 2018 – 2020 has also been formulated and implemented to tackle existing challenges and improve Malaysia’s tourism performance. Meanwhile, the kick-off of Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign in various markets this year, targeting 36 million tourists and RM168 billion in tourist receipts by 2020, is also expected to revive Malaysia’s position as a choice holiday destination.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Theodore Koumelis

Co-Founder & Managing Director

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.