By Jeremy Khalil on September 29, 2014
PUTRAJAYA, 29 September 2014: Tourism Malaysia’s aggressive promotional efforts and commitment from industry players in line with the celebration of Visit Malaysia Year 2014 have contributed to the continuous growth of the country’s tourism industry.
From January to May 2014, Malaysia welcomed a total of 11.53 million (11,532,859) tourists, registering a hike of 10.1% compared to 10.48 million (10,478,419) tourists for the same period last year.
The top 10 tourist generating markets to Malaysia from January to May 2014 were Singapore (5,799,383), Indonesia (1,113,502), China (754,696), Thailand (574,255), Brunei (488,199), India (328,498), the Philippines (265,555), Japan (229,982), Australia (253,370) and the United Kingdom (199,741).
Throughout the month of May, the ASEAN region continued to be the largest contributor of tourist arrivals with 75.7% share (1.72 million) of Malaysia’s total arrivals. Among ASEAN countries, Brunei registered the highest growth of 41.5%, followed by Vietnam (+28.9%), the Philippines (+21.3%), Indonesia (+17.9%), Laos (+14.4%), Thailand (+12.6%), Cambodia (+11.8%), and Singapore (+10.8%).
The upsurge of arrivals from Indonesia was due to the additional daily flights by AirAsia which connects Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, as well as the new weekly flights from Jogjakarta and Lombok to Johor Bahru since April 2014.
Besides the ongoing public holiday in Vietnam (the Reunification Day and Labour Day), Malaysia’s participation in the Vietnam International Travel Mart 2014, International Gastronomy Festival and Hue Festival have also contributed to the increase in arrivals from Vietnam as a large number of tour packages to Malaysia was sold.
The medium-haul markets contributed 17.9% or 406,036 tourists to Malaysia’s total arrivals in May. Countries that registered double-digit growth were South Korea (+50.2%), Oman (+42.7%), Egypt (+36.9%), the United Arab Emirates (+29.6%), Pakistan (+21.1%), India (+19.1%), and Saudi Arabia (+13.9%).
A hike in arrivals from South Korea was a result of the new AirAsia’s flights from Busan to Kuala Lumpur since July 2013. For Saudi Arabia, it was due to the three new Flynas Airlines’ weekly flights from Jeddah to Kuala Lumpur since April 2014.
A total of 143,556 tourists or 6.3% of Malaysia’s total arrivals were contributed by the long-haul markets during the month of May. The markets that posted double-digit growth were Spain (59%), Italy (26.2%), Germany (18.8%), Ireland (14.6%), the Netherlands (10.7%) and Switzerland (10%).
The distinct growth in arrivals from Spain was due to the sponsorship on Sevilla football club since March 2014. The Visit Malaysia Year 2014 logo on the jerseys allowed the campaign to get a wide coverage in Spain and worldwide.
The increase in arrivals from Italy was attributed to the additional air connectivity offered by Turkish Airlines from the cities of Bologna, Pisa, Naples and Catania, through Istanbul to Malaysia.
Tourism Malaysia’s participation in international tourism exhibitions including CMT (Caravanning, Motor and Tourism) Stuttgart, Reisen Hamburg, and ITB (Internationale Tourismus-Börse) Berlin have contributed to the growth in arrivals from Germany.
Note: Data on tourist arrivals is supplied by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.