By Jeremy Khalil on October 23, 2014
Putrajaya, 23 October 2014: With aggressive promotional efforts by Tourism Malaysia and commitment from industry players, tourist arrivals to Malaysia continue to grow despite a challenging year and a step closer to achieving the 28 million tourist arrivals target in line with Visit Malaysia Year 2014.
From January to July 2014, Malaysia welcomed a total of 16.1 million (16,104,966) tourists, registering a hike of 9.7% compared to 14.7 million (14,682,124) tourists for the same period last year.
The top 10 tourist generating markets to Malaysia from January to July 2014 were Singapore (8,236,079), Indonesia (1,583,786), China (997,370), Brunei (699,763), Thailand (773,160), India (445,431), Australia (347,355), the Philippines (362,139), Japan (308,418) and Taiwan (168,962).
The month of July alone registered a total of 2,229,920 tourist arrivals, with the ASEAN region contributing a 74.0% share (1.7 million). Among ASEAN countries, Vietnam registered the highest growth of 40.0%, followed by Indonesia (+23.3%), Brunei (+10.0%), Cambodia (+10.0%) the Philippines (+8.5%) and Thailand (+3.6%).
Besides the school holiday in Vietnam and Indonesia in July, low fares promotion from the Philippines to Malaysia offered by Cebu Pacific Air, AirAsia Zest and AirAsia Indonesia also contributed to the upsurge of arrivals from these Asean countries.
The increase in arrivals from the Philippines were also contributed by the ‘Luv U Malaysia’ and ‘Juan For Fun Backpackers Challenge’ programme beamed on TV stations in the Philippines, which provided great publicity to Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
The interest among Bruneian tourists to visit Malaysia was stimulated following the joint promotional efforts between Tourism Malaysia Brunei and local tourism agencies, including shopping complexes in Malaysia, especially during grand events like the 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival.
The medium-haul markets contributed 19% or 422,934 tourists to Malaysia’s total arrivals in July. Tourists from the Middle Eastern countries showed tremendous increase in July due to the arrival of summer (10 June to 30 August 2014) in their homeland and most of the local travel agencies took the opportunity to sell tour packages at attractive prices. During this period, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Iraq registered an increase of 379.2%, 77.4% and 69% respectively.
Countries that registered double-digit growth in July were Japan (+28.1%), New Zealand (+23.0%), Australia (+17.6%), India (+16.2%) and South Korea (+12.8%).
A hike in July arrivals from South Korea was due to the additional Asiana Airlines flights from Incheon to Kota Kinabalu, as well as new AirAsia flights from Incheon to Kuala Lumpur. The promotion of edutourism like “Manaberu (Learning) Travel Malaysia” in Japan aslo attracted many families to send their children to join these learning tour packages.
A total of 155,984 tourists or 7.0% of Malaysia’s total arrivals were contributed by the long-haul markets during the month of July. The markets that posted double-digit growth were Spain (+47.8%), France (+45.8%), the Netherlands (45.2%), Italy (28.7%), Sweden (+27.0%), Germany (22.7%), the United Kingdom (+19.7%), Russia (+16.3%) and the United States (+11.5%).
The rise of tourist arrivals from Europe and the United States was mainly due to the beginning of summer holidays. Wide publicity through social media also brought positive impacts on long-haul markets. Facebook and Twitter have been used to distribute information in relation to Tourism Malaysia’s programmes, interesting destinations and tourist hotspots.
Note: Data on tourist arrivals is supplied by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.