PUTRAJAYA, 26 January 2015: Tourist arrivals to Malaysia from January to October 2014 continued to grow, registering a hike of 9.6%. The country received 22.9 million (22,859,448) tourists compared to 20.9 million (20,863,045) tourists for the same period in 2013.
The top 10 tourist generating markets to Malaysia from January to October 2014 were Singapore (11,583,654), Indonesia (2,321,027), China (1,386,053), Thailand (1,102,146), Brunei (985,111), India (643,335), the Philippines (513,313), Australia (479,829), Japan (460,774), and the United Kingdom (377,208).
The number of foreign tourist arrivals in October rose by 6.7% to 2,247,666 tourists from 2,106,569 tourists for the same month in 2013. ASEAN countries continued to be the dominant market in Malaysia’s tourism, accounting for 74.9% share (1.7 million). Among ASEAN countries, Indonesia registered the highest growth of 23.3%, followed by Myanmar (+19.0%), Cambodia (+13.2%), Thailand (+9.8), Brunei (+9.8%), Vietnam (+9.7%), and Singapore (+1.3%).
Garuda Indonesia’s move to increase its Jakarta – Kuala Lumpur flight frequency from 14 flights per week to 18 flights per week since August, including the 20% discount offered by AirAsia for its Medan-Kuala Lumpur and Medan-Penang sectors in September, were the major factors that contributed to the upsurge of Indonesian travellers to Malaysia.
Participation in various tourism fairs at major cities in the region, such as Pasai City in the Philippines and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, contributed to the increase of tourist arrivals from ASEAN countries. A joint cooperation with local bank, radio station, and tourism agencies in Brunei, including Malaysia Airlines, helped increase tourists from Brunei.
The medium-haul markets contributed 18.3% or 411,335 tourists to Malaysia’s total arrivals in October. Countries that registered double-digit growth in October were Oman (+55.5%), India (+50.3%), South Korea (+45.4%), Bangladesh (+33.7%), and Pakistan (+21.3%). Malaysia’s favourable exchange rate contributed to the upsurge of arrivals from India. Tourist arrivals from China registered a 5.9% increase, which signalled a recovery from this important market.
A total of 151,397 tourists or 6.7% of Malaysia’s total arrivals in October were contributed by the long-haul markets. The countries that posted double-digit growth were Poland (+35.5%), Spain (+22.1%), France (+15.1%), Germany (+14.7%), South Africa (+14.5%), Russia (+13.6%), the Netherlands (+13.5%), Denmark (+12.6), and Italy (+11.6%).
The strong promotional efforts in France and Spain contributed to the increase in the number of tourists from both markets. The significant growth in arrivals from Spain was also due to the sponsorship on Sevilla football club since March. Besides that, the set-up of a Facebook page in French and Spanish since 2013 has also brought positive results on the arrivals from both countries. The increase of arrivals from Italy was attributed to school holidays and cheaper flight tickets. Many advance bookings were made by European tourists to visit Malaysia as a result of the various joint promotions conducted with the local operators in the European markets.
Meanwhile, arrivals for September 2014 recorded a hike of 6.7% with 2,233,545 tourists compared to the same month of 2013. From January to September 2014, Malaysia welcomed a total of 20.6 million (20,611,782) tourists, registering a hike of 9.9% compared to 18.8 million (18,756,476) tourists for the same period in 2013.
Note: Data on tourist arrivals is supplied by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.