KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia welcomed a total of 16.1 million tourists from January to July this year, a 9.7% increase from 14.7 million tourists in the previous corresponding period, said the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (Tourism Malaysia).
In a statement yesterday, Tourism Malaysia said the hike was due to aggressive promotional efforts by the tourism promotion body and industry players.
“Tourist arrivals to Malaysia continue to grow despite a challenging year, and we are a step closer to achieving the 28 million tourist arrivals target, in line with Visit Malaysia Year 2014,” Tourism Malaysia said.
The latest statistics show the top 10 tourist generating markets to Malaysia from January to July 2014, were Singapore (8.24 million), Indonesia (1.58 million), 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 2.23 million tourist arrivals, with the Asean region contributing a 74% share (1.7 million). Among Asean countries, Vietnam registered the highest growth of 40%, followed by Indonesia (+23.3%), Brunei (+10%), Cambodia (+10%) the Philippines (+8.5%) and Thailand (+3.6%), it said.
Tourism Malaysia said the increase in tourist arrivals in July from the Asean market was due to the school holidays in Vietnam and Indonesia, and low airfare promotions provided by regional carriers.
Meanwhile, the increase of tourists from medium-haul markets such as the Middle Eastern countries, and long-haul markets such as the European countries and the United States, were due to summer holidays and various tourism products.
Tourism Malaysia said 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 summer (June 10 to Aug 30, 2014) in their homeland, and most local travel agencies having taken the opportunity to sell tour packages that offer attractive prices.
During this period, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Iraq registered an increase of 379.2%, 77.4% and 69.0% respectively, it said.
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 also attracted many families to send their children to join these learning tour packages.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 24, 2014.