The hospitality sector, one of the region’s largest, is continuing to see visitor numbers grow this year, boosted by better transport connectivity with large emerging markets.
This development is increasingly being linked with Malaysia’s overarching strategy of raising revenues and value in key economic sectors, a theme that is set to dominate the next few years. According to Ng Yen Yen, the minister of tourism, Malaysia registered 11.63m arrivals in the first half of 2012, up 2.4% over the same period in 2011.
Receipts grew more rapidly, increasing 4% over the same period to RM26.8bn $8.81bn. Ng attributed the continuing rise in visitor numbers in part to improved connectivity particularly with China and events such as the F1 Malaysian Grand Prix and the Citrawarna cultural festival.
Other members of ASEAN accounted for around 73.8% of arrivals.
Singapore, which has close cultural, economic and social ties to its northern neighbour, remained by far the biggest source of visitors, with 5.83m arrivals in the first half of this year.
This number is likely to have been somewhat boosted by shuttle traders, who pass over the border on a regular basis, and day-trippers.
The other largest contributing countries were: Indonesia, with 1.11m arrivals; China 758,000; Thailand 639,000; Brunei Darussalam 588,000; India 365,000; Australia 243,000; the Philippines 238,000; Japan 216,000; and the UK 197,000. Arrivals from China were up 34.2% on the first half of 2011, India 6.9% and Russia 28.2%. There was also impressive growth from established markets, including France 20.6%; the US 18.9%; South Korea 18%; Japan 32.5%; and the UK 5.9%.
Note: This article was published on behalf of Oxford Business Group, the views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily state or reflect the views of Thailand Business News