Published on : Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Tourist arrivals in Malaysia was flattening in the past few years and the government needs to take corrective measures to reverse this trend, according to Maybank Kim Eng’s regional head of institutional research Wong Chew Hann.
Wong said in her presentation at Invest Asia 2019, “We have actually seen the tourist arrival numbers flattening; in fact, it was down 0.4% last year to 25.8 million people. Two things the government can do is on visas: such as implementing multiple entry visas for visitors from single entry visas presently.”
Although visitor arrivals to Malaysia alleviated over the past two years, tourism receipts continued to grow, and last year, it hit RM84.1bil with a growth of 2%, which is a record high.
Wong said that the tourism industry’s importance to the Malaysian economy is growing, contributing to about 14.9% in 2017 from 10.4% in 2005.
She said tourist arrivals dropped in 2018 mainly because of lesser arrivals from Singapore.
“We also have to note that these numbers do not capture day-trip visitors. Last year, tourist arrivals from Singapore were down 15% year-on-year. Out of 10 tourists that come to Malaysia, four are from Singapore. The reasons that might have caused this are the congestion on the causeway and the ringgit which has strengthened against the Singapore dollar,” Wong said.
Wong said that tourist arrivals from other countries excluding Singapore had, however, exhibited an increase.