Malaysia’s tourism performance records negative growth of 78.6% from Jan – Sept 2020

Malaysia continues to record negative growth for the national tourism performance overall, due to the spread of the pandemic Covid-19 which has impacted the tourism sector globally.

In terms of tourist arrivals to the country, Malaysia welcomed 4,299,419 tourists from January until September 2020. In comparison, Malaysia welcomed over 20.1 million tourist arrivals for the same period last year, showing a marked decrease of 78.6%.

For the same period, Malaysia received a total of RM12.6 billion, a decrease of 80.9% compared to RM66.1 billion received last year. Similarly, the per capita expenditure showed a decline of 10.7% from RM3,289.30 in 2019 to RM2,938.40 this year.

The top ten tourist generating markets continue to be dominated by Singapore (1,543,627), Indonesia (710,118), China (403,055), Thailand (372,075), India (155,448), Brunei (135,848), South Korea (119,364), Japan (73,891), Australia (72,369) and Philippines (65,601).

Negative growth had been observed for tourists from every regional market namely short-haul market or ASEAN (-78.8%), medium-haul market (-80.0%) and long-haul market (-74.0%).

In terms of the number of excursionists, or the daily visitors to the country, Malaysia recorded a total of 1,733,101 arrivals from January to September 2020, a decrease of 74.9% compared to 6,905,378 excursionists who visited Malaysia in the same period last year.

The continued decline in the number of arrivals is due to the closure of international borders since March 18, which is a part of the government’s proactive decision in its efforts to curb the spread of the pandemic Covid-19 in Malaysia.

As a result of the huge impact of the pandemic on the global community, other countries too are not spared from the effects on their tourism performance. According to the data from the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), neighbouring ASEAN countries including Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia recorded similar decrease of more than 70 percent due to certain travel restrictions imposed to combat the pandemic in the respective countries.

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