Domestic tourism gaining traction – The Edge Markets MY

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 26): The domestic tourism market is gaining traction as more Malaysians are preferring to travel and venture locally, while the country continues to be a favourite tourism destination among travellers, especially from China and Singapore.

World2Holiday Travel and Tours Manager Ashley Ng Mei Luan said most of the enquiries received by the agency were from families wanting to travel around the country.

“Penang, Melaka and Cameron Highlands remain as favourite destinations for families.

“As a travel agency, we help to ensure that their stay goes smoothly as year-end holiday planning is quite hectic due to the high number of tourists,” she told Bernama, adding that the stronger US dollar resulted in local families forgoing international travel.

Ng said Penang and Melaka remained as the favourite among tourists because of the food and local culture while Cameron Highlands was sought after for its cool weather.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for low-cost airline operator AirAsia, said inbound passengers spiked by 20 per cent in the final two weeks of the year due to the school holidays compared with non-peak months.

“Perak has emerged as one of the top tourism spots in Malaysia and is on par with Penang and Melaka,” he said.

“Last year, our top enquiries for Southeast Asian destinations were for Vietnam (Halong Bay) and Cambodia (Sihanoukville) as there are direct flights to these locations.

“But this year they choose to travel locally as the US dollar is much more expensive now and a majority of the places in Vietnam and Cambodia use the US dollar,” she said.

As for outbound travels, popular destinations were Incheon (Korea), Phu Quoc and Nha Trang (Vietnam) and Sihanoukville (Cambodia), he said.

He added that Malaysia remains a top destination among the Chinese tourists due to its direct connectivity.

“AirAsia itself has 15 direct flights from various parts of China to Kuala Lumpur, five direct flights to Kota Kinabalu, and one to Johor Bharu, Kuching and Langkawi respectively,” he added.

Malaysia’s tourist arrivals are expected to drop slightly to 26.4 million in 2018 from 25.9 million in 2017 and 26.76 million in 2016 due to the opening of new tourist destinations in Asian countries, particularly in Cambodia and Vietnam.

However, tourists arrivals are expected to increase to 28.8 million in 2019 in the run-up to the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 as Malaysia is set to host about 30 million foreign travellers.

Malaysia is expected to register tourism receipts of RM84.9 billion in 2018, but the 2019 earning have been revised downward to RM92.2 billion in 2019 from an earlier forecast of RM151 billion.

In 2017, Malaysia remains as the second most popular destination in Southeast Asia after Thailand.

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