PETALING JAYA: Foreign tourists spent RM19.8bil on shopping in the country last year, a 6.3% increase from RM18.6bil in 2012, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said the retail sector constituted 30.2% of the total tourist expenditure last year against 30.7% in 2012.
The retail sector was a lucrative component of the country’s tourism industry, registering the second biggest share of tourist expenditure after the accommodation sector, he said when launching Encorp Strand Mall in Kota Damansara on Wednesday night.
A sprawling mixed development in Kota Damansara, the three-storey shopping mall has a 435,000sq ft floor area and multi-storey parking for 2,500 cars. It is the flagship of Encorp Strand.
Muhyiddin said 2013 registered RM65.4bil in tourist receipts, an increase of 8% against RM60.6bil in 2012.
He said that through close cooperation between the Govern-ment and tourism industry players to develop the country’s retail sector, Malaysia had garnered international recognition.
“For two consecutive years, 2012 and 2013, Kuala Lumpur was ranked by CNNTravel as the world’s fourth best shopping city after New York, Tokyo and London,” he said.
He said Encorp Strand, with its innovative plans and conducive infrastructure, could help stimulate the economic growth of the Kota Damansara satellite town.
The development would also indirectly support the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley Masterplan to become one of the 20 metropolises in the world conducive for economic growth and living experience, he said.
“I am confident that Encorp Strand Mall will be a preferred shopping centre in Kota Damansara and the Klang Valley,” he added. — Bernama