Tourism arrivals, expenditure slumped in 1Q, says Tourism Malaysia

Usually crowded with foreign tourists, Malaysians now walking along the heritage trails like Armenian Street during the recovery movement control oder (RMCO) in George Town, Penang. - ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star / 5 July 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism arrivals and expenditure slumped in the first quarter ended March 31, worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting Movement Control Order which came into effect on March 18.

Tourism Malaysia said Malaysia recorded 4,233,425 tourist arrivals in 1Q, down by 36.8% from a year ago.

The decline in arrivals also impacted tourist expenditure, which was RM12.5bil, down by 41.5% from RM21.4bil a year ago.

“Per capita expenditure also showed a decline of 7.4% from RM3,201.8 in 2019 to RM2,964.5 this year. The average length of stay in Malaysia saw a decrease of 1.9 nights from 6.0 nights in 2019 to 4.1 nights, ” it said.

Tourism Malaysia said from January to March 2020, Malaysia received fewer tourists each month compared to a year ago.

“Negative growth had been observed for tourists from every regional market namely short-haul market (-37.3%), medium-haul market (-41.4) and long-haul market (-22.5%) from January until March 2020.

“The top 10 tourist generating markets were Singapore (1,541,591), Indonesia (701,142), China (401,067), Thailand (331,417), India (153,727), Brunei (135,412), South Korea (118,571), Japan (73,154), Australia (72,047) and the Philippines (64,257), ” it said.

It added Asean countries remain as Malaysia’s top contributors in tourist arrivals with a share of 67.8% or 2,868,359 tourists.

“However, this is a stark contrast compared to 2019, where Malaysia received 4,576,636 tourists from Asean for the first quarter of the year, which translates to a decrease of 37.3% from this region, ” Tourism Malaysia said.

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