Malaysia welcomed 26,100,784 international tourists last year, contributing a total of RM86.14bil in tourist receipts to the country’s economy.
The number of international tourists marked a small growth of +1.0%, compared to 25,832,354 tourist arrivals in 2018.
Meanwhile, tourism performance also saw growth in terms of per capita expenditure, rising by +1.3% to RM3,300. Tourists stayed longer too with the average length of stay climbing by +0.9 nights to 7.4 nights.
The top 10 international tourist arrivals last year were from Singapore (10,163,882), Indonesia (3,623,277), China (3,114,257), Thailand (1,884,306), Brunei (1,216,123), India (735,309), South Korea (673,065), Japan (424,694), the Philippines (421,908) and Vietnam (400,346).
Tourist arrivals growth was seen in South Asia (+22.2%), East Asia (+5.9%), Americas (+4.3%) and Europe (+0.3%) while declines were recorded for Asean (-1.3%) and West Asia (-2.1%) markets.
While the number of travellers from Asean declined, travellers from the region still remained the biggest contributor, contributing a total of RM43.72bil.
The top three distribution of tourist receipts went to shopping (33.6%), accommodation (24%) and food and beverages (13.3%).
The latest statistics came following intense promotion in the lead-up to Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020), which was cancelled on March 18 this year to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry has since introduced a new campaign to replace VM2020.
Its minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the campaign would capitalise on the “Malaysia, Truly Asia” brand by featuring the country’s unique experiences.