INTERACTIVE: Here’s where Malaysians are going for vacation

Tourists at Pasir Bogak beach, Pangkor. — RONNIE CHIN/The Star

PETALING JAYA: As the year ends, Malaysians looking to unwind can find some of the best vacation destinations just a few hours’ drive or a short-haul flight away.

With tourism bouncing back after being hit by two years of movement control orders, here’s a guide to the country’s top destinations, based on data from the Department of Statistic’s 2021 domestic tourism survey.

The following shows highlights of the top destinations by most-visited state:

The following shows the number of hotels located in each state according to their rating:

For those looking for a beach getaway, Terengganu, Pahang and Kedah offer the most number of beach hotels:

Shopping was the main purpose of traveling for domestic visitors, at 36.4%, followed by visiting relatives and friends at 24.2%, holiday/leisure or relaxation at 15.5% and medical treatment or wellness at 10.3%.

Most domestic visitors who travelled to other states had the main purpose of visiting relatives and friends, but the majority of those who traveled to Negri Sembilan and Pahang were on holiday.

In 2021, domestic tourism was on a large decline due to interstate travel restrictions, which largely affected states such as Kelantan, which saw a 68% decline in domestic trips, followed by Perlis and Perak at -66% each.

Selangor emerged as the 2021 top visited state, which included same day and overnight travels by domestic visitors, at 10.2mil visitors, followed by Kuala Lumpur at 9.1mil visitors and Sarawak at 6.1mil visitors.

Despite the drop in the number of domestic trips in 2021, which decreased by 51% to 72.4mil from 147mil in the year before, a number of states saw an increase in the average length of stay and spending per trip.

Kelantan recorded the highest average length of stay at 3.14 nights, followed by Sarawak (3.03) and Labuan at 2.52 nights.

Meanwhile, Penang recorded the biggest increase in average amount spent for those visiting the state on an overnight trip, which shot up by 40% or RM814 compared to RM584 in 2020.

This was followed by Johor, with an increase of 33% at RM261 in 2021 compared to RM197 in 2020 and Kelantan, with an increase of 26%, from RM343 to RM432 in 2021.

The following shows the overall trend of average amount spent in each state:

The most popular destination by tourists, who spent at least a night at the destination, were Johor with 1.8 million tourist arrival, followed by Perak (1.4mil), Pahang (1.3mil), Negeri Sembilan (1.2 million) and Selangor (1.2 million).

While most states generally recorded a large portion of tourists from their own state, the trend was different in Melaka and Penang.

A total of 401,230 tourists from Selangor had flocked to Melaka, most likely after travel restrictions were lifted on Oct 11, 2021, which made up the majority or 40% of the tourists who traveled to the state in 2021.

The trend was similar in Penang, where those originally from Selangor had contributed 33% of the overnight tourists in the state.

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Tourism , airlines , pandemic , Covid-19 , Malaysia


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