Malaysia sees 32.5% more tourists in first quarter of 2024, says Tiong

Photo: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism in Malaysia is on the rise, with 5.8 million tourists in the first quarter of 2024, says Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

"This is a growth of 32.5% compared to last year’s 4.3 million,” said the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister.

He also said that the 30-day visa exemption for Chinese and Indian tourists has boosted arrivals in Malaysia.

He said the ministry would also seek to increase flights to places like West Asia, China, India, and South Korea to encourage more direct flights into the country.

Visa facilitation, alongside improved accessibility and flight connectivity, is important to achieve the goal of attracting around 36 million tourists and generating RM150 bil for Visit Malaysia 2026.

Meanwhile, Tiong urged hoteliers to consider upgrading and renovating their premises.

He said that he has highlighted to the Cabinet for Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Berhad that it should be more proactive in giving loans to tourism companies when needed.

"If it is still slow to give loans, we will ask other commercial banks to take over.

"The Finance Ministry will chair a meeting to resolve your problem or any difficulties that you are facing in getting the facilities from the government," he said during a networking session with industrial and state tourism bodies in the Sheraton Hotel here on Tuesday (April 30).

He added that the government has reserved RM1bil to upgrade the tourism industry.

Meanwhile, Tourism Malaysia deputy director Shahrin Mokhtar presented the strategic plans to realise Visit Malaysia 2026 goals.

"The Visit Malaysia 2026 roadmap is built on three core strategies - creating demand, increasing traffic, and prioritising target markets,” he said.

The board would enhance its marketing campaign by focusing 70% on the digital space, which includes influencer marketing and content creation.

He added that Tourism Malaysia would also focus on increasing tourist arrivals by flight to Malaysia.

"Compared with Singapore, whose air arrival is 79.1% and Thailand, whose air arrival is 84.5%, Malaysia is only 36.7%,” he said.

He said that an increase in air travel to Malaysia would result in increased spending in the country.

He said there is a lot of room for improvement, and plans are in place to collaborate with airlines to increase accessibility and seat capacity.

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Tourism , Tiong King Sing , Visitors , Visa , Economy


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