With aggressive promotional efforts by Tourism Malaysia and commitment from industry players, tourist arrivals to Malaysia continue to grow despite a challenging year, and the country is a step closer to achieving the 28 million tourist arrivals target in line with Visit Malaysia Year 2014.
From January to July 2014, Malaysia welcomed a total of 16.1 million (16,104,966) tourists, registering a hike of 9.7% compared to 14.7 million (14,682,124) tourist arrivals for the same period last year.
The top 10 tourist generating markets to Malaysia from January to July 2014 were Singapore (8,236,079), Indonesia (1,583,786), China (997,370), Brunei (699,763), Thailand (773,160), India (445,431), Australia (347,355), the Philippines (362,139), Japan (308,418) and Taiwan (168,962). July alone saw a total of 2,229,920 tourist arrivals, with the ASEAN region contributing 74.0% of these (1.7 million). Among ASEAN countries, Vietnam registered the highest growth (40.0%), followed by Indonesia (+23.3%), Brunei (+10.0%), Cambodia (+10.0%) the Philippines (+8.5%) and Thailand (+3.6%).
Outside school holiday periods in Vietnam and Indonesia in July, low fares promotions from the Philippines to Malaysia offered by Cebu Pacific Air, AirAsia Zest, and AirAsia Indonesia also contributed to the upsurge of arrivals from these ASEAN countries. The increase in arrivals from the Philippines was also driven in part by the 'Luv U Malaysia' and 'Juan For Fun Backpackers Challenge' programs, which aired on TV stations in the Philippines, providing great publicity for Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
Interest in travelling to Malaysia among Bruneian tourists was stimulated by the joint promotional efforts of Tourism Malaysia, Brunei and local tourism agencies, as well as shopping complexes in Malaysia, especially during grand events like the 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival.
Medium-haul markets contributed 19.0% or 422,934 tourists to Malaysia's total arrivals in July. The number of tourist arrivals from the Middle Eastern countries increased significantly in July across the Middle East summer (10 June to 30 August 2014), with many local travel agencies taken the opportunity to sell attractively priced tour packages. During this period, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Iraq also registered increases of 379.2%, 77.4% and 69.0% respectively. Other countries registering double-digit growth in July were Japan (+28.1%), New Zealand (+23.0%), Australia (+17.6%), India (+16.2%) and South Korea (+12.8%).
A hike in July arrivals from South Korea can be attributed to the additional Asiana Airlines flights from Incheon to Kota Kinabalu, as well as new AirAsia flights from Incheon to Kuala Lumpur. The promotion of 'edutourism' in Japan also saw many Japanese families sending their children on learning tour packages to Malaysia.
Long haul markets delivered 155,984 tourists to the country, representing approximately 7.0% of Malaysia's total arrivals, during July. The best performing growth markets included Spain (+47.8%), France (+45.8%), the Netherlands (45.2%), Italy (28.7%), Sweden (+27.0%), Germany (22.7%), the United Kingdom (+19.7%), Russia (+16.3%), and the United States (+11.5%). The rise of tourist arrivals from most of the European countries and the United States also coincided with the beginning of summer holidays in these countries.
Wide publicity through social media also brought positive impacts on long-haul markets. Facebook and Twitter have been used to distribute information in relation to Tourism Malaysia's programs, interesting destinations and tourist hotspots.
Note: Data on tourist arrivals is supplied by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.
For information about tours of Malaysia, please contact:
Telephone: +612 9286 3055
or visit http://www.tourismmalaysia.com.au