PUTRAJAYA: Tourism arrivals and spending saw a healthy increase in the first three months of this year.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said tourist spending increased over RM3 billion or 16.9% from RM18.3 billion in the first quarter last year to RM21.4 billion in the same period this year.
He said tourist arrivals also increased by 2.7% from 6,520,218 last year to 6,696,230 this year, an increase of more than 100,000 visitors.
“Based on these numbers, Tourism Malaysia hopes to see about 28 million tourists arrivals this year,“ Mohamaddin said.
“This bodes well for Visit Malaysia Year as the target for next year is 30 million.”
Mohamaddin said that in January, there were 2,195,684 arrivals, 2,165,933 in February and 2,334,613 in March.
He said the largest number of tourists came from Asean countries, with an increase of 1.9% or 4,576,636 visitors.
The majority of the visitors were from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
“The average length of stay also rose with tourists from Saudi Arabia staying the longest, followed by those from France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands,“ he said.
Mohamaddin said the ministry was trying to attract more tourists by participating in international tourism fairs in London, Spain, Berlin and Dubai.
They were also working closely with international tourism agencies, especially those in the Middle East, to promote the country.