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10 Mar 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: International tourist arrivals to the country dropped 83.4 per cent to 4,332,722 last year from 26,100,784 in 2019 due to the closure of Malaysia’s borders since March 18, 2020 to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Tourism Malaysia said tourist receipts last year also plunged by 85.3 per cent from RM86.14 billion in 2019 to RM12.69 billion in 2020.

It said the average per capita expenditure for 2020 declined by 11.3 per cent, from RM3,300 in 2019 to RM2,928 in 2020.

“Negative growth had been observed for tourists from every market, namely short-haul market (-83.5 per cent), medium-haul market (-84.7 per cent), and long-haul market (-79.7 per cent),” it said in a statement today.

Tourism Malaysia said according to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Malaysia was not alone in this matter as the Asia Pacific region recorded an 84 per cent decrease in arrivals.

Other ASEAN countries also saw a significant decline in the number of tourists including Thailand (-83.2 per cent), Singapore (-85.7 per cent), Vietnam (-78.7 per cent) and Indonesia (-75 percent), it said according to data from the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and National Tourism Organisation (NTO).

Meanwhile, ASEAN countries or the short-haul market remained as Malaysia's top contributor with 68.1 per cent share of tourist arrivals (2,949,363) followed by the medium-haul market which includes East Asia and South Asia (20.1 per cent or 870,314).

The long-haul market share in 2020 was 11.8 per cent with 512,484 tourists from West Asia, the Middle East, America, Oceania, Europe and Africa.

The top 10 international tourist arrivals to Malaysia in 2020 were from Singapore (1,545,255), Indonesia (711,723), China (405,149), Thailand (394,413), India (155,883), Brunei (136,020), South Korea (119,750), Japan (74,383), Australia (72,680) and Vietnam (64,184).

The top five contributors in terms of overall tourist expenditure came from Singapore, Indonesia, China, India and Thailand. -Bernama


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