PUTRAJAYA — Feb. 27, 2019: The tourism sector contributed RM84.1 billion to the national economy last year, up 2.4 per cent from 2017, but arrivals were down from rom 25.9 million in 2017 to 25.8 million last year.
Per capita expenditure rose 2.9 per cent from RM3,166 to RM3,257.
’The highest per capita expenditure was from West Asia with RM9,947 while the lowest was Asean with RM2,678.7.
These details were outlined at a press conference today by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi. It was also attended by the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Isham Ishak and Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Musa Yusof.
The biggest contributor in expenditure was the Asean short haul market at RM48.5 billion but there was a drop of 12.8 per cent compared to 2017.
The contribution from non-Asean market was RM35.6 billion including from East Asia (RM18.4 billion), Europe (RM5.5 billion), South Asia (RM3.8 billion), West Asia (RM3.1 billion), United States (RM1.8 billion) and Australia (RM1.6 billion).
Spending was focused on shopping (33.4 per cent), followed by accommodation (25.7 per cent) and food and drinks (13.4 per cent). Handicrafts were the most popular items.
Average stay went up by 0.8 night — a total of 6.5 nights each.
The increase in stay was recorded from the long haul market, namely West Asia (9.7 nights) Europe (8.6 nights), Central Asia (8.3 nights) and medium haul markets such as South Asia (6.2 nights) and East Asia (6.1 nights).
The 10 highest tourism markets were Singapore (10.6 million), Indonesia (3.28 million), China (2.9 million), Thailand (1.9 million), Brunei (1.38 million), South Korea (616,783), India (600,311), Philippines (396,062), Japan (394,540) and Taiwan (383,922). Malaysia is targetting 28.1 million tourists this year.