Chinese tourists help Malaysian tourism to move on

Malaysian tourism sector is in a revival mode after the slow pace in inbound tourists during the first four months of the year. The fortifying factor was the increased number of Chinese tourists during the last two months of the first half of the year.

The information was revealed in the report of Maybank Investment Bank Research. The report says drop in the total visitor arrivals for the first four months was due to shortfall in the main sources of tourists, Singapore and Indonesia.  This deficit was offset by the vigorous growth in Chinese visitors’ arrivals, which is expected to continue for the rest of the months.

As per the figures cited in a tourism platform ‘ForwardKeys’, the flight bookings from China for the first week of July 2017 gushed around 47 percent year-on-year. This growth is expected to be continued in the coming years.

As per the statistics from Tourism Malaysia, decline in the inbound tourists from Indonesia and Singapore for the first four months of the year were 3.42 and 18.3 per cent respectively.  This trend has been persistent during the past few years. On the other hand, visitors from China during this period have been showing an increase of around 37 per cent continuously.

“If this trend continues, China may excel Indonesia to become the second largest source of visitor arrivals soon,” states the report.

The report says, “Chinese visitors spend an average of 4,000 ringgit (about USD 985) per trip or at least a third more than any other nationality, still the deficit in the revenue due to the decreased number of tourists in the first four months may not be compensated.”

Maybank report assumes that the decline in arrival of Singapore tourists could be due to the strengthening of Malaysian ringgit against the Singaporean dollars recently.

The target number of inbound tourists to the country for the year 2018, as set by the government is 33.1 million with an expected revenue of 134 billion ringgit.

While in 2017, tourist arrivals show a decline by 3 percent with a total number of 25.95 million tourists.  Total revenue generated from tourism during this period was 82.1 billion ringgit.

Singapore, Indonesia and China were the three main visitors’ sources for Malaysia last year. While the number of Chinese visitors rose year after year, tourists from the other two countries show a decreasing tendency.