Wednesday, 1 March 2017

(NST) Return of the tourists: Ministry targets RM114bil for 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s tourism sector has shown a sign of recovery with positive growth in tourists’ arrivals and receipts in 2016.

Tourism and Culture Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said the sign of recovery showed an increase of four per cent in the number of tourists’ arrival compared to 2015.

“In 2016, Malaysia has welcomed 26,757,392 tourists mainly from Singapore, Indonesia, China, Brunei and Thailand.

“The tourist receipts for 2016 were RM82.1 billion and this shows an increase of 18.8 per cent compared to RM69.1 billion in 2015,”said Nazri in his speech at the grand launch of the National Sales Campaign 2017 held at Suria KLCC here.

He also said that the tourists’ spending on shopping in Malaysia had also showed a positive increase of 20.3 per cent compared to 2015.

“Tourists’ spending on shopping in Malaysia amounted to RM26 billion compared to RM21.6 billion in 2015,” he said, adding that the current currency exchange rate has made shopping even more affordable in Malaysia for these tourists.

He said for 2017 the ministry is expecting more a bigger market from China and India with the e-visa facility besides the usual target of travellers from Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei.

Nazri also said that he is optimistic and confident that the tourists’ arrival and receipts for 2017 will be better.

Tourism Malaysia director-general, Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab said they are working towards the given target, which is to achieve a tourist receipt of RM168 billion with 36 million tourist arrival by the year 2020.

“As for 2017, we are hoping for 31 million tourist with tourists’ receipts of RM114 billion,” said Mirza at the press conference after the launch.

“We are still recovering from the slope from a number of calamities the nation has gone through since 2014. However we have been recovering well and addressing the right issues,” he said.