KUALA LUMPUR (March 10): Malaysia’s 2020 tourist receipts plunged 85.3% to RM12.69 billion from RM86.14 billion a year earlier as international tourist arrivals slumped 83.4% due to the closure of Malaysian borders since March 18, 2020 to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement today, Tourism Malaysia said the country's 2020 international tourist arrivals plunged to 4.33 million individuals from 26.1 million persons a year earlier.

"Malaysia’s tourist receipts plunged by 85.3% from RM86.14 billion in 2019 to RM12.69 billion in 2020, with the average per capita expenditure recording a total of RM2,928, a decline of 11.3% from RM3,300 in 2019.

"Negative growth had been observed for tourists from every market, namely the short-haul market (-83.5%), medium-haul market (-84.7%) and long-haul market (-79.7%).

"ASEAN countries or the short-haul market remained as Malaysia's top contributor with a 68.1% share of tourist arrivals (2.95 million), followed by the medium-haul market with a 20.1% share, which includes East Asia and South Asia (870,314). 

"The long-haul market share was at 11.8%, with 512,484 tourists from West Asia, the Middle East, America, Oceania, Europe and Africa,” said Tourism Malaysia, an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC).

According to Tourism Malaysia, the top 10 international tourist arrivals to Malaysia were from Singapore at 1.55 million people, followed by 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).

In terms of overall tourist expenditure, the top five contributors were Singapore, Indonesia, China, India and Thailand.

Malaysia was not alone in registering negative growth in the number of tourist arrivals, according to Tourism Malaysia, which cited numbers from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and National Tourism Organisation (NTO).

UNWTO is a United Nations (UN) agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism, according to the UNWTO’s website.

Tourism Malaysia said: "According to the UNWTO, Asia and the Pacific recorded an 84% decrease in arrivals.

"Malaysia’s neighbouring ASEAN countries also saw a significant decline in the number of tourists, including Thailand (-83.2%), Singapore (-85.7%), Vietnam (-78.7%) and Indonesia (-75%), according to data from the PATA and NTO,” Tourism Malaysia said.

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