The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) attributed the 0.4% dip in foreign tourists to 25,832,354 last year to the lack of funding for promotional programmes by Tourism Malaysia compared to neighbouring countries in the region.
In response to a recent question posted in parliament by Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, MOTAC explained in the transcript seen by A+M that that neighbouring countries are actively increasing their tourism promotion efforts as they have a higher number of resources and this reduces Malaysia's visibility. It added that the crowded traffic conditions on the causeway between Singapore and Johor Bahru was also one of the reasons that caused Singaporeans to turn to other destinations.
Meanwhile, MOTAC also noted a lack of direct flights from international destinations to Malaysia, compared to Singapore and Thailand. As of April this year, the number of flight seats to Malaysia was 2,704,652 with a frequency of 13,573 flights a week. Meanwhile, Singapore offers 3,438,156 seats with a frequency of 15,325 flights a week, while Thailand offers 4,293,936 seats with a flight frequency of 20,628 per week. MOTAC added that there are 68 carriers with flights to Malaysia while Singapore and Thailand had 79 and 129 respectively.
In the meantime, the average occupancy rate across Malaysia witnessed a 0.2% increase from 60.6 in 2017 to 60.8 in 2018. More details on the occupancy rates in the various states below:
Tourism Malaysia is eyeing RM100 billion tourism receipts and 30 million international tourists into Malaysia through its Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign. Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Mohamaddin Ketapi said previously that Malaysia has “all the attractions” that appeal to travellers from the region, from nature retreats to modern and affordable shopping, cuisine, culture and luxury experiences. It is also in the midst of a global creative and media pitch.
Separately, Malaysia Airports Holdings (MAHB) recorded a 8.3% year-on-year (yoy) growth in international passenger movements to 5.6 million passengers last month. Domestic passenger movements also witnessed a 6.5% yoy growth to 6.5 million passengers. Despite encouraging traffic performance in June, MAHB said challenges and uncertainties continue to remain with respect to airlines performance, competition in the domestic environment as well as the local and global macro-economic outlook.
(Photo courtesy: 123RF)