Malaysia's Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture is expecting approximately 30 million tourist arrivals in Malaysia by 2020. According to Deputy Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik, the influx of tourists in 2018 will boost the country's gross domestic product from 14.9% to 15.1%. The tourist arrivals for Malaysia in 2017 was 26.1 million, Bernama reported.
The deputy minister said Malaysia is experiencing "stiff competition" in the tourism industry from neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. As such, the ministry is looking to strengthen its tourism promotions and encourage Malaysians to participate in boosting domestic tourism.
The ministry has also requested for a larger budget for tourism promotion to engage a wider audience. Additionally, it is also collaborating with the education ministry to introduce staggered school holiday breaks according to states. This is in a bid to distribute the domestic tourist load.
In August this year, Malaysia Airports Holdings recorded 11.8 million passenger movements throughout its network of airports, a 2.9% increase compared to last year. Domestic passengers grew by 2.7 to 6.1 million, while international passengers saw a 3.2% growth to 5.6 million passengers. On the local front, airports in Malaysia registered 8.5 million passengers in August 2018, a 0.9% year-on-year growth over August 2017.