PUTRAJAYA : Malaysia suffered a 78.6% drop in tourist arrivals between January and September this year, compared to the corresponding period last year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The country only recorded 4.29 million tourist arrivals in the period this year, compared with 20.1 million in 2019, the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (Tourism Malaysia) said in a statement today.
It said the lower number of tourist arrivals also saw receipts from tourism drop by 80.9% to RM12.6 billion during the period this year, from RM66.1 billion in 2019, with the per capita expenditure registering a decline of 10.7%, from RM3,289.30 last year, to RM2,938.40.
“The continued decline in the number of arrivals was due to the closure of international borders since March 18, which was part of the government’s proactive decision in its efforts to curb the spread of the pandemic in Malaysia,” Tourism Malaysia said.
Malaysia’s top 10 tourist-generating markets continued to be Singapore (1,543,627), Indonesia (710,118), China (403,055), Thailand (372,075), India (155,448), Brunei Darussalam (135,848), South Korea (119,364), Japan (73,891), Australia (72,369) and the Philippines (65,601), it said.
Tourism Malaysia said negative growth was observed for tourists from every regional market, namely the short-haul market (-78.8%), medium-haul market (-80%) and long-haul market (-74%).
In terms of the number of excursionists or daily visitors to the country, it said Malaysia recorded a total of 1.73 million arrivals from January to September 2020, a decrease of 74.9% compared with 6.9 million excursionists who visited Malaysia in the corresponding period last year.
“As a result of the huge impact of the pandemic on the global community, other countries too were not spared from the effects on their tourism performance,” Tourism Malaysia said.
According to data from the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), neighbouring Asean countries like Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia recorded a similar decrease of more than 70% in tourist arrivals due to certain travel restrictions imposed to combat the pandemic in the respective countries, it said.