Batu Caves, a popular tourist attraction in Selangor

Tourism in Malaysia is a major industry and contributor to the Malaysian economy. Malaysia was once ranked 9th in the world for tourist arrivals.[1] In 2017, the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report ranked Malaysia 26 out of 141 countries using its Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) which measures the various components and policies of a country that are in place to allow for the sustainable development of its travel and tourism sectors.[2]

In an effort to diversify Malaysia's economy and reduce its dependency on exports, the government pushed to increase tourism in Malaysia. This led tourism to become Malaysia's second largest source of foreign exchange income.[3] In 2022, tourism contributed 14% to Malaysia's overall GDP.[4]

The government agency in charge of promoting tourism in Malaysia is Tourism Malaysia or the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB). On 20 May 1987, the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism (MOCAT) was established and TDC moved to this new ministry. TDC existed from 1972 to 1992, when it became the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB), through the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board Act, 1992.

In 1990, Malaysia launched a tourism campaign called "Fascinating Malaysia. Year of Festivals" which was considered a success and brought in the arrivals of 7.4 million tourists.[5] Five years later, in 1994, Malaysia launched another campaign themed "Fascinating Malaysia. Naturally More" which welcomed 10.22 million tourists.[5] In 2007, Malaysia launched its most notable tourism campaign titled "Malaysia Truly Asia".[5] This campaign was launched in conjunction with Malaysia's 50th year of independence and was heavily promoted and advertised.[5] It exceeded expectations and was a massive success, chartering the arrivals of 20.97 million tourists.[5]

Types of tourism

Medical tourism

Main article: Medical tourism in Malaysia

Medical tourism is popular in Malaysia, with the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council reporting an arrival of 641,000 foreign patients in 2011, 728,800 in 2012, 881,000 in 2013 and 882,000 in 2014.[6] Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, a government agency with the aim of promoting medical tourism, was launched in 2009 as an initiative by the Ministry of Health.[7]

Tourist arrivals

Tourist arrivals

In 2016, Malaysia recorded 26,757,392 tourist arrivals, a growth of 4.0% compared to 25,721,251 in 2015. The table lists the top 15 arrivals to Malaysia by their origin countries.

Denotes that the country was not within the top 15 arrivals for that year
Foreign tourist arrivals in Malaysia
Country Visitors (2023)[8] Visitors (2022)[9] Visitors (2021)[10] Visitors (2020)[11] Visitors (2019)[12] Visitors (2018)[13] Visitors (2017)[14] Visitors (2016)[15] Visitors (2015)[16]
 Singapore 8,308,230 5,222,991 16,308 1,545,255 10,163,882 10,615,986 12,441,713 13,272,961 12,930,754
 Indonesia 3,108,165 1,481,739 11,025 711,723 3,623,277 3,277,689 2,796,570 3,049,964 2,788,033
 Thailand 1,551,282 715,528 59,607 394,413 1,884,306 1,914,692 1,836,522 1,780,800 1,343,569
 China 1,474,114 211,363 7,701 405,149 3,114,257 2,944,133 2,281,666 2,124,942 1,677,163
 Brunei 811,833 301,757 773 136,020 1,216,123 1,382,031 1,660,506 1,391,016 1,133,555
 India 671,846 324,548 3,916 155,883 735,309 600,311 552,739 638,578 722,141
 South Korea 400,853 146,384 3,028 119,750 673,065 616,783 484,528 444,439 421,161
 Vietnam 344,361 173,763 583 64,184 400,346 375,578 248,927 216,877 229,926
 Australia 343,438 152,265 1,321 72,680 368,271 351,500 351,232 377,727 486,948
 Philippines 339,282 159,442 2,317 66,051 421,908 396,062 370,559 417,446 554,917
 Taiwan 283,380 48,132 563 60,090 382,916 383,922 332,927 300,861 283,224
 United Kingdom 272,297 134,667 2,676 63,868 346,485 361,335 358,818 400,269 401,019
 Japan 229,892 83,309 3,114 74,383 424,694 394,540 392,777 413,768 483,569
 United States 229,476 108,141 2,030 48,810 269,928 253,384 198,203 217,075 237,768
 Bangladesh 142,748 59,033 1,509 17,634 179,000 150,053 111,836 114,607 147,152
 Germany 125,987 57,780 824 27,458 130,221 128,895 109,816 130,276 144,910
 France 115,145 55,087 843 28,237 141,661 139,408 131,668 134,257 151,474
 Russia 109,689 33,003 399 28,694 79,984 72,785 67,564 50,893 55,263
 Pakistan 107,657 60,535 2,043 17,777 105,757 74,458 53,453 58,388 69,112
 Myanmar 86,298 36,765 377 9,745 46,257 38,513 42,314 49,175 66,553
 Cambodia 72,627 39,823 250 16,548 97,097 90,113 42,004 61,844 75,059
 Canada 71,981 30,656 471 16,631 87,568 84,705 67,056 72,337 79,557
 Netherlands 68,448 31,070 466 14,486 82,110 81,651 75,885 72,200 84,584
 Sri Lanka 55,050 24,906 385 8,142 26,058 28,376 43,738 33,340 51,337
 Saudi Arabia 51,375 35,980 687 23,390 121,444 112,263 100,549 123,878 99,754
 Italy 48,440 18,866 300 8,971 54,710 52,055 44,638 42,747 51,946
 New Zealand 42,955 18,238 196 8,794 50,140 50,698 55,923 53,352 60,846
 Spain 40,762 20,474 147 6,367 43,616 42,267 35,149 28,018 36,692
  Switzerland 23,312 10,486 197 5,263 25,659 25,680 20,775 26,628 28,141
 Poland 21,472 8,472 161 7,539 27,033 24,364 20,067 19,768 19,920
 Egypt 20,783 11,117 652 6,204 29,831 27,909 23,760 30,231 25,637
 Iran 19,908 7,570 314 7,078 46,559 67,094 59,023 47,102 65,066
   Nepal 18,488 11,379 198 5,067 20,437 19,914 20,553 60,476 93,159
 Ireland 18,127 8,739 137 3,735 25,659 19,687 20,854 18,208 22,746
 Sweden 18,006 8,083 253 9,292 29,592 32,665 34,304 32,861 35,586
 Belgium 17,726 7,543 122 3,734 22,082 20,624 17,327 14,283 18,789
 Turkey 17,275 7,169 286 3,152 15,290 15,406 14,594 13,029 15,395
 Laos 16,781 7,010 425 5,424 26,955 23,782 39,460 31,061 24,448
 Denmark 16,053 7,717 214 6,061 22,314 23,566 23,219 21,612 24,113
 South Africa 15,155 7,937 168 3,876 22,674 21,977 21,560 20,053 20,625
 Iraq 12,562 6,008 452 3,628 21,421 22,291 18,555 22,533 20,098
 Ukraine 11,129 4,381 298 6,326 16,019 14,529 13,068 12,971 10,672
 Norway 9,981 4,960 136 3,552 14,585 15,202 14,121 14,709 18,622
 Kazakhstan 8,298 2,836 141 6,065 18,138 13,861 12,577 10,717 15,410
 United Arab Emirates 7,877 3,230 86 679 11,174 9,386 8,555 14,150 15,769
Grand Total 20,141,846 10,074,964 134,728 4,332,722 26,100,784 25,832,354 25,948,459 26,757,392 25,721,251

Destinations and attractions

Further information: List of tourist attractions in Malaysia

Beside the main cities, there other town and places in Malaysia offer some special tourist attraction. Such as in Taiping for their landscape and local attraction. Teluk Intan for their Leaning tower. Genting Highlands, Cameron Highlands, Bukit Tinggi in Pahang and Kundasang in Sabah for a cool climate. Muar in Johor is famous for its food. Miri is the official tourism-city and resort city of Sarawak and Sibu in Sarawak is famous for its landscape and parks.

Islands and beaches

Teluk Cempedak Beach, Kuantan
South Beach, Perhentian Besar

Malaysia has several tropical islands. Some of the islands in Malaysia are:

National parks and nature reserves

Further information: List of national parks in Malaysia

Other places of interest

See also

References

  1. ^ Mohd Ayob, Norizawati; Masron, Tarmiji (2014). Othuman Mydin, M.A.; Marzuki, A. (eds.). "Issues of Safety and Security: New Challenging to Malaysia Tourism Industry". SHS Web of Conferences. 12: 01083. doi:10.1051/shsconf/20141201083. ISSN 2261-2424.
  2. ^ Crotti, Roberto; Misrahi, Tiffany, eds. (2017). The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 (PDF). Geneva: World Economic Forum. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-944835-08-8.
  3. ^ Hanafiah, Mohd Hafiz Mohd; Harun, Mohd Fauzi Mohd (2010). "Tourism Demand in Malaysia: A cross-sectional pool time-series analysis" (PDF). International Journal of Trade, Economics, and Finance. 1 (2): 200.
  4. ^ Sunbiz. "Tourism rebounded in 2022, contributed 14% to GDP". thesun.my. Retrieved 29 May 2024.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Tourism Malaysia Corporate Site". www.tourism.gov.my. Retrieved 29 May 2024.
  6. ^ "Statistics". Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council. Archived from the original on 3 August 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  7. ^ Sarwar, Abdullah (2013). "Medical Tourism in Malaysia: Prospect and Challenges". Iranian Journal of Public Health. 42 (8): 795–805. ISSN 2251-6085. PMC 4441909. PMID 26056632.
  8. ^ "Top 45 Tourist Arrivals (2023)" (PDF). Retrieved 7 June 2024.
  9. ^ "Top 45 Tourist Arrivals (2022)" (PDF). Retrieved 7 June 2024.
  10. ^ "Top 45 Tourist Arrivals (2021)" (PDF). Retrieved 28 December 2022.
  11. ^ "Top 45 Tourist Arrivals (2020)" (PDF). Retrieved 28 December 2022.
  12. ^ "Top 45 Tourist Arrivals (2019)" (PDF). Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Top 45 Tourist Arrivals (2018)" (PDF). Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  14. ^ "Top 45 Tourist Arrivals (2017)" (PDF). Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Top 45 Tourist Arrivals (2016)" (PDF). Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Top 45 Tourist Arrivals (2015)" (PDF). Retrieved 4 March 2018.