Malaysia’s Growth in Domestic Tourism Reaches Record ASEAN High in H2 2020
The second half of the fiscal year is indicative of the high potential of Malaysia’s growth in domestic tourism.
Malaysia is on track to an upbeat recovery in its domestic tourism and leisure sector. Capping the ASEAN market, Malaysia’s growth in domestic tourism was the most significant in H2 2020, according to Agoda. The lifting of lockdowns and a provisional restart of the tourism sector were key attributes that contributed to this growth.
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), domestic visitors totaled 131.7 million in 2020. Approximately 147.0 million trips were undertaken domestically within the country, generating revenue of RM40.4 billion.
Numerous local destinations are topping Agoda’s top ten list as Malaysians opt to explore local sights and delights. While the numbers remain promising for domestic travel and leisure, the results are still out for business travel. This is due to the higher cost involved in this segment of the tourism industry.
Major tourism players expressed positive views at the recently held Maybank’s Invest ASEAN 2021 virtual conference. The belief is that an ASEAN-wide rollout of governance, protocols, and enforcement will drive a faster revival of the sector. Prioritizing significant attractions such as Malacca, Penang, and Sabah will hasten the industry’s overall revitalization.
ASEAN Market Sentiments
In the ASEAN region, countries are focusing on reopening facilities to cater to the growing interest in tourism. Hotel chains in Thailand are committing to welcoming tourists on the back of better protocols and vaccination rollouts. Strong support from the government and industry is leading to an increase in motivation, especially for the workforce.
The Philippines Department of Tourism is also expressing similar sentiments, focusing on domestic travel as its borders remain closed. Pre-pandemic estimates show that 110 million domestic trips were made. The Philippines is banking on the revival of domestic tourism to sustain community-level livelihoods and keep business alive.
Businesses are preparing for better times and refuse to let the global pandemic shut the entire industry down. While acknowledging that incidences of infected tourists are inevitable, regional businesses are placing their trust in proper governance. Adherence to protocols and proper enforcement are critical strategies in ensuring a safe environment for all.
Establishing a New Travel Norm
As the domestic tourism sector holds steady, businesses are gearing up to handle an increase in consumer demand. This includes expanding and training the workforce as well as creating innovative products and strategies. Adoption of new technology and data analysis is also on the cards for companies in the tourism industry.
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