| Azlan Othman |
RECENT figures from Tourism Malaysia revealed that a total of 521,113 Bruneian visitors travelled to Malaysia in the first five months of this year, which is down by 10.3 per cent compared to the same period (January-May 2018) last year, which recorded a total of 581,202 travellers.
Bruneian visitors were still the fifth highest to the neighbouring nation after Singaporean visitors (4,364,315); Indonesian visitors (1,476,625); China (1,336,777); and Thailand (829,787).
Malaysia’s tourism industry recorded a positive tourist arrivals growth of +4.8 per cent for the January-May 2019 period, registering 10,954,014 tourist arrivals compared to 10,454,447 in the same period last year.
The short-haul market, ie ASEAN, maintained its lead as the biggest contributor of international tourist arrivals to Malaysia with a share of 69.2 per cent, reflecting a +4.7 per cent increase of 7,584,128 tourists compared to 7,245,570 tourists during the same period last year.
The increase was fuelled by positive arrival growth from markets such as Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.
Meanwhile, the share for the medium-haul market was 21.4 per cent, with a +7.6 per cent increase of arrivals to 2,347,789 tourists. This was mainly driven by market growth in East Asia (such as China, South Korea and Japan) and South Asia (such as India and Pakistan) which saw a rise of +6.7 per cent and +11.0 per cent respectively, compared to the same period in 2018.
The long-haul market recorded a 9.4 per cent share, down by -0.2 per cent, with arrivals of 1,021,228 tourists. This downward trend was mainly due to a drop in arrivals from West Asia, Africa and several European countries such as France, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, impacted by insufficient numbers of direct flights serving these markets to Malaysia.