| Azlan Othman |
LAST year saw a 16.8 per cent drop in the number of visits by Bruneians to Malaysia with 1,382,031 visits to the neighbouring country compared to 1,660,506 in 2017, Tourism Malaysia statistics revealed.
School holidays are the popular period to visit the neighboring country where March last year recorded the largest number of Bruneian travellers numbering 140,798, followed by September with 134,492 and June with 131,344 travellers. December saw 117,300 travellers.
The 10 highest tourism markets to Malaysia in 2018 were Singapore (10.6 million), Indonesia (3.28 million), China (2.9 million), Thailand (1.9 million), Brunei (1.38 million), South Korea (616,783), India (600,311), the Philippines (396,062), Japan (394,540) and Taiwan (383,922).
The tourism sector contributed RM84.1 billion to the Malaysian economy last year, up by 2.4 per cent compared to RM82.2 billion the previous year, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin bin Ketapi said.
He said despite a slight drop in international tourist arrivals, from 25.9 million in 2017 to 25.8 million in 2018, the per capita expenditure of tourists rose 2.9 per cent from RM3,166 to RM3,257.
Statistics for last year’s visitor arrivals released by Tourism Malaysia showed a drop of 0.4 per cent or 116,105 fewer tourists, compared to the previous year.
There were fewer visitors from nine countries with Singapore leading the pack. Their numbers dropped from 12,441,713 to 10,615,986 or 14.7 per cent. This was followed by Brunei.