Malaysia registered 22.05 million tourists in 2008, surpassing the 21.5 million target set by the government under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. This is an overall increase of 5.1% compared to 2007.The month of December 2008 registered the highest number of tourists with arrivals of 2,058,684, an increase of 9.2% compared to the same month last year.
The top ten tourist generating markets for December 2008 were Singapore (1,030,013), followed by Indonesia (251,118), Brunei (166,043), Thailand (122,776), China (including Hong Kong and Macau) (71,566), India (49,175), Australia (45,724), the Philippines (39,684), Japan (37,776) and United Kingdom (36,131).
Singapore registered the largest number of tourists in 2008, contributing 49.9% of the total arrivals. This was followed by Indonesia (11%), Thailand (6.8%), Brunei (4.9%), China (including Hong Kong and Macau) (4.3%), India (2.5%), Japan (2%), Australia (1.9%), the Philippines (1.8%) and the United Kingdom (1.7%).
In terms of regions, Europe recorded the highest growth of 21.8% in 2008 compared to 2007. The other regions that showed significant increases were Northern America (18.6%), Eastern Asia (15.9%), Southern Asia (15.7%) and Oceania (10.4%).
Speaking on behalf of Tourism Malaysia, Mr. Amirrudin Abu, Acting Director General, said, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our partners in the Malaysian travel trade industry and overseas, as well as members of the media, for doing an excellent job in attaining another milestone in the country’s tourism history. We have achieved an all-time high figure of 22,052,488 tourist arrivals. This is certainly an accomplishment considering the fact that 2008 had been a very trying time for us and a very challenging one as well.”