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Tourism Malaysia Strengthens Commitment to the Global Cruising Industry

Tourism Malaysia Strengthens Commitment to the Global Cruising Industry

Malaysia is setting its sights on the cruise tourism industry for the upcoming Visit Malaysia 2026. In 2023, Malaysia witnessed unprecedented cruise arrival figures, with its ports welcoming 1,055 cruise ships carrying 1,520,608 passengers—an 84.78% rise in ship arrivals and a 62.43% increase in passenger numbers compared to 2019 pre-pandemic rates.

As a burgeoning tourism hub in Southeast Asia, Malaysia presently serves as the homeport for two cruise lines operating from Port Klang in Kuala Lumpur, with plans for further expansion in the future. Marking a historic milestone in Malaysia’s aspiration to emerge as a premier homeporting destination, the maiden voyage of the Costa Serena departed from Port Klang in January 2024. Costa Serena is the latest addition to Kuala Lumpur’s list of cruise partners choosing it as their homeport. With this, cruise tourism emerges as a key sector in elevating Malaysia’s global appeal, in line with the destination’s promotional plans toward Visit Malaysia 2026, the nation’s upcoming campaign to welcome 35.6 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2026.

To advance these promotional plans and in line with the National Transport Policy (NTP) 2019-2030, a delegation from Malaysia led by The Honorable Loke Siew Fook, Minister of Transport Malaysia is attended the Seatrade Cruise Global 2024, from April 8 to 11, 2024, at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Florida, USA.

As part of efforts to promote Malaysia as a homeporting destination, besides actively engaging media interviews and discussion sessions, The Honorable Minister of Transport delivered a keynote address titled “Malaysia Truly Asia: Malaysia Cruise Tourism” and used this platform to highlight the advantages and potential of Malaysia as an attractive cruise destination. Malaysia’s presence as a homeporting destination will not only strengthen the country’s tourism industry but will also provide significant impetus to the local economy, including tourism-related sectors such as hospitality, tourism services, food and beverage businesses, and others.

Malaysia’s participation in the world’s leading cruise industry event highlights its dedication to harnessing the sector’s potential as a driver for economic growth and bolstering Malaysia’s status as a preferred global tourist destination towards its Visit Malaysia 2026.