KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 — Domestic tourism continued to record better performance last year, recording a double-digit growth of 12 per cent to RM92.6 billion, the Tourism Satellite Account 2019 reported.
Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said for the first time since the compilation of the Tourism Satellite Account in 2005, the contribution of domestic tourism expenditure outpaced the inbound tourism expenditure in 2019.
In a statement today, the Department of Statistic Malaysia (DOSM) said the contribution of domestic tourism spending towards overall tourism consumption increased to 50.9 per cent from 48.6 per cent in the preceding year.
“The better performance was supported by shopping activities, which were the largest component with a contribution of 42.1 per cent, followed by the purchase of automotive fuel (16.7 per cent) and food and beverage (15.9 per cent),” it said.
Mohd Uzir said this expansion reflects Malaysians are increasingly interested to travel within the country, as well as spending on local tourism products.
“This trend can also be seen in 2020 whereby the domestic tourism segment becomes vibrant following the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the world which resulted in the closure of international borders by the government for all tourism activities,” he added.
Meanwhile, the inbound tourism expenditure increased to RM89.6 billion in 2019 from RM87.7 billion a year earlier, with a growth of 2.0 per cent compared to 2.3 per cent in 2018, in line with the increase in the average length of stay among foreign tourists which has risen to 7.4 nights compared to 6.5 nights in 2018.
“The contribution of the tourism sector to the economy is measured by the Gross Value Added of Tourism Industries (GVATI) which recorded a contribution of 15.9 per cent compared to 15.2 per cent in 2018.
“The GVATI reached a value of RM240.2 billion compared to RM220.4 billion in the preceding year with a growth of 9.0 per cent compared to 9.8 per cent in 2018,” it said.
The DOSM said the largest contribution was dominated by retail trade (46.2 per cent), followed by food and beverage (18 per cent) and country-specific tourism characteristics services (12.3 per cent).
Mohd Uzir said employment in the tourism industry in 2019 grew to 3.6 million persons compared to 3.5 million in the preceding year which contributed 23.6 per cent to the total employment.
Most of the employment in the tourism industry was led by food and beverage serving services and retail trade with 34.7 per cent and 32.5 per cent, respectively, he said.
On the COVID-19 situation, he said as inbound tourism activities will be at standstill due to closure of international borders, hence, there is a need to encourage and utilise domestics tourism activities to enhance the tourism contribution to the economy and to sustain the employment trend in this sector for year 2020.