KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 (NNN-BERNAMA) – A total of 20.1 million international tourists visited Malaysia last year, bringing in total tourism revenue of RM66.1 billion for the period of January to September 2019.
This is reflected in the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture’s (MOTAC) 2019 Report Card based on the ministry’s various efforts to make the country a world-class tourism and cultural destination by 2020, led by minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi.
According to the report released on the ministry’s official portal, 2019 also saw the Malaysian Homestay Experience Program (Homestay), aimed at strengthening the rural economy, recording 458,899 tourists with a total tourism revenue of RM29.7 million.
In the Business Tourism cluster, a total of 109,838 international delegates with an estimated economic impact of RM1.8 billion were registered through the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCeB) programme.
The report also outlined the performance of the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme which recorded RM14.1 million in visa fees over the last year.
The cultural sector revenue saw an economic impact of RM585.4 million, which included earnings from the arts and crafts and visual arts sector (RM547.9 million), performing arts (RM28.7 million), cultural heritage (RM4.1 million) and others, RM4.7 million.
Meanwhile, a total of 29.3 million visitors visited the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites, cultural events and premises last year.
The report also stated that 1,809 complaints involving tourism operators, tour guides and motor vehicles were recorded through the enforcement of the Tourism Industry Act 1992 (Act 482) and the Tourism Vehicle Licensing Act 1999 (Act 594).
Various infrastructure development efforts to bridge the success gap between tourism areas were implemented in 2019 including the upgrading of tourism facilities in Burlington, Taman Kinabalu, Sabah; Hutan Paya Laut, Matang in Perak dan conservation works on Istana Lama Seri Menanti Royal Museum, Negeri Sembilan.
In addition, 2019 was also filled with happy news as Malaysia was awarded a number of global recognitions including being the number one destination in the list of top 10 destinations for Halal-Friendly Holiday Destination 2019 by the Mastercard-Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel Index.
According to the 56-page report, various international programmes were also successfully held including the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Summit (UNWTO).