Mar 29, 2018


PUTRAJAYA, 29 MARCH 2018: In 2017, Malaysia received a total of 25,948,459 international tourists and recorded a 0.1% growth in tourist receipts, thus contributing RM82.2 billion to the country’s revenue. Meanwhile, the average length of stay (ALOS) in 2017 for foreign tourists decreased to 5.7 nights from 5.9 nights in the previous year.

Although tourist arrivals dropped by 3%, in terms of numbers, Malaysia was the second most-visited South East Asian country after Thailand, which had 35.3 million tourists in 2017.

The East Asia market showed a 6.3% growth, while other markets saw a decline, i.e. ASEAN markets dropped by -3.9%, Europe (-1.7%), Americas (-4.3%), Oceania (-5.4%) Central Asia (-6.4%), Africa (-7%), West Asia (-12.3%) and South Asia (-13.3%).

ASEAN or the short haul market dominated with a 75.1% share of total tourist arrivals and brought a total of 19,478,575 tourists to Malaysia. The medium haul market share was 19.1% with 4,948,123 tourists, while the long haul market share was 5.9% with a total of 1,520,389 tourists.

For 2017, the top 10 tourist source markets for Malaysia were Singapore with 12,441,713 tourist arrivals, Indonesia (2,796,570), China (2,281,666), Thailand (1,836,522), Brunei Darussalam (1,660,506), India (552,739), South Korea (484,528), Japan (392,777), Philippines (370,559), and United Kingdom (358,818).

For China, the market surpassed the target to this region with an increase of 7.45% to 2.28 million arrivals, while an increase of flight frequency by AirAsia X made Kuala Lumpur and also Kota Kinabalu choice destinations for the Koreans.

Wars in Syria, Yemen and Qatar affected the Middle East markets, further impacting Malaysia’s tourism performance after Malaysia Airlines discontinued its routes to Dubai and Kuwait in 2016.

Despite the decline in overall arrivals, Tourism Malaysia is optimistic that Malaysia’s tourism performance will improve. The increase in the number of visa applications from India and China as well as forward flight bookings, are positive indicators. Improved visa facilities in China and India are also making it convenient for more travellers to visit Malaysia.

Better connectivity from various key markets would also boost travel to Malaysia. Recently, Tourism Malaysia had announced during the ITB Berlin of its partnership with Condor Air to establish a thrice-weekly Frankfurt-Kuala Lumpur route beginning 5 November 2018 offering 960 weekly seats.

The Tourism Malaysia Integrated Promotional Plan 2018 – 2020 has also been formulated and implemented to tackle existing challenges and improve Malaysia’s tourism performance. Meanwhile, the kick-off of Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign in various markets this year, targeting 36 million tourists and RM168 billion in tourist receipts by 2020, is also expected to revive Malaysia’s position as a choice holiday destination.


For more media releases, media info and media features on Malaysia’s tourism industry, kindly visit the Media Centre of Tourism Malaysia’s website at

MALAYSIA TOURISM PROMOTION BOARD OR TOURISM MALAYSIA is an agency under the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Malaysia. It focuses on the specific task of promoting Malaysia as a preferred tourism destination. Since its inception, it has emerged as a major player in the international tourism scene. In 2017, Malaysia registered 25.9 million tourist arrivals, placing it among the major tourism destinations of the world.

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