Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/09/2014 -- The travel and tourism sector in Malaysia contributes significantly to the country's economy and is therefore a focus area for investment. The sector performed significantly well during the review period (2009-2013), due to the government's efforts to promote Malaysia as a tourism destination for both leisure- and business-related purposes. High investment in tourism, extensive tourism promotion and infrastructure development in related markets have all resulted in growth in both domestic and international tourist volumes.
- Malaysia is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country with extensive geographical diversity, tropical forests, exotic wildlife and spectacular beaches. The country's capital, Kuala Lumpur, is home to both tall skyscrapers and colonial architecture. There are four UNESCO World Heritage sites in Malaysia, with two cultural: the Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley, and the Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca, and two natural: Gunung Mulu National Park and Kinabalu Park.
- Malaysia is also known for its duty-free shopping, with several airports and islands such as Langkawi and Labuan having duty-free outlets. Shopping-related tourism activity is particularly high during the yearly campaigns organized by the Shopping Malaysia Secretariat, including the 1Malaysia GP Sale (from March 15 to April 6), the 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival (from June 28 to September 1), and the 1Malaysia Year-End Sale (from November 15 to January 4). The expenditure on tourist shopping in Malaysia recorded MYR18.6 billion (US$6.0 billion) in 2012, which increased by 6.3% to reach MYR19.8 billion (US$6.3 billion) in 2013.
- Domestic tourism in Malaysia performed significantly well during the review period, with the total number of trips increasing significantly from 35.5 million in 2009 to 71.8 million in 2013, at a review-period CAGR of 19.22%. This growth can be attributed to the increase in income levels, as well as the large number of events and festivals organized in the country.
- The total number of inbound tourist arrivals in Malaysia is expected to reach 29.8 million by 2018, recording a forecast-period CAGR of 3.0%. The government's efforts to drive the growth of international arrivals to Malaysia include initiatives such as Visit Malaysia Year 2014 and Year of Festivals 2015; the improving air connectivity, primarily due to expansion of LCCs; and development MICE-related infrastructure and promotion of the country as a leading destination to host business events and meetings.
- During the review period, land became the lesser-preferred mode of transport, with the share of departures by land (in total outbound departures) decreasing from 58.7% in 2009 to 56.0% in 2013. Preference for air travel increased, with shares in total outbound departures increasing from 36.0% in 2009 to 38.4% in 2013. Expanding operations of low-cost carriers (LCCs) such as AirAsia and Lion Air can be partially attributed for this rising preference.
- The airline market in Malaysia performed well during the review period, in terms of both passenger traffic and revenue. Increased demand for low-cost travel is the major driving force behind the growth of the airlines market. Malaysia has 62 airports, with eight catering to international tourists. Passenger traffic increased at a review-period CAGR of 8.09%, as passengers carried by domestic and international airlines grew from 52.1 million in 2009 to 71.1 million in 2013.
- The number of hotel establishments in Malaysia is expected to increase from 2,807 in 2013 to 3,212 in 2018, at a forecast-period CAGR of 2.73%. This is due to several hotels that are in the pipeline, such as Starwood's six properties and the CHM group's two properties, in anticipation of increase in demand for accommodation. Room occupancy rate is expected to reach 65.9% by 2018. Upscale hotels will continue to have the highest occupancy rate of 70.3%, followed by midscale hotels with 69.2% in 2018.
- Malaysia's car rental market value rose at a review-period CAGR of 7.48%, from MYR2.4 billion (US$676.3 billion) in 2009 to MYR3.2 billion (US$1.0 billion) in 2013. Growth was fueled by an increase in international visitors and domestic tourists, as well as a rising number of business events in the country.
- Malaysia's travel intermediaries revenue is expected to increase at a forecast-period CAGR of 4.76%, reaching MYR32.5 billion (US$10.4 billion) by 2018. The disappearance of Flight MH370 impacted business during March and April 2014, although the market will recover and continue to record growth during the year. This growth will be driven by increases in leisure and business travel, the promotion of VMY2014 in major source countries, and the development of e-commerce.
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Companies Mentioned in this Report: Malaysian Airline System Bhd, AirAsia Bhd, Emirates Malaysia, Cathay Pacific Malaysia, Lion Air Malaysia, Rangkaian Hotel Seri Malaysian Sdn Bhd, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Malaysia, Tune Hotels Regional Services Sdn Bhd, Sun Inns Hotel, Holiday Villa Hotels and Resorts, Hawk Rent A Car (M) Sdn Bhd, Avis Malaysia, Europcar Malaysia, Orix Car Rentals Sdn Bhd, KE Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd, Gem Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd, Forever Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd, Malaysian Discovery Tours & Travel Sdn Bhd, Malaysian Harmony Tour & Travel
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