The Southeast Asian tourism index has sent a warning signal to the Malaysian government amid a decline in foreign visitors in 2018 compared to previous years.
In his speech to Al Jazeera Net, Deputy Minister of Tourism
Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said that the most important challenge facing the industry in his country is the emergence of several tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar, which attract increasing numbers of tourists at the expense of Malaysia.
In comparison to the indicators of the decline in the number of tourists coming to Malaysia, Bakhtiar noted that Vietnam witnessed last year a 19% growth in the number of foreign tourists visited in 2018, and that Indonesia has seen very large growth in this area.
In the opinion of the Deputy Minister, these indicators push those responsible for the Malaysian tourism sector to reconsider the methods of tourism promotion, the adoption of modern technology and means of social communication, and the adoption of additional budgets for tourism marketing.
Despite the decline in the number of tourists, however, Malaysia has maintained the growth of tourism imports due to increased spending of tourists, especially those coming from the Arabian Gulf. According to Aljazeera report, tourism revenues were estimated at $ 21 billion last year, up about $ 1 billion from the previous year, while the government aims to raise tourism revenues to $ 25 billion by 2020.