Tourism in Malaysia

Life in Malaysia
Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur
Teluk Cempedak Beach, Kuantan
South Beach, Perhentian Besar
Bird's-eye view of Kuching, Sarawak.

Malaysia is ranked 11th in the world and 2nd in Southeast Asia for tourist arrivals.[1]

In an effort to diversify the economy and make Malaysia's economy less dependent on exports, the government pushed to increase tourism in Malaysia. As a result, tourism has become Malaysia's third largest source of foreign exchange income.[2] and accounted for 7% of Malaysia's economy as of 2005.[3]

The government agency in charge of promoting tourism in Malaysia is Tourism Malaysia or the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB). On 20 May 1987, the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism (MOCAT) was established and TDC moved to this new ministry. TDC existed from 1972 to 1992, when it became the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB), through the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board Act, 1992.

In 1999, Malaysia launched a worldwide marketing campaign called "Malaysia, Truly Asia" which was largely successful and brought in over 7.4 million tourists.[4] The extra revenue generated by tourism helped the country's economy during the economic crisis of 2008.[5]

Types of tourism

Medical tourism

Medical tourism is popular in Malaysia, with the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council reporting an arrival of 641,000 foreign patients in 2011, 728,800 in 2012, 881,000 in 2013 and 882,000 in 2014.[6] Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, a government agency with the aim of promoting medical tourism, was launched in 2009 as an initiative by the Ministry of Health.[7]

Tourist arrivals

Tourist arrivals

In 2014, Malaysia recorded 27,437,315 tourist arrivals;[8] a growth of 6.7% compared to 2013. Total tourist receipts increased by 7.99%, generating MYR 65.44 billion.[9] United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) listed Malaysia as the 11th most visited country in 2014.[10]

Rank Country Visitors(2016 Jan-Aug)Visitors(2015) Visitors(2014)Visitors(2013
1 Singapore8,731,20012,930,754 13,932,967 13,178,774
2 Indonesia1,920,2012,788,033 2,827,533 2,548,021
3 China 1,406,4171,677,163 1,613,355 1,791,423
4 Thailand1,166,9931,343,569 1,299,298 1,156,452
5 Brunei858,0401,133,5551,213,110 1,238,471
6 India451,294722,141770,108650,989
7 South Korea304,569421,161 385,769 274,622
8 Philippines279,806554,917 618,538 557,147
9 United Kingdom278,342401,019 445,789 413,472
10 Japan269,148483,569 553,106 513,076
11 Australia242,550486,948571,328 526,342
12 Taiwan216,217283,224 274,665286,266
13 Vietnam151,501229,626 285,716 235,700
14 United States149,696237,768 262,106 246,936
15 France100,431151,474 169,973 145,108

Destinations and attractions

Beside the main cities, there other town and places in Malaysia offer some special tourist attraction. Such as in Taiping, Perak for their landscape and local attraction. Teluk Intan for their Leaning tower. Genting Highlands, Cameron Highlands and Bukit Tinggi in Pahang for a cool climate. Muar in Johor is famous for its food. Miri is the official tourism-city and resort city of Sarawak and Sibu in Sarawak is famous for its landscape and parks.

Islands and beaches

Sapi Island from one of Kota Kinabalu numerous beaches. Sapi Island is included in the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park.

Malaysia has several tropical islands, some of which have been voted the most beautiful in the world. Some of the islands in Malaysia are:

National parks and nature reserves

Other places of interest

See also


  2. Munan, Heidi. Malaysia. New York: Benchmark Books, 2002. pp. 28.
  3. "M'sia is ninth most visited in the world in UNWTO list". The Star. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2008.
  4. Munan, Heidi. Malaysia. New York: Benchmark Books, 2002. pp. 29.
  5. Warshaw, Steven, and A. J. Tudisco. Southeast Asia Emerges; a Concise History of Southeast Asia from Its Origin to the Present. [Berkeley, Calif.]: Diablo, 1975. Print. pp. 77.
  6. "Statistics". Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  7. "Who we are". Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  11. Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary (Temerloh), Tourism Pahang.
  12. Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, Endemic Guides.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Malaysia.
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