Domestic tourism expenditure last year fell 60.8% to RM40.4 billion compared to RM103.2 billion in 2019, according to the Domestic Tourism Survey 2020 Report issued by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) today.
The Chief Statistician’s Office in a statement said this was the first decline since 2008 when DOSM started collating statistics from the Domestic Tourism Survey.
The statement also quoted Chief Statistician Mohd Uzir Mahidin as saying the measures carried out to curb movements due to the spread of Covid-19 had affected domestic tourism activities in 2020.
“Overall, domestic visitor arrivals were down 44.6% with 131.7 million visitors compared with 239.1 million visitors in 2019, resulting in a fall of 60.8% in total spending to RM40.4 billion compared to 103.2 billion the year before,” he said.
Uzir said the poorer performance in domestic tourism in 2020 was driven by a fall in daily tourists and visitors spending by -65.9% and -51.1% respectively.
On the number of trips, Uzir said domestic visitors only carried out 147 million trips in the country in 2020, a decline of 55.8% compared to 2019.
On spending, he said shopping recorded the highest contribution at 52.6% (37.8% in 2019) from the overall expenditure of domestic visitors.
This was followed by food and beverages at 18.6% (14.3% in 2019) while vehicle fuel was 9% (15% in 2019)
“This is the first time that expenditure on food and beverages was higher than for vehicle fuel,” he added.
For the first time since 2008, he said, the contribution of travelling for shopping recorded 42.3% (35.4% in 2019) to surpass trip contributions to visit relatives and friends which was 32.0% (42.3% in 2019).
This was followed by contributions for holidays and leisure at 16.9% (9% in 2019).
Uzir said last year, Selangor was the most visited state by domestic visitors with 19.7 million followed by Perak (13.2 million), Kuala Lumpur (12.4 million), Sabah (10.3 million) and Kedah (10.1 million).