Domestic tourism spending in 2021 dropped 54.5% to RM18.4 billion compared to RM40.4 billion in 2020, according to the Domestic Tourism Survey 2021 released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia today.
Chief statistician Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the number of domestic visitor arrivals in 2021 fell 49.9% to 66 million visitors compared to 131.7 million visitors in the previous year, and decreased by 72.4% compared to 2019, before the onset of the pandemic.
“Border restrictions, the SOP regulations and continuous lockdowns due to new variants of Covid-19 such as Omicron and Delta continued to impact domestic tourism in 2021.
“The floods disaster towards the end of 2021 in many areas in peninsula Malaysia caused domestic travel to worsen,” he said in a statement today.
Uzir said the low performance in Malaysia’s domestic tourism was due to expenditure by domestic tourists which fell 68%, while excursionists dropped 36.3%.
This was in line with the negative growth in the volume of domestic tourists and excursionists which recorded 67.8% and 40.2% respectively, he said.
In 2021, the number of domestic trips fell 50.7% to 72.4 million trips compared to 147 million trips in 2020, while overnight trips dropped 67.8% to 15.5 million and daily trips decreased 42.4% to 56.9 million.
In terms of expenditure, the survey said shopping contributed the most from the total expenditure with a share of 50.3%, followed by food and beverages at 15.1% and automotive fuel at 11.1%.
Uzir said visiting relatives and friends contributed 24.2% in 2021 compared to 32% in 2020, significantly lower compared to 2019 which recorded 42.3%.
“This foreseen situation was due to inter-district and interstate travel restrictions which made it unfeasible for people to visit relatives,” he said.
Uzir said domestic visitors with a household income of RM5,001 to RM10,000 showed a significant increase in 2021 to record the highest contribution of 30.4% from 23.3% in 2019 due to the closure of the country’s international borders where people were unable to travel abroad.
Travel by domestic visitors with a household income of between RM1,001 and RM3,000 meanwhile decreased by 6.4% from 2019 to 29.3%.
“The most visited states by domestic visitors in 2021 were Selangor with 10.2 million followed by Kuala Lumpur and Sarawak with 9.1 million and 6.5 million domestic visitors, respectively,” he said.