Pahang top destination for domestic tourists

(From left) Department of Statistics chief statistician Mohd Uzir Mahidin with Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi, ministry secretary-general Isham Ishak and Tourism Malaysia director-general Musa Yusof.

PUTRAJAYA: There was a 10.9% increase in domestic tourists last year compared to the previous year, with Pahang topping other states, figures from the statistics department reveal.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi said a total of 78.2 million domestic tourists spent some RM60.4 billion in 2018.

Pahang recorded the highest number with 9.2 million tourists.

This was followed by Johor (7.8 million), Perak (7.6 million), Selangor (6.8 million) and Negeri Sembilan (6.1 million).

Mohamaddin said the average per capita expenditure for domestic tourists last year rose by 0.7% to RM772 compared to RM767 in 2017.

The biggest share of the expenditure was for shopping (26.8%), followed by fuel (15.4%), food and beverages (13.9%), accommodation (13%) and transportation (8.4%).

Domestic tourists last year stayed longer, with an average stay of 2.44 nights, up from 2.35 nights in 2017.

The majority of tourists also preferred to stay with relatives and friends (68.2%), while 20.4% stayed in hotels and the rest in homestays, vacation homes and chalets.

Mohamaddin welcomed the growth in domestic tourism, saying it helps to reduce the outflow of money.

The data was compiled from some 100,000 respondents in the Domestic Tourism Survey 2018.

They include those who have lived in Malaysia for at least a year for business purposes, non-citizens, expats, local tourists and children.