Travel industry wants state-by-state tourism numbers

LANGKAWI: Local travel industry operators want the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry to break down the tourism arrivals by states and to include other demographics, including age groups.

This would allow them to have a better assessment of the industry and invest in areas that provide better return of investments, Tourism Langkawi chairman Ahmad Pishol Isahak said today.

Tourism Malaysia currently provides nationwide data on tourism arrivals but since 2015 it has without explanation scrapped providing a state-by-state analysis.

Ahmad Pishol said that he was made to understand that the current data is only from some states as others have yet to calculate tourist arrivals.

“Operators are unhappy with the data provided as it does not reflect the situation on the ground. Hoteliers, in particular, are reeling this year as the occupancy rates are not as good as last year,“ he said.

Malaysia recorded RM41.69 billion in tourism revenue in the first half of this year, which is an increase of 6.8% from RM39 billion recorded in the same period last year.

Tourist arrivals also increased by 4.9% to 13.35 million in the first six months this year from 12.73 million previously.

Ahmad Pishol said the figures are a good sign that tourism is rebounding after a shortfall in the last two years. Travel agents in Kedah and Perlis are unhappy as the growth is not reflected in their states, he added.

Malaysia Association of Hotels (MAH) Perlis/Kedah chapter chairman Eugene Dass said there is growth but this year’s hotel occupancies are lower than last year.

He said the growth is not captured by hotels and MAH believes that it is because homestay operators have tripled to some 7,000 in Kedah last year.

Dass said Tourism Malaysia could help by providing more information on which categories in the tourists fall under, such as healthcare or ecotourism.

Source : The Sun Daily

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