Tourism in Malaysia

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Nuvola Malaysian flag.svg
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 a country in South-East Asia, located partly on a peninsula of the Asian mainland and partly on the northern third of the island of Borneo. West Malaysia shares a border with Thailand, is connected by a causeway and a bridge (Malaysia-Singapore Second Link) to the island state of Singapore, and has coastlines on the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca. East Malaysia (Borneo) shares borders with Brunei and Indonesia.

The country is ranked as the 9th most visited place in the world.[1]

In an effort to diversify the economy and make Malaysia’s economy less dependent on exports the government has pushed to increase tourism in Malaysia. As a result tourism has become Malaysia’s third largest source of income from foreign exchange,[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. Its vision is to make the tourism industry a prime contributor to the socio-economic development of the nation, and aims to market Malaysia as a premier destination of excellence in the region. Tourism Malaysia now has 34 overseas and 11 marketing representative offices.

In 1999, Malaysia launched a worldwide marketing campaign called "Malaysia, Truly Asia" which was largely successful in bringing in over 7.4 million tourists.[4] The extra revenue recently generated by tourism helped the country’s economy during the economic crisis of 2008. However, it is mainly Malaysia’s heavy government regulation of the economy which enabled it to be barely affected by the recent 2008 global economic crisis.[5] In recent years tourism has been threatened by the negative effects of the growing industrial economy. Due to the large amounts of air and water pollution along with deforestation, tourism has decreased in affected areas.[6]

Government policy[edit]

The Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism (MOCAT) was established in 1987 under which the TDC was incorporated. TDC existed from 1972 to 1992, when it became the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB), through the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board Act, 1992.[7] Tourism Malaysia aims to market Malaysia as a premier destination of excellence in the region.[citation needed]

Tourist arrivals in Malaysia 2012[edit]

In 2012, Malaysia recorded 25.03 million tourist arrivals;[8] a growth of 1.3% compared to 2011. Total tourist receipts increased by 3.9%, generating MYR 60.6 billion.[9] United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) listed Malaysia as the 10th most visited country in 2012.[10]

Rank country Visitors Total of Tourist Arrivals(%)
1  Singapore 13,010,000 51.99
2  Indonesia 2,380,000 9.52
3  China 1,560,000 6.23
4  Thailand 1,260,000 5.05
5  Brunei 1,250,000 5.03
6  India 690,000 2.76
7  Philippines 510,000 2.03
8  Australia 500,000 2.03
9  Japan 470,000 1.88
10  United Kingdom 400,000 1.61

Nationalisation of Malaysia Airlines[edit]

The tourism industry came under some pressure in 2014 when the national carrier Malaysia Airlines had one of its planes disappear in March of that year, while another was brought down by a missile over Ukraine in July, resulting in the loss of a total 537 passengers and crew. The state of the company, which had been unprofitable for 3 years, prompted the government in August 2014 to nationalise the airline by buying up the 30 per cent it did not already own.[11]

Destinations and attractions[edit]


  • Kuala Lumpur – the capital and largest city of Malaysia.
    • Petronas Twin Towers – World's tallest twin towers and third and fourth tallest singular towers, standing adjacent to one of the busiest shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur, Suria KLCC.
    • Golden Triangle (Bukit Bintang and Imbi) – Kuala Lumpur's busiest commercial district containing five-star hotels, restaurants to high-end shopping malls.
    • Gurney Drive – a popular seafront promenade, filled with condominiums and hotels. It is one of the busiest streets in Penang.

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[edit]

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[edit]

Other places of interest[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  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. ^ Munan, Heidi. Malaysia. New York: Benchmark Books, 2002. pp. 36–37.
  7. ^ "Tourism Malaysia About Us". Retrieved 24 September 2010. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "State investment firm keen to acquire Malaysia Airlines". Malaysia Sun. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  12. ^ Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary (Temerloh), Tourism Pahang.
  13. ^ Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, Endemic Guides.

External links[edit]