PUTRAJAYA: Domestic tourism spending in 2021 dropped 54.5 per cent to register RM18.4 billion compared to RM40.4 billion in 2020, according to the Domestic Tourism Survey 2021 released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) today.
Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the number of domestic visitor arrivals in 2021 fell 49.9 per cent to record 66 million visitors as compared to 131.7 million visitors in the previous year and decreased by 72.4 per cent when compared to the pre-pandemic year (2019).
"Border restrictions, the standard of procedure regulations and continuous lockdowns due to new variants of COVID-19, such as Omicron and Delta continued to impact domestic tourism in 2021.
"Floods disaster towards the end of 2021 in many areas in peninsula Malaysia caused domestic travel to worsen," he said in a statement today.
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Elaborating, Mohd Uzir said the low performance in Malaysia's domestic tourism was due to expenditure by domestic tourists which fell 68 per cent, while excursionists dropped 36.3 per cent.
This was in line with negative growth in the volume of domestic tourists and excursionists which recorded 67.8 per cent and 40.2 per cent respectively, he said.
In 2021, the number of domestic trips fell 50.7 per cent to register 72.4 million trips as compared to 147 million trips in 2020, while overnight trips dropped 67.8 per cent to 15.5 million trips and daily trips decreased 42.4 per cent to 56.9 million trips.
In terms of expenditure, the survey said shopping made up the largest contribution from the total expenditure with a share of 50.3 per cent, followed by food and beverage at 15.1 per cent and automotive fuel, 11.1 per cent.
Mohd Uzir said visiting relatives and friends contributed 24.2 per cent in 2021 compared with 32 per cent in 2020, but was significantly lower as compared to pre-pandemic year in 2019 which recorded 42.3 per cent.
"This foreseen situation was due to inter-district and interstate travel restrictions which made it unfeasible for people to visit relatives," he said.
Mohd 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 per cent from 23.3 per cent in the pre-pandemic year due to the closure of the country's international border where people were unable to travel abroad.
The domestic visitors travel by household income between RM1,001 to RM3,000 meanwhile decreased by 6.4 per cent from 2019 to register 29.3 per cent.
"The most visited states by domestic visitors in 2021 were Selangor with 10.2 million followed by the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and Sarawak with 9.1 million and 6.5 million domestic visitors, respectively," he said.