Domestic tourism recorded a growth of 10.9 percent in 2018 with 78.2 million tourists compared with 70.5 million in the previous year, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi.
He said domestic tourist spending also increased last year to RM60.4 billion from RM54.1 billion in 2017.
"Average per capita expenditure also grew by 0.7 percent to RM772 in 2018 compared to RM767 in 2017," he told a press conference to announce on the 2018 domestic tourism performance here yesterday.
Mohamaddin said the average length of stay per tourist in 2018 was 2.44 nights compared to 2.35 nights in 2017.
"Domestic tourists preferred to stay with relatives and friends, where they do not have to pay for their accommodation and this accounted for 68.2 percent," he said, adding that 20.4 percent preferred staying in hotels, chalets (2.3 percent) and rest houses (1.7 percent).
Shopping recorded the highest share of total expenditure in 2018 with 26.8 percent, followed by vehicle petrol expenditure (15.4 percent); food and beverage (13.9 percent); expenditure by households visited (13.7 percent) as well as accommodation and transportation expenses 13 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively.
“Thanks to Cameron Highlands, Pahang is the most visited State with 9.2 million visitors followed by Johor (7.8 million); Perak (7.6 million); Selangor (6.8 million) and Negeri Sembilan (6.1 million),” he said.
Mohamaddin said the strong growth in domestic tourism this year is expected to continue next year following proactive measures and campaigns taken in promoting Visit Malaysia Year 2020.
Meanwhile, Mohamaddin said the fate which had befallen Irish-Franco teenager Nora Anne Quoirin who was found dead on Tuesday, after disappearing from her hotel room at a resort in Negeri Sembilan on Aug 3, would not affect the arrival of foreign tourists to Malaysia.
"Safety of tourists is a major concern in every country but we must keep in mind that accidents can happen anywhere to anybody,” he said.