Malaysia draws over 87,000 Saudi tourists

Saudi Tourists in MalaysiaDUBAI: More than 24.7 million tourists Arabia arrived in Malaysia during 2011, Tourism Malaysia officials told Arab News on Sunday.

A spokesperson at Tourism Malaysia office in Dubai said Saudi Arabia topped from the Gulf with 87,693 tourists. Malaysia received more than 139,000 tourists from Iran and 24,212 from the UAE, she said.“Total tourist arrivals rose to 24,714,324 compared to 24,577,196 in 2010 while receipts climbed to RM58.3 billion (around SR72.2 billion) compared to RM56.5 billion the previous year”

The top 10 tourist generating markets from January to December 2011 were Singapore (13,372,647), Indonesia (2,134,381), Thailand (1,442,048), China (1,250,536), Brunei (1,239,404), India (693,056), Australia (558,411), United Kingdom (403,940), Japan (386,974) and Philippines (362,101).Markets showing double-digit growth in arrivals were mainly from the medium and long-haul countries with Kazakhstan arrivals surging by 65.9 percent assisted by thrice weekly direct Air Astana flights from Almaty to Kuala Lumpur.

Other markets showing strong growth included New Zealand (23.0 percent). Russian tourist arrivals saw an increase of 21.3 percent on the back of strong promotional efforts there in addition to the weekly Trans Aero flights, which began operations in December.

Double digit growth arrivals were also recorded for the following markets: Iran (20.1 percent), South Africa (19.1 percent), France (15.1 percent), Myanmar (12.6 percent), Taiwan (10.7 percent), China (10.6 percent), and Brunei (10.2 percent). – Arabnews