KUALA LUMPUR, 19 JUNE 2013 – Kuala Lumpur has ranked eighth among 132 destination cities in the world based on total international overnight visitor arrivals, according to MasterCard’s third annual Global Destination Cities Index.
The MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, launched in 2010, ranks cities in terms of the number of total international visitor arrivals, and the cross-border spending in the respective destination cities.
Among countries in Asia, Kuala Lumpur ranked third, outranking developed cities such as Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo, Taipei, Beijing, and Guangzhou. The index also listed Kuala Lumpur’s five most important feeder cities, which are Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok, Melbourne and Manila.
This year, the total international overnight visitor spending for Kuala Lumpur is forecast to be US$7.8bil (RM24bil), an increase of 18% from US$6.4bil (RM19bil) last year, putting Kuala Lumpur in 13th place relative to other global destination cities, and also placing it in seventh place within Asia Pacific.
MasterCard global economic adviser, Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong said that the city could further boost and promote investment through public and private partnership.
“The public sector has to increase investments in public infrastructure, facilities and local transport system to ensure traffic jam is reduced and the environment is protected. However, private businesses have their roles to play too, by investing in better restaurants and hotels, among other things.
“When this partnership is sustained, we can have a virtual circle, which sees an improvement in the quality of life contributing towards more visitor arrivals,” he said.
This ranking is an indication of Malaysia’s healthy tourism industry, which has become more robust as it moves closer towards the Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) campaign, which is scheduled to happen next year.
VMY 2014 is estimated to attract 28 million tourists to Malaysia, and RM 76 billion in tourist receipts, an increase of 7.2% and 14.5% respectively from the projected tourist arrivals and receipts for 2013.
Malaysia recorded an overall growth of 15.9% with 6,449,398 tourists in the first quarter of 2013,
as compared to 5,562,538 tourists in the same period in 2012. – Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board