NILAI, Sept 12 — Lifestyle and shopping activities of foreign tourists were the biggest contributors to the tourism sector’s earnings last year, at RM28.1 billion or 33.4 per cent.
This represented an increase of 4.6 per cent compared to 2017, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Deputy Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik today, explaining that research conducted by Tourism Malaysia found that handicraft, clothing and shoes were among the preferred purchases of visitors to the country.
A total of 13.35 million tourist arrivals were recorded from January to June this year, representing an increase of 4.9 per cent compared to the same period last year, he said, adding that 30 million foreign tourists were targeted in conjunction with Visit Malaysia 2020, with the aim of securing RM100 billion in earnings.
The minister was speaking after the ground-breaking ceremony of the [email protected] development project here which will encompass the largest night market in the country, sited on 15 acres of land and housing 850 stalls featuring various products including food and handicraft from across the country.
Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun who launched the project, said it was set to become yet another tourism product of the state and is expected to be operational in the first quarter of next year.
It also represented an opportunity to expand businesses especially the entrepreneurial efforts of young Malaysians including owners of small handicraft businesses from rural areas, he said, adding that efforts would be made to house local food truck operators in the market too. — Bernama