Tourist expenditure on shopping took the top spot from accommodation for the first quarter of 2015, with an increase of 10.8% to RM4.9 billion against the same period last year. It constituted 28.1% of the total tourist receipts for the first quarter compared to accommodation with a 26.3% share.
A total of 69.6% share of tourist expenditure this year was on accommodation, shopping, and food & beverages, compared to 68.5% for accommodation, shopping, and organised tours for the same period last year.
Accommodation and shopping were the two top components of tourist expenditure for the first quarter, constituting 54.4%. The growth in shopping expenditure was dominated by regional and medium-haul countries, namely Brunei (42%), Singapore (37.6%), Japan (37.6%), Thailand (34.5%), and Saudi Arabia (27.8%).
Looking at tourist activities, shopping was confirmed as the second major interest, based on a Tourism Malaysia survey. 72.7% named shopping as an activity. Clothes/apparels constituted 49.6% of items purchased by tourists, followed by handicraft/souvenirs (45.5%), shoes (21.7%), cosmetic (16.4%), and chocolates (13.3%).
Besides tourist expenditure, the average per capita expenditure of foreign tourists also recorded growth. It increased by 3.5% to RM2,700.70 compared to RM2,609.10 in the first quarter of 2014.
The top three markets in spending were Saudi Arabia (RM9,637.10), New Zealand (RM4,213.00), and Australia (RM4,133.50). In addition, four markets showed an increase of over 20% in average per capita expenditure, namely Japan (RM3,817.30; +34.3%), Thailand (RM1,994.30; +25.9%), Singapore (RM2,280.20; +22.6%); and Canada (RM3,486.60; +21.9%).
1 dollar= RM3.78 (July 22, 2015)