Tourism Malaysia has launched the Malaysia Shopping Maps to help shoppers get around major shopping hubs in the country. Malaysia is turning into an attractive shopping destination, particularly thanks to a weakened currency. The Ringgit is down by over 20% since the beginning of the year compared to most other currencies.
Tourism Malaysia’s deputy director-general (Strategic and Domestic) Chong Yoke Har said four separate maps, each covering Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya, Penang/Johor/Malacca and Sabah/Sarawak had a high potential of attracting both foreign and local shoppers.
The map also contains details avout the procedures for visitor to get back the 6% GST introduced last April. The Malaysia’s Tourists Refund Scheme (TRS) helps visitors to claim the GST for any single invoice of at least US$71 (RM300).
“They will guide tourists to where Malaysia’s major shopping precincts are located. Besides listing out the major shopping malls, these maps also suggest to them places of interest to visit,” she told reporters after the launch of the Malaysia Shopping Maps and 1Malaysia Year-End Sale 2015 (1MYES) yesterday.
Chong said in the first half of 2015, the total amount spent by tourists on shopping had overtaken the sum spent on accommodation, after ranking constantly for many years as the second largest source of expenditures for tourists. In 2014, shopping reached US$17.1 billion (RM72 billion), up by 10% over 2013.
“Out of the total tourist receipts of US$8 billion (RM33.8 billion) recorded during the first half year of this year, shopping constituted the biggest share at 29.6 percent or US$2.38 billion (RM10 billion).
“Our target for 2015 is about US$5.4 billion (RM22.7 billion) equivalent to RM1,016 per tourist. As of June this year, we had met about 50 percent of our target and we are confident we will achieve the target.”
The Deputy Director General added that the growth was attributed to the many shopping promotion campaigns initiated by the government.