The early 70s spelt the beginning of a `new era`. The old Tourism Department of 1959 was then upgraded into the Tourism Development Corporation.
The formation of the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) in 1972 and placing it under the purview of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI) for strategic planning and focus charted a new era in the history of the tourism industry. That was the same year Malaysia Airlines was formed (1972). It was the dawn of a new beginning and both TDC and MAS were tasked to put Malaysia on the world tourist map. Since then, the Malaysian economy remains relatively robust with manufacturing and tourism taking the lead.
Today, the tourism industry has experienced a rapid growth and gained an importance in the Malaysian economy. It is the second largest foreign exchange earner, after manufacturing. This is in line with the government’s objective to accelerate the domestic private sector and stimulate the services sector to spearhead economic growth.
Tourism’s Contribution Receipts
In the context of tourism receipts, the contribution from this sector has been very encouraging. For instance, the Malaysian economy registered RM17.40 billion in receipts from 10.22 million visitors in 2000 (just a year after implementing the three-pronged action).
This constituted a 28.9 per cent increase between 1999 and 2000.
With the exception of 2003 (SARS & Gulf War), this upward trend continued until today.
From the tourism receipts (tourism revenue) contribution, there exists a steady growth. For example, tourism receipts increased from RM17.40 billion in 2000 to RM24.20 billion a year later and then increased further to RM25.80 billion (2002), RM29.7 billion (2004) and RM32.00 billion in 2005. Last year Malaysia received RM36.3 billion (USD10.4 billion) in tourism receipts.
The top 10 markets in 2006 were Singapore (9,656,251 arrivals), Thailand (1,891,921 arrivals), Indonesia... [continues]
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