MATTA cautiously optimistic

PETALING JAYA: Tourist arrivals suffered a slight decline last year but there is positivity in that tourist receipts grew 2.4% according to official data.

The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), however, remains cautiously optimistic on the outlook of the tourism industry this year.

Tourist arrivals to Malaysia fell 0.46% to 25.83 million last year, from 25.95 million in 2017.

Tourist receipts grew 2.4% to RM84.14bil in 2018, from RM82.17bil a year earlier, the official data showed.

"The decline in tourist arrivals for 2018 does not come as a surprise as inbound travel agents were already experiencing a drop in business even before the figures were published," said the association's honorary secretary-general Nigel Wong.