The tendency of Malaysians to travel abroad can, to some extent, affect the activities of local tourism industry players, especially those operating near the country’s border such as in Langkawi.
After a two-year hiatus, travel has sprung back with such voracity, even crossing the border to neighbouring countries for short holidays or for the weekends suffices.
Perak Bumiputera Tourism Entrepreneurs Association chairman Zamari Muhyi said holidaying abroad would result in an outflow of the Malaysian currency, thus giving an adverse impact on the local tourism industry.
“For two years, our people have been traveling to destinations within the country. That could be the reason why they now choose to go abroad even for a short holiday.
“It may be for only two or three days, but it actually has an impact on our travel industry, “ he told Bernama.
Zamari said the increasing trend of Malaysians vacationing abroad, especially to Thailand, would affect domestic tourism.
However, it is a relief for local tourism industry players with the arrival of tourists from Singapore, he added.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Budget & Business Hotel Association (MyBHA) president Dr Sri Ganesh Michiel suggested that the government provide more incentives for taxpayers who travel within the country as this would help to revive the domestic tourism sector.
“We suggest that the government give incentives or tax rebates for domestic tourists under Budget 2023, like increasing the tax relief from RM1,000 to RM3,000,” he said, adding that the move would be able to boost the domestic tourism sector.
He said with a boom in the country’s travel industry, it would indirectly attract foreign tourists to come.
For avid traveler Muhammad Haikal Zulkifli, 22, who is a property consultant, he said the desire to see and experience the culture of other countries was the main factor people to travel abroad.
The media recently reported that many Malaysians choose to travel to Hatyai, in Thailand. during weekends and school holidays, as shopping, food, transport and accommodation there are cheaper compared to in the country.