The study surveyed travel behaviours and preferences of 503 Malaysians and found that traveling overseas has increased significantly, with Malaysian travellers taking an average of three leisure trips, slightly higher than the global average of two leisure trips. Similar to previous years, the destinations visited are within the region, particularly in neighbouring countries. Top destinations include Singapore (41 per cent), Thailand (32 per cent), Indonesia (30 per cent) and Hong Kong (26 per cent).
Ng Kong Boon, Visa Country Manager for Malaysia, said, “Travelling is popular amongst Malaysian consumers. With the increase in frequency of travel by Malaysians in the last two years, their travel spend has also gone up. VisaNet shows that there is a 10 per cent year-on-year growth in overseas spend by Malaysian cardholders. In addition, there is also a 10 per cent year-on-year increase in payment volumes on travel related expenses on both face-to-face and eCommerce transactions.”
The average length of trip by Malaysian travellers is seven days and the average journey to their travel destination is five hours, lower than the global average of seven hours. The average spend by Malaysian travellers’ is US$1,145, lower than the regional or global average.
However, the future sentiment looks positive as they intend to double their travel spend for future trips to US$2,501. Affluent and solo travellers in Malaysia intend to spend US$6,501 and US$3,501 respectively on their next trips, almost triple of what they spend currently.
Compared to the global and regional average, Malaysian tourists are also less likely to go for high end resorts and more likely to stay in 1-3 star hotels (43 per cent for Malaysia; 36 per cent for regional and 31 per cent for global). The top three drivers for choice of accommodation for Malaysian travellers are convenience, affordability and safety.
Combination Business and Leisure (Bleasure) Travellers on the rise
Travellers from Malaysia are also more likely to travel beyond leisure purposes as compared to their regional or global counterparts. Thirty one per cent of their most recent trips are dual purpose (25 per cent for APAC and 19 per cent for global). Bleasure travellers in Malaysia have taken an average of four trips in the past two years. Compared to other types of travellers in Malaysia, bleasure travellers seem to be the most budget conscious. Seventy two per cent of them choose the destinations for their holidays based on their budget or existing promotions.
Malaysian travellers intend to take three international trips in the next one year. Bonding with loved ones remains the top motivation for travel by Malaysian travellers for their future trips (54 per cent), followed by experiencing cultures (43 per cent) and to rest and relax (37 per cent).