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Number of outbound travelers Malaysia 2013-2021

In 2016, an estimated 11.9 million outbound trips were made in Malaysia, a figure that was projected to increase to 14.2 million in 2021. Malaysians love to travel, and despite a sluggish economy and a weak currency compared to the U.S. dollar, the number of outbound travelers from Malaysia was still increasing.

Economic challenges not a barrier to travelling

Malaysians might be complaining about the increasing prices of everyday goods; however, they were loath to sacrifice their holidays. While the economic situation was not preventing Malaysians from traveling, it was affecting the types of trips that were made, with regional destinations preferred over long-haul trips. Neighboring Indonesia had always been a well-loved destination for Malaysians, with Malaysian tourists contributing an average of 720 U.S. dollars per visit in 2016, which is considerably higher than what their Singaporean counterparts spent.

Increasing popularity of North Asian destinations

In recent years, North Asian countries such as Taiwan and South Korea have increasingly gained popularity amongst Malaysian travelers. With South Korean culture, particularly K-Pop, enjoying huge success in Malaysia, an increasing number of Malaysians have made South Korea their holiday destination of choice. South Korea’s recognition of the booming halal tourism market had also made it easier for Malaysians, a significant majority of whom are Muslims, to travel there. This effort has already made a mark on Malaysian travelers - as of 2016, Malaysians made up the second-largest group of Muslims to travel to South Korea.

Number of outbound travelers in Malaysia from 2013 to 2021

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Release date

January 2017


Asia, Malaysia

Survey time period

2013 to 2016

Supplementary notes

Data excludes cross border land travel to Singapore.

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