Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Malaysians are avid travellers

A trained guide conducting a briefing on the history of Penang in English to locals and tourists. – Filepic
A trained guide conducting a briefing on the history of Penang in English to locals and tourists. – Filepic
 
A recent survey conducted by MasterCard revealed some Malaysians’ preferences and habits when it comes to travelling.


MALAYSIANS have an insatiable thirst for travelling and strong statistics proved just that. According to the MasterCard Consumer Purchasing Priorities survey which was released recently, leisure travel remains a steady sector in the local market.

This is evident through the thriving travel behaviour showcased by fellow Malaysians. More than nine in 10 of the participants surveyed were found to have undertaken domestic travel while two-thirds opted for an international holiday destination in the past year.

“This is an exciting time for travel in Malaysia with consumers showing keen interest and looking to spend leisure time both domestically and internationally,” said Safdar Khan, MasterCard Worldwide’s country head for Malaysia and Brunei.

The outlook for future travels among Malaysians shows a positive trend. Nearly half of those surveyed expressed great interest to travel more, with 47% intending to travel more to international destinations while 50% wish to do so within domestic destinations.

The findings here will no doubt lead to a positive economic growth for the country, which marks Visit Malaysia Year 2014.

“On a local level, this will enhance interest in tourism offerings and help boost tourism spend, ultimately contributing to the country’s economic vitality,” Safdar said.

“With the increased demand, the travel sector is set for further dynamic growth and to be a key focus area,” he added.

Among the top three local destinations that Malaysians plan to visit in the next three months are Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, followed by Malacca and George Town, Penang.

The capital state of Sabah is a growing resort destination thanks to its close proximity to lush rainforests as well as enchanting tropical islands. And for the more adventurous at heart, Mount Kinabalu – the highest peak in the Malay Archipelago – is a hiking heaven thanks to its rich flora and fauna.

As for Malacca and Penang, both states have exuberant cultural and historical trails that are perfect for family getaways. They’re also well-known as a local food mecca.
On the other hand, regional destinations are popular among Malaysian overseas travellers, with the top three choices being Singapore, followed by Australia and Japan.

Apart from that, the survey also revealed some pretty interesting highlights about Malaysian travel preferences and habits.

For instance, online platforms come first when sourcing for the best travel deals. A majority of Malaysians prefer to look up for information on airline websites first. Next are online travel guides and travel agents.

Malaysians can’t get enough of shopping and they’re even doing it at airports. Over nine in 10 of those surveyed indulge in the activity in between travel, splurging on edible items, books, magazines, cosmetics and fragrances.

When it comes to travelling expenditure, though, transport and accommodation take up the biggest chunk of Malaysians’ holiday budget. For overseas travel, in particular, the preferred mode of payment is via credit card. In terms of transportation, budget carriers are the preferred choice.

And when Malaysians get to their holiday destination, rest and relaxation as well as shopping rank as the most popular activities.

The MasterCard Consumer Purchasing Priorities survey is released twice a year and provides valuable insights into consumer outlook on spending priorities in the categories of travel, dining and entertainment, education, money management and luxury shopping.

Source: The Star 28th Oct 2013