PETALING JAYA, May 28 (Bernama) -- Foreign tourists spent RM19.8 billion on shopping in the country last year, a 6.3 per cent increase from RM18.6 billion in 2012, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said the retail sector constituted 30.2 per cent of the total tourist expenditure in 2013 against 30.7 per cent in 2012.
The retail sector is indeed a lucrative component of the country's tourism industry, registering the second biggest share of tourist expenditure after the accommodation sector, he said when launching Encorp Strand Mall in Kota Damansara here Wednesday night. A sprawling mixed development in Kota Damansara, the three-storey shopping mall, which has a 435,000 sq ft floor area and a multi-storey parking for 2,500 cars, is the flagship of Encorp Strand.
Muhyiddin said the year 2013 registered RM65.4 billion in tourist receipts, an increase of eight per cent against RM60.6 billion in 2012. Muhyiddin said through close cooperation between the government and the tourism industry players in developing the country's retail sector, Malaysia had garnered various international recognitions.
"For two consecutive years, 2012 and 2013, Kuala Lumpur was ranked by CNN Travel as the world's fourth best shopping city after New York, Tokyo and London," he said.
He said Encorp Strand, which boasted an innovative plan and conducive infrastructure, could help stimulate the economic growth of the Kota Damansara satellite town.
The development will also indirectly support the Greater KL/Klang Valley Masterplan to become be one of the 20 world's metropolis that would be conducive for economic growth and living experience, he added.
"I am confident that spurred by a leading brand and exciting activities for the whole family and visitors, Encorp Strand Mall will be a preferred shopping centre in Kota Damansara and the Klang Valley," he said.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala and Encorp Berhad chairman Datuk Dr Md Hamzah Md Kassim were present.