MELAKA, July 6 (Bernama) -- A total of RM4.9 billion was spent by 6.5 million foreign shoppers in the country in the first three months of this year, up 11.4 per cent over the RM4.4 billion in the same period last year, said Tourism Malaysia Deputy Director General (Planning) Chong Yoke Har.
"Although tourist arrivals declined to 6.5 million from 7.1 million in the same period last year, the shopping sector was not affected," she told reporters after the launch of the 1Malaysia Mega Sale Shopping Carnival at The Shore here Sunday by state Tourism, River, Coastal and Island Development Committee deputy chairman Datuk Ghazalie Muhamad.
Chong said foreign tourists, whose average shopping expenditure had risen from RM626.20 last year to RM758.90 this year, are expected to spend more in the coming months with the 1Malaysia Mega Sale Shopping Carnival on June 27-Aug 31 and the 1Malaysia Year-End Sale on Nov 14-Jan 3.
Last year, the shopping sector was a major contributor to the country's tourism receipts of RM72 billion, accounting for RM21.6 billion or 30 per cent, she said, adding the government has earmarked several air-connected cities for the promotion of shopping, including Melaka, Johor Baharu, Penang and in Sabah and Sarawak.
She said while Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Bukit Bintang and KLCC in the Klang Valley have become popular with foreign shoppers, One Utama and Sunway Pyramid will also be promoted as shopping destinations while Shopping Malaysia Fun Maps will be produced to make it easier for them.