|image: Tourism Malaysia|
Tourist expenditure on shopping came up tops in 1Q2015, according to first quarter receipts released by Tourism Malaysia today.
Tourist expenditure on shopping took the top spot from accommodation during this period, increasing 10.8 per cent to RM4.9 billion (US$1.29 billion) against the same period last year. While shopping comprised 28.1 per cent of total tourist receipts, accommodation garnered a 26.3 per cent share.
Growth in shopping expenditure was dominated by regional and mediumhaul countries such as Brunei, Singapore, Japan and Thailand.
Based on a survey by Tourism Malaysia, clothing/apparel constituted 49.6 per cent of items purchased by tourists, followed by handicraft/souvenirs at 45.5 per cent and shoes at 21.7 per cent.
The average per capita expenditure of foreign tourists also grew, rising 3.5 per cent year-on-year to RM2,700.
Tourists from Saudi Arabia were the biggest spenders with an average per capita expenditure of RM9,637, followed by travellers from New Zealand and Australia trailing far behind at RM4,213 and RM4,133 respectively.
In addition, four markets – Japan, Thailand, Singapore and Canada – showed an increase of over 20 per cent in average per capita expenditure.
Meanwhile, the average length of stay (ALOS) of foreign tourists rose from five nights to 6.7 nights as compared to the same period last year. Visitors from the Netherlands charted the highest ALOS at 11.7 nights, followed by the UK at 11 nights and Saudi Arabia at 10.5 nights.
Factors that contributed to these positive results include the favourable exchange rate, which encouraged tourists to spend more. Moreover, the drop in tourist arrivals in 1Q2015 had compelled hoteliers to offer cheaper rates, leading to tourists staying longer and spending more on shopping than on accommodation.