Maybank IB upbeat on sector as 2016 receipts hit RM82.1b
Malaysia’s tourism sector ended last year on a bright note as tourism receipts grew 19 per cent to RM82.1 billion, according to Maybank Investment Bank Bhd (Maybank IB).
Maybank IB recommended a “buy” on the likes of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, AirAsia Bhd, Genting Malaysia Bhd and selected real estate investment trusts.
The firm said last December visitor arrivals grew two per cent year-on-year to 2.6 million, bringing arrival growth to four per cent last year.
The largest percentage growth in visitor arrivals in the month came from Brunei, which grew 39 per cent year-on-year, and China, which grew 25 per cent year-onyear.
It said Chinese tourist arrivals grew a strong 27 per cent yearon-year against four per cent in 2015.
“We understand that the growth in visitor arrivals from Brunei and Thailand were due to the weaker ringgit against Brunei dollar and Thai baht while the growth in visitor arrivals from China was due to more Chinese preferring to visit Malaysia after Thailand banned low-cost tours in September last year.
“We are bullish going into 2017 given the weaker ringgit, coupled with ongoing promotional efforts by the government and airlines,” said Maybank IB.
The bank said the Tourism and Culture Ministry had targeted a five per cent growth this year.
“Recent government efforts to drive arrivals include the Immigration Department’s announcement that it will open a visa processing centre in Xiamen, China, this year and the waiver of visa requirements for Indian nationals residing outside India.
“Tourism Malaysia recently announced that it will set up an office in Kolkata, India, and may set up another in Amritsar.
“We also gather that China National Tourism Administration will encourage more tours to Malaysia after it discouraged tours to South Korea in retaliation for the latter deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence missile system,” it said.
Maybank IB said beneficiaries to higher tourist arrivals are the aviation (airlines, airport), hospitality (hotels, theme parks, casino) and consumer (retail, food and beverage) sectors.
Chinese tourist arrivals grew a strong 27 per cent year-on-year last year, says Maybank IB.