Malaysia Ranked Most Visited Southeast Asian Country in 2023

By TIN Media | Tourism Malaysia Published 1 month ago on 27 February 2024
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Malaysia has become the most visited country in Southeast Asia throughout 2023, according to VN Express International. The country received close to 29 million tourists last year.

Singaporean was the biggest contributor of foreign tourists in Malaysia with over 8.3 million, followed by visitors from Indonesia, Thailand, China, and Brunei, Focus Malaysia reported.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the record for the most visited country in the region was held by Thailand, with more than 40 million tourists in 2019. This year, Thailand targeted 35 million foreign tourists to visit the country.

In 2023, Thailand ranked second with more than 28 million foreign tourists, followed by Singapore which recorded 13.6 million foreign tourists. Vietnam held fourth position with 12.6 million visitors, while Indonesia noted 11.7 million arrivals. 

Both Phillippines and Cambodia pulled around 5.4 million foreign visitors in 2023. 

Southeast Asian countries raced to attract foreign tourists with flexible immigration policies from late last year. From Dec. 1, Malaysia allowed30-day visa-free entry for citizens from mainland China and Indiain a similar move to Thailand.
From mid-August, Vietnam granted three-month tourist visas for citizens from all countries and territories and tripled the duration of stays in Vietnam to 45 days for citizens of13 countries unilaterally exempted from visas.

Last December, Indonesian Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno revealed that the government was considering applying a visa-free policy to 20 more countries, including the United States, China, Australia, India, South Korea, Germany, the UK, and France in hopes of increasing arrivals.


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