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In 2007 Malaysia welcomed almost 21 million (20.97 million) foreign visitors, exceeding the 2007-target of 20.2 million. Revenue totalled RM46.1 billion (€9.1 billion), surpassing the original target of RM44.5 billion (€8.8 billion). Foreign visitor arrivals increased with 19.5% vs. 2006 when the country received just over 17.5 million foreign visitors.

Traditionally, neigbouring Singapore is Malaysia's largest tourist market and in 2007 this was again the case with almost 10.5 million Singaporeans visiting Malaysia. This figure includes the large group of Singaporean busines people with interests in Malaysia and who visit the country frequently.

Malaysia has been investing heavily in promoting itself as a prime holiday destination for Islamic tourists but although actual arrivals from countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE show impressive growth percentages (15.7%, 32% and 8.7% resp.), actual numbers remain still on the low side (Saudi Arabia: 78,298), Kuwait: (17,650; UAE: 38,170)

On the other hand foreign arrivals from Brunei but also countries like Bangladesh (111,467 in 2007 vs. 27,580 in 2006) and Vietnam (119,973 in 2007 vs. 63,866 in 2006) have risen sharply. Russian arrivals showed an impressive percentage growth of 30.3% in 2007 vs. 2006 but actual numbers totalled only 16,868. It is clear Russians favour Thailand over Malaysia with the Thai resort town of Pattaya alone attracting almost 900,000 Russian visitors in 2007.

Top-10 foreign visitor arrivals by country 2007:

Country

2005

2006

2007

Singapore

9,634,506

9,656,251

10,492,692

Thailand

1,900,839

1,891,921

1,625,698

Indonesia

962,957

1,217,024

1,804,535

Brunei Darussalam

486,344

784,446

1,172,154

China

352,089

439,294

689,293

India

225,789

279,046

422,452

Japan

340,027

354,213

367,567

Philippines

178,961

211,123

327,140

Australia

265,346

277,125

320,363

United Kingdom

240,030

252,035

276,213

Source statistics: Tourism Malaysia