Malaysians Have Travelled Significantly More in the Past Two Years: Visa Study


More Malaysians are travelling overseas with 9 in 10 having taken international trips over the past two years, according to the 2015 Global Travel Intentions Survey [1] commissioned by Visa. This is a significant increase from the findings in 2013, where 76 per cent of Malaysians had travelled overseas in the past two years. The incidence of travel is highest amongst Malaysians between 25-34 years of age at 93 per cent.

The study surveyed travel behaviours and preferences of 503 Malaysians and found that traveling overseas has increased significantly, with Malaysian travellers taking an average of three leisure trips, slightly higher than the global average of two leisure trips.  Similar to previous years, the destinations visited are within the region, particularly in neighbouring countries. Top destinations include Singapore (41 per cent), Thailand (32 per cent), Indonesia (30 per cent) and Hong Kong (26 per cent).

Ng Kong Boon, Visa Country Manager for Malaysia, said, “Travelling is popular amongst Malaysian consumers. With the increase in frequency of travel by Malaysians in the last two years, their travel spend has also gone up. VisaNet shows that there is a 10 per cent year-on-year growth in overseas spend by Malaysian cardholders [2]. In addition, there is also a 10 per cent year-on-year increase in payment volumes on travel related expenses on both face-to-face and eCommerce transactions.”

The average length of trip by Malaysian travellers is seven days and the average journey to their travel destination is five hours, lower than the global average of seven hours. The average spend by Malaysian travellers’ is US$1,145, lower than the regional or global average.

However, the future sentiment looks positive as they intend to double their travel spend for future trips to US$2,501. Affluent and solo travellers in Malaysia intend to spend US$6,501 and US$3,501 respectively on their next trips, almost triple of what they spend currently.

Compared to the global and regional average, Malaysian tourists are also less likely to go for high end resorts and more likely to stay in 1-3 star hotels (43 per cent for Malaysia; 36 per cent for regional and 31 per cent for global). The top three drivers for choice of accommodation for Malaysian travellers are convenience, affordability and safety.

Combination Business and Leisure (Bleasure) Travellers on the rise

Travellers from Malaysia are also more likely to travel beyond leisure purposes as compared to their regional or global counterparts. Thirty one per cent of their most recent trips are dual purpose (25 per cent for APAC and 19 per cent for global). Bleasure travellers in Malaysia have taken an average of four trips in the past two years. Compared to other types of travellers in Malaysia, bleasure travellers seem to be the most budget conscious. Seventy two per cent of them choose the destinations for their holidays based on their budget or existing promotions.

Malaysian travellers intend to take three international trips in the next one year. Bonding with loved ones remains the top motivation for travel by Malaysian travellers for their future trips (54 per cent), followed by experiencing cultures (43 per cent) and to rest and relax (37 per cent).



The Visa Global Travel Intentions Study 2015 was commissioned by Visa to Millward Brown. Fieldwork was conducted between January and February 2015. It was based on online and offline surveys with 13,603 travellers aged 18 and above, across 25 markets in Asia Pacific (Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand), Europe (France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom), Africa & Middle East (Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates), and the Americas (Brazil, Canada, Mexico, United States of America).


VisaNet data as of Oct 2014 to Sept 2015


About Visa

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit, and @VisaNews.