KUALA LUMPUR, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia registered 2.4 percent increase in tourist arrivals with more than 11.6 million tourists visited the country in the first six months of 2012, local media reported Friday.
Ng Yen Yen, Malaysia's tourism minister, attributed the growth to the support from trade partners and increased air connectivity from Malaysia to key destinations such as Beijing, Hong Kong and Kansai in Japan.
Key international-level tourism events such as the Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix have also contributed to the continued growth, Ng said.
More than 5.8 million Singaporeans visited their neighbour from January to June this year. Indonesia and China ranked as the second and third largest tourist source for Malaysia, with 1.1 million and 758 thousand visitors respectively.
Meanwhile, the Philippines recorded the highest growth of 45.3 percent year-on-year followed by China (34.2 percent), Japan (32.5 percent), Indonesia (20 percent), India (6.9 percent) and United Kingdom (5.9 percent), according to the data from the authorities.
Foreign tourists are also spending more money in Malaysia, generating 26.8 billion ringgit (8.6 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue, a 4 percent increase compared with the same period last year.