Strong ringgit to increase travel, overseas spending by Malaysians
Malaysians will pay less for imported goods, online shopping in foreign stores and may even start traveling overseas more thanks to the 13-year high value of their local currency, the ringgit (RM). It’s predicted that it will rise to RM2.90 or RM2.95 per US dollar in the coming months.
The Star reports, in interviews with travel agents, that the number of Malaysians choosing overseas destinations could increase by 10% over the coming year as purchasing power rises. They cautioned travel package deals would take a while to reflect the change, though, and the stronger ringgit could also see the number of travelers to Malaysia decrease. Others disagreed, saying Malaysia remained a relatively cheap destination for travelers from wealthier countries.
Australia is already experiencing this phenomenon, where its dollar at an unprecedented US$1.08 has seen money heading out of the country in travelers’ wallets and via online stores. Shoppers are finding it easier than ever to chase bargains overseas, even leading some brick and mortar retailers to cry foul and call (unsuccessfully) for extra taxes on online purchases.
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