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Malaysia Makes the Grade: Listed in Lonely Planet’s Top 30
02 December 2022 | Written by Chris Alexander

As the country continues its post-pandemic rival, Malaysia continues to garner praise and plaudits from the international travelling community. The latest accolade comes from backpacker bible Lonely Planet, who have named Malaysia as one of the world’s 30 must-visit destinations in 2023.

Malaysia appears in the illustrious Best in Travel list produced by Lonely Planet this year, while the nation’s capital – Kuala Lumpur – also gets a special mention for its “one-of-a-kind” culinary scene. According to Lonely Planet, to make the annual Best in Travel list, destinations are chosen for their topicality; the uniqueness of the experiences on offer; their ‘wow’ factor; and their ongoing commitment to sustainability, community and diversity.

“2023 is shaping up to be an exciting year to get out and explore,” says Lonely Planet’s Tom Hall, who predicts that next year will be a big one for global tourism. “With much of the world firmly on the road to recovery, travellers are looking for different locations and experiences,” he explains.

Malaysia is expected to be one of the destinations that international travellers flock to now that tourism has returned to normal. Lonely Planet believe the country will be one of the most rewarding places to visit in the new travel era. As Hall puts it, “each of the itineraries in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2023 shows how to leave the crowds behind and truly get the heart of a destination.”

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel list provides travellers with inspiration according to several different categories, including places to eat, unwind, learn, connect, and intrepid journeys. “Kuala Lumpur, the heart of Malaysia, is a melting pot of different cultures and races, giving birth to an array of cuisine unique to Malaysia,” explains Akbal Setia, who is the Overseas Director of Tourism Malaysia based in the Los Angeles Office. “It is indeed the best place to visit for a one-of-a-kind gastronomy experience, among others.”

Malaysia has welcomed more than 3 million arrivals so far this year, raising an estimated RM9.35 billion (US$2 billion) in tourism revenue. Officials expect this figure to reach RM26.8 billion RM (US$5.98 billion) by the end of the year, following the tourism ministry’s recent decision to raise their target to 9.2 million foreign arrivals by the end of 2022. With Malaysia’s reputation continuing to grow on the global stage, the sky’s the limit for tourism in 2023.