Tuesday, 8 August 2017

(The Star) Johor pulling in the crowd

JOHOR BARU: Johor is now ranked the number one destination for domestic tourism in the country with 7.4 million local tourists visiting the state last year compared to six million in 2015.

State tourism, domestic trade and consumerism committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said based on figures from the Statistics Department, there was an increase of 1.4 million visitors in the last two years.

“In 2015, we were ranked fourth but now we have moved up the ladder,” he said at the opening of the Johor Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair at Danga City Expo here.

He attributed Johor’s achievement to the hard work, dedication, determination and cooperation between various agencies and players in the tourism industry in promoting the state.

Tee stressed that the government hoped to position and develop Johor as a high value tourism destination in the region.

“We have now succeeded in changing the perception that the state is a transit point to other tourism destination.

“In fact, Johor is a unique brand where we have 11 tourism clusters ranging from theme parks to beautiful islands where we can attract more repeat tourists,” he said.

On another matter, Tee also said that Johor wanted to forge a working relationship with Melaka and Indonesia to come up with a good tourism package to attract more visitors.

He added that Johor has direct flights from Senai International Airport to major Indonesian cities such as Jakarta, ferry services to Batam and Tanjung Pinang while tourists could travel to Melaka easily using the various modes of transport available.

“We hope the players in the tourism sector will come up with attractive offers via collaborations with both Indonesia and Melaka,” he said.

MATTA president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said the fair, held from Aug 4 to 6, showcased a comprehensive range of travel and holiday products from all over Malaysia and the world under one roof.

“At the recent MATTA Fair in Batu Pahat, we achieved a total sales turnover of RM6.5mil over two days,” he said.