Grand launch: Tee (fourth from right) beating the drum to open the MITM2 014 Fair at Sutera Mall shopping complex in Johor Baru.
JOHOR BARU: Johor has identified the agro-tourism and the homestay as the two main tourism’s sub-sectors which could be developed further to attract more foreign tourists to the state.
State tourism executive councillor Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said apart from attracting more tourists, programmes and activities in the agro-tourism and the homestay would also create economic spill-over to local communities.
He said the state tourism department would be meeting the Johor Homestay Operators Association soon to discuss on ways to further develop the two tourism sub-sectors.
“We need to sit down together and see what can be done to improve on the agro-tourism to make it more appealing and attractive to foreigners,” Tee told a press conference at the opening MITM Fair 2014 at Sutera Mall here.
He said apart from normal shopping, sightseeing, dining and entertaining activities, foreign tourists would want to experience something different when visiting Malaysia.
Tee said the state tourism department would work closely with the local travel agents and operators to promote the agro-tourism and homestay to foreign tourists.
“We will also work with our counterparts in China, India and countries in the Middle East to promote the agro-tourism and homestay packages to them,” he said.
Tee encouraged more traditional villages to participate in the homestay programmes adding the tourism department and travel agents would assist them on promoting and marketing their packages.
He said among the programmes in the packages could include jungle trekking, mountain climbing, islands hopping and staying with locals at traditional villages.
Separately, Tee said there would be more scheduled and chartered flights connecting Senai International Airport with cities in the region namely China, Indonesia and South Korea.
“Beginning middle of next month, Citilink Indonesia will start return flights from Surabaya to Johor Baru,” he said adding that there were now direct flights between Johor Baru to Pekanbaru, Bandung, Jakarta and Surabaya by Firefly and AirAsia.
Tee said with more direct air links between Johor Baru and Indonesian cities, Johor could anticipate a steady increase in the arrivals of Indonesian tourists from 1.3 million and 2.1 million in 2012 and 2013 respectively.