JOHOR BARU: The Johor tourism portfolio is asking for more allocations from the state government so that more measures can be taken to support its growing tourism sector.
State Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumerism executive councillor Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said that the tourism sector was given less focus before this, as there were not many tourism products to promote.
He said the state government only allocated RM4.5mil for his portfolio and the amount was insufficient as there were a lot more tourism products to promote now compared to before.
He added that Johor used to be seen as a more industrial driven state but it now has a wide array of tourism products to offer, like family theme parks of international standards, heritage trails, beautiful islands and beaches.
“Besides that, we have a good selection of five- and four-star hotels, urban and rural homestays, and delicious food that embodies the Johorean identity, so there is a need to promote and bring in more domestic and international tourists here,” he said.
Tee added that under the 10th Malaysian Plan, the Federal Government had allocated RM27.2mil to the state but it was still not enough.
Tee was speaking to reporters after his working visit in Johor Baru, which was also the 10th and final district on his schedule.
The visit was aimed at getting to know the respective district’s tourism products to find ways to improve them.
“We managed to cover the whole of Johor in a span of two months, starting from March 25 until May 25.
“We have met with the respective district offices and non-governmental organisations to take in their suggestions for improvements to be made,” he said.
Tee added that the state government wanted to utilise the opportunity to further promote the family theme parks here such as Legoland Malaysia, Hello Kitty town in Puteri Harbour Indoor Theme Park and Angry Bird theme park that would be opening soon.
“This is a golden period for us as the theme park in Genting Highlands is currently undergoing renovation and upgrading works, so this is our chance to create more buzz to pull in the crowd to visit our theme parks,” Tee said.