JOHOR BARU: Two new international convention centres will be built in Iskandar Malaysia within the next three years to capitalise on the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) market.
Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said the multi-billion ringgit projects would be located in Medini, Nusajaya and the Senai-Kulai flagship development zones.
“The Mice market is rapidly growing in Iskandar Malaysia in recent years but we lack facilities of international levels to cater to the needs,” he said after witnessing the signing of the hospitality partnership between Metropoint TAFE College and Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, Renaissance Hotel and Traders Hotel here yesterday.
He said the Persada Johor International Convention was not enough to cater to the Mice segment.
Ismail declined to provide details on the upcoming convention centres including the gross development value and the developers.
“It is good to have them (the centres) in Nusajaya and the Senai-Kulai zones instead of the city centre as we need to spread the Mice business to other zones in the economic region,” he said.
He said there was a shortage of hotel rooms in Iskandar Malaysia as the 6,600 hotel rooms to be available by 2015 would be insufficient to cater to tourist arrivals.
“Hotels in Iskandar Malaysia recorded good occupancy rates and we need 5,000 rooms especially five-star hotels for business travellers,” said Ismail.
Most of foreign and domestic tourists visiting Singapore preferred to stay in Johor Baru as the hotel rates here were much cheaper than those in the republic.
Launched on Nov 4, 2006, Iskandar Malaysia covers 2,217 sq km and is three times bigger than Singapore and double the size of Hong Kong.
It is divided into five flagship development zones – the JB City Centre, Nusajaya, Eastern Gate Development Zone, Western Gate Development Zone and Senai-Kulai.
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