JOHOR BARU: Shopping malls around here have been asked to double their efforts to gain more visitors, particularly foreign tourists, to spend their money.
Johor Tourism, Trade and Consumerism committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said with the weakening ringgit, Malaysia has become an ideal destination for shoppers coming from overseas.
“Shopping malls play a vital role in the tourism sector as they are the second highest contributor after foreign exchange for our country,” he said, adding that in 2013, foreign tourists spent about RM19.7bil in Malaysia.
He pointed out that the management of the respective shopping malls should come out with various attractive themes including decorations during the festive season.
“Singaporeans comprised the highest number of foreign visitors, with 30mil of them coming into the country during the same period,” he added.
Tee said this in a press conference after launching the Chinese New Year celebration at Komtar Johor Baru City Centre.
He also said that based on statistics from Tourism Malaysia, foreign tourists spent about 30% of their money for shopping, another 30% for accommodation, while the rest was for food and transportation.
Tee added that shopping malls should put more effort into putting innovative decorations to compete with other international shopping malls to attract tourists.
“Apart from that, they should also come out with attractive themes for their decorations and also hold programmes in conjunction with the festive season,” he said.
Tee said that the state government encouraged efforts by shopping malls to come up with various attractions through activities and mega sales from time to time.