JOHOR BARU: The tourism sector in Johor continues to grow with the state recording an increase of 12.81% in arrivals for the first six months of this year.
State Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumerism executive council chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said between January and June this year, Johor recorded 3.2 million tourists compared to 2.8 million within the same period in 2014.
“This shows that Johor is a top destination among tourists.
“The number includes tourists who stay at least one night in hotels, resorts or homestays,” he said after visiting Austin Heights Water and Adventure Park, the latest theme park within Iskandar Malaysia here.
Domestic tourists made up the majority with 2.16 million arrivals while foreigners numbered 1.1 million, he said.
Tee added new tourism products such as Legoland Malaysia, Puteri Harbour Indoor theme park, Angry Bird Activity Park and the latest attraction of Austin Heights Water and Adventure Park would contribute to more tourists coming to the state.
Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin had singled out the tourism sector as one of the three industries, in addition to the medical and creative sectors, that should be looked into for the benefit of the state.
Tee called for more packages to be created among industry players to ensure tourists would continue to come here.
Meanwhile, Austin Heights Group of Companies founder and managing director Datuk Steve Chong said the water theme park is located within 8ha of land and is just 20 minutes’ drive from the city centre.
“With the expansion of the tourism sector in Johor, we at Austin Leisure, the owner of Austin Heights Water and Adventure Park, are delighted to have the opportunity to play our part in attracting local and foreign tourists.
“We also plan to build more exciting facilities to further complement the existing ones including an enrichment park, a 300-room hotel, a village mall and an international convention cum banquet hall,” he said.
Chong added that the Austin Heights Water and Adventure Park would be open to the public this month while the rest of the development is expected to be completed by the end of next year and has a gross development value of about RM140mil.