Schools nationwide will close from Nov 23 to Dec 31 and the Chinese people worldwide will usher in the Year of the Rat on Jan 25.
Ramada by Wyndham Meridin Johor Baru sales and marketing director Betty Yeoh said to date, 70% of its 644 rooms were booked for November and December.
She said the hotel expected the occupancy rate to go up in the coming two weeks as many working parents may opt to take leave to spend with their children.
“Room bookings for the Chinese New Year is picking up with 80% full for the celebration weekend,’’ said Yeoh.
She said the room bookings were mainly from tour groups from China, Taiwan and South Korea.
“Many want to escape winter in their home countries,” she said.
Yeoh said there were also Malaysians from outside the state visiting families and relatives in Johor Baru and Singaporeans who preferred to stay at the hotel.
Renaissance Johor Baru Hotel marketing and communications head Hezrin Ali said bookings for the 345-room hotel started from last month.
“Based on our records, Singaporeans made up 50% of our hotel guests while 30% are Malaysians from other states and 20% foreigners,’’ he said.
Hezrin said many Malaysians visiting Singapore would opt to stay at hotels in and around Johor Baru as the rates were much lower compared to room rates in the city.
Meanwhile, Johor tourism, women development and family committee chairman Liow Cai Tung said the state wanted to encourage more visitors to extend their stay in Johor.
“Based on statistics, the average stay for a tourist to Johor is 2D/1N and we hope to see them extending their stay to one more day,’’ she said.
Liow said continuous marketing and promotion efforts were needed to attract more Chinese tourists to Johor, including having more direct flights connecting Senai International Airport with other cities in China.
“Right now, we only have a direct flight connecting Johor Baru with Guangzhou and we are looking at the possibility of having a direct flight with another major city in China,’’ she said.
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