Tourism Johor: Booking rate up for hotels, homestays

Suhairi flanked by Paw (right) and Tay at the Malaysia International Travel Mart in Johor Baru.

Malls, hotels and homestays in Johor are enjoying an uptrend in the number of visitors, says Tourism Johor director Suhairi Hashim.

The current number of tourists has returned to around 60% of pre-Covid-19 numbers, which he said was a good sign for local industries.

“In the past three months, some hotels in the city reached an occupancy rate of up to 100% during the weekends.

“The market is recovering significantly. For instance, last month more than 700 families from South Korea visited Johor and stayed for two to three months.

“Many of the parents signed up for golf lessons while their children attended English courses,” he said, adding that these families chose hotels, chalets and short-term rental homes as accommodation.

Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association (MCTA) president Paul Paw said local tourism had benefitted from the closure of international borders over the past two and a half years. “During that time, Malaysians could only visit domestic destinations, so places like Penang, Cameron Highlands and islands were the main attractions.

“Many of the hotels there were fully booked during weekends and public holidays,” he said.

MCTA Johor chairman Edwin Tay Kian Chuan suggested that association members and other industry players give their customers a refund, rather than penalise them for cancelling their pre-booked travel packages.

He said the flexibility of allowing people to change or cancel their packages without incurring any charges would make travel agencies more attractive to customers.

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