JOHOR has welcomed about two million local and foreign tourists in the first six months of this year, according to Tourism Johor.
Department director Suhairi Hashim believes the figure will go higher for the rest of the year thanks to the reopening of borders and easing of travel restrictions.
“This is a rough estimation from the data we have, as official figures will only be released the following year,” he told StarMetro.
Singaporeans who usually travel to Johor to visit their relatives, also spend money on shopping, food and entertainment.
“Johor Baru being Singapore’s nearest tourist destination has benefitted from such activities and the pattern is pretty much the same month to month.
“This is positive news for local businesses as tourism activities are important to spur the economy, especially when many have suffered from the effects of Covid-19,” said Suhairi.
He had previously said the state aimed to get between five and six million visitors by the end of the year and hoped to see at least 10 million next year.
Johor investment, trade and consumer affairs committee chairman Lee Ting Han said that apart from daily travellers, there was a significant increase in hotel occupancy rates in the city and at the popular holiday destination of Desaru.
“This naturally creates spillover to other supporting industries.
“Although there is a likelihood that the influx of travellers into the state may drive up prices, I say the beneficiaries are also the Malaysian small and medium enterprises and businesses.
“On the state government’s part, we can make sure the key essential supplies are sufficient at all times,” he said.
Lee reminded traders and business owners to display their prices clearly and not hike prices excessively.
He said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry was constantly monitoring the situation.
Action would be taken under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 against those who increased prices unnecessarily, he cautioned.