Encouraging tourism players to upskill

A snorkeling class for tour guides organised by the Mersing Tourism Association with Tourism Johor in Pulau Tinggi, Mersing. The class is also supported by Reef Check Malaysia, Green Fins Malaysia and Johor Fisheries Department.

TOURISM industry players in Johor should take advantage of upskilling classes introduced by Tourism Johor to improve their level of service.

The classes conducted monthly are part of the agency’s long-term plan to provide quality service to tourists to the state.

Its director Suhairi Hashim said different modules were available based on different segments of the tourist market.

“We have conducted tourism human resource training every month since borders reopened in April for local tourism operators and owners and have continuously improved the knowledge and skills needed by industry players.

“For example, English Communi-cation for Tourism Classes, Digital Marketing for Tourism Operators, and others,” he said when contacted.

Suhairi was commenting on whether the agency had prepared any upskilling programmes for the industry players, especially those affected by the closure of resorts and facilities during the monsoon season.

Tourism Johor, he said, was a huge supporter of human resources development through engagement with local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and associations.

He added that the local tour operators and small businesses could benefit from this collaboration by maximising the quality of services provided, thereby encouraging tourists to choose Johor as their destination.

Asked where tourists should go during the school holidays and rainy season, Suhairi said they would recommend non-impacted tourist destinations like Legoland, Tanjung Piai National Parks, as well as food and cultural destinations.

“We have many famous spots for gastronomic experiences such as Kluang and Batu Pahat town.

“Tourists can also opt for heritage sites like Kompleks Warisan Sultan Abu Bakar, Kota Tinggi Museum and Johor Baru’s Streets of Harmony,” he added.

Johor Tourist Guides Association chairman Jimmy Leong said the association, together with the Iskandar Regional Development Autho-rity (Irda), Think City and Johor Baru City Council (MBJB), would launch the Heritage Walk programme this month.

“We will train 15 lead guides who will offer heritage walks in the Central Business District in Johor Baru for three months, free of charge.

“This will be in line with the upcoming school holidays, especially for Singaporeans or other foreign tourists who want to walk around the city,” he said.

Leong said the ongoing durian season had also attracted fans of the King of Fruits to drive up north to Muar and Segamat.

“There are many other options of tourism products in Johor even when the beaches are closed.

“This is a good chance for tour operators to plan their programme, especially when they bring tourists from across the Causeway,” he added.

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