Singapore woos Malaysian motorists

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 19 Jan 2003

JOHOR BARU: In an attempt to check the slide of tourist arrivals from Malaysia, the Singapore Tourism Board will lobby for a “minimum hassle” provision for Malaysian motorists. 

“We are looking into ways to reduce the hassle for Malaysian drivers. Currently, we are aware that those driving to Singapore are faced with possible 100% checks at the Causeway and it is a major turn-off,” said STB spokesman Paul Tan. 

The board’s specially-formed task force was in Malaysia recently to understand the local market better and to determine how the STB could lure Malaysians to visit the island. 

Tan said there was a 2% drop in Malaysian tourist arrivals to Singapore and it was a cause for concern for STB, adding that 491,000 arrivals from Malaysia were recorded during the first 11 months of 2002. 

“The numbers do not include those driving into Singapore but we are still very concerned with the decline,” he said at a press conference here yesterday. 

Based on air arrivals, Malaysians ranked fifth on the island’s visitors’ list.  

Tan said STB was toying with the idea of setting up an office in Kuala Lumpur to further promote the island republic to neighbouring countries. 

“We are looking into the many possibilities of attracting more visitors from Malaysia.  

“Tourists from Asean countries make up one third of tourist arrivals to the island and this includes Malaysians,” he said.  

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