JOHOR BARU: Tour operators are not doing enough to support the Government's efforts to promote tourism, Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister Datuk Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir said.
Despite the Government having taken various steps, including the setting up of funds for them, Kadir said the operators were still relying on old products to sell their packages.
Tour operators should take the initiative to improve their business with better products for the tourists.
The Government has done a lot to help promote the tourism industry including providing financial fund on certain matters, he told reporters after a dialogue session with Johor tour operators here yesterday.
Also present were Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek, Datuk Bandar Datuk Wahid Dahlan and Johor Tourism Action Council general manager Datuk Abdul Karim Hassan.
He said the operators were still not competitive enough although statistics showed that tourist arrivals had increased from 5.5 million in 1998 to 13.3million last year.
Out of this, 7.5million were day-trippers and almost half of them entered the country via Johor.
Unfortunately, Kadir noted that these day-trippers spent their holiday in other parts of the country such as in Klang Valley, Selangor, Pahang, Malacca and Penang.
There is something wrong somewhere here and I would like to urge tour operators here to come out with special packages to attract these day-trippers to visit Johor.
Johor is fortunate as it is blessed with many beautiful islands off Mersing, the Endau-Rompin National Park and forest reserves to help promote agro and eco tourism, he said.
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