Johor goes all out to meet Chinese tourists target

GUANGZHOU: The Johor Tourism Department will go all out to achieve its one million Chinese tourist arrivals target this year with six tourism packages being promoted to 243.4 million people in three provinces in China.

Led by state Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong, a group of 15 delegates from the department and industry players embarked on a eight-day Xplore Johor tourism mission to meet their counterparts here between June 23 and June 30.

Tee said Johor tourism industry players had come up with six types of four-day, three-night packages to highlight Johor’s beautiful islands, theme parks as well as splendid shopping experience.

“The family-oriented packages also incorporate sight-seeing and popular spots in Johor, Malacca and Port Dickson and tourists can also opt for packages with visits to Singapore and Indonesia.

“The key point is that they have been packaged in such a way that tourists will start and end their vacations in Johor Baru, boosting the industry in the state,” he said during the promotion day attended by 60 Chinese travel agencies on Friday.

He said with the availability of AirAsia’s new direct flight between Guangzhou and Johor Baru daily, the state government was optimistic about getting a good response for the packages.

“The direct flight has opened a new window for the Johor tourism industry to climb to greater heights as we no longer have to wait for Chinese tourists to come via Kuala Lumpur or Singapore, saving visitors up to three hours of travel time.

“I have personally taken the low-budget flight to Guangzhou with my family and the rest of the delegates and I am glad to say there were no qualms and we arrived ahead of schedule,” he said.

Tee said China was the fourth country to enjoy direct flights to Johor Baru, after Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.

“The Xplore Johor promotion in Guangdong, Hei Long Jiang and Shandong provinces with population count of 107.2 million, 38.3 million and 97.9 million respectively is in line with our move towards tapping into second-tier cities,” he added.

He stressed that the state government’s active involvement in promoting the industry had reinforced tourists’ confidence in taking a trip to Johor.

“Our proactive ways of going to the ground to conduct this kind of events have in some ways convinced tourists that we welcome and care for them.

“Besides, we have a lot to offer our tourists, but if we do not show and promote what we have, then it is unlikely for tourists to come to the state, thus this kind of events are important,” he said.