JOHOR BARU: Johor is no longer just a transit point for travellers but a top tourism destination, said state Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumerism Committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong.
He added that Johor has seen a steady increase of tourist arrivals since 2013 with the tourism sector now playing a key role in the state's economic development.
"The Department of Statistics listed Johor as Malaysia's top domestic tourism destination in 2016 with 7.4 million domestic tourist arrivals and the Malaysia Tourism Council (MTC) also awarded Tourism Johor with the best domestic tourism promotion award last year.
"Tourism Malaysia statistics also show that Johor is ranked at No.3 in terms of attracting foreign tourists, with 2.6 million international tourists visiting in 2016.
"This means a total of 10 million tourists visited the state in 2016, compared with 3.9 million tourists in 2012," Tee said in his speech during the launch of Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Johor chapter's building at Adda Heights here on Saturday.
Tee further noted that Senai International Airport had recorded three million passengers last year compared with just 1.99 million passengers in 2013, adding that Johor is now connected by air to 11 domestic cities in Malaysia and eight international cities — Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, Surabaya, Guangzhou, Macao, Kolkata and Seoul.