JOHOR BARU: The tourism industry in Johor is expected to be hit hard within the next three months due to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.
State Tourism, Women Development, Family And Community Committee chairman Liow Cai Tung (pic) said the impact has already affected the Visit Johor Year 2020 (VJY2020) programme, which is currently ongoing.
"The feedback from stakeholders such as associations and tourism industry has not only seen an impact from Chinese and Singapore tourists but also from domestic tourists as well.
"Everybody is afraid and worried about the coronavirus issue," she said when met after flagging off the Visit Johor Road Tour held here on Saturday (Feb 8).
The Johor Jaya assemblyman added that she would be having a meeting with tourism industry players soon to come up with a short-term action plan to address the coronavirus situation.
She also urged the public to take precautionary measures by wearing face masks or avoid activities that involved large crowds.
"However, the state government, through Tourism Johor, will still continue to promote VJY2020 by having various programmes such as the Visit Johor Road Tour series," she said.
The tour would see 15 vehicles from various departments touring Perak and Kedah until Feb 10 and handing out pamphlets and souvenirs as part of the VJY2020 promotional campaign.
In March, the convoy would also be promoting the Malaysia Games (Sukma), which Johor will host in July this year, to Melaka, Negri Sembilan and Selangor.
It was reported that the state government had decided to postpone all its events in February involving large crowds following the coronavirus outbreak.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal said the decision was made to minimise the risk of the disease from being spread.
He said among state events that would be postponed were the Malaysia Games pre-launch (Semarak Juara Sukma) and the Pasir Gudang International Kite Festival.
On Friday (Feb 7), Singapore reported three more coronavirus cases that have not been linked to previous infections or travel to China, prompting it to raise its alert to orange, the same level it reached during the SARS outbreak in 2003.
Singapore now has 33 confirmed coronavirus cases.
The orange alert means the virus is severe and passes easily from person to person and was last raised during an outbreak of H1N1 influenza in 2009-2010.