Johor Ruler wants systematic tourism plan to drive economy

JOHOR BARU: A systematic tourism development plan will help to drive the state’s economy, decrees Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.

His Majesty said that every district in Johor had its own tourist attractions, including the beautiful islands in Mersing.

“Johor has long been one of the popular and well-known tourism destinations among tourists from within and outside the country,” His Majesty said in a statement posted on his official Facebook page.

Sultan Ibrahim decreed that the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry needed to draw up a systematic Johor tourism development plan for a long-term period.

Earlier, His Majesty received an audience from Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Santhara Kumar, who is also Segamat MP, at Mados office in Istana Bukit Pelangi here.

“I discussed various matters with the deputy minister, among others relating to the tourism sector in the country and Johor, including the Malaysia My Second Home programme (MM2H) to attract more tourists to this country.

“There are many attractive locations in Johor that can be visited by tourists and at the same time, the ministry needs to ensure that every policy and incentive set is consistent to attract more investors and tourists,” said Sultan Ibrahim.

His Majesty added that such a development plan was also important to revive the tourism sector in each district as well as its local products.

When contacted, state tourism, youth and sports committee chairman Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi said the tourism sector in Johor was picking up following the lifting of the interstate travel ban.

“Most hotels in Johor are getting a lot of bookings, with some already fully booked till the end of the year,” he added.

He also urged hotels in the state to rehire staff who were retrenched during the movement restrictions to address worker shortage during this period, which is expected to be busy over the next few months.

Malaysian Association of Hotels Johor Chapter chairman Ivan Teo said the increase in the number of bookings in Johor had given tourism industry players here a glimmer of hope.

“Before the government announced the lifting of interstate travel restrictions, the average occupancy rate for hotels was about 20%.

“Thankfully, bookings have gone up and now the occupancy rate is between 60% and 70%. Hotels and resorts in areas around Desaru are among places that are doing well,” he said.

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