JOHOR BARU: Johor has requested for additional flights from Senai International Airport to several cities in China, besides seeking direct flights to southern India, says Tourism Johor director Suhairi Hashim.
He said they were working closely with the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry to get more Indian and Chinese tourists to visit the state.
“We have sent our proposal to the ministry to increase the number of flights from Senai International Airport not only to Guangzhou but to several other cities in China as well as having direct flights to southern India.
“Presently, the number of flights between Senai International Airport and Guangzhou is four times a week,” he said when contacted yesterday.
Despite the low number of flights connecting Johor Baru and Guangzhou, Suhairi said Johor was still able to attract a high number of Chinese visitors.
Citing Immigration Department records from January until last month, he said that more than 200,000 Chinese had visited the state.
Suhairi also said that Chinese tourists formed the fourth largest group of foreign visitors to Johor after Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.
“However, most of the tourists from China came to Malaysia via Singapore.
“If we are able to add more flights, then it will be good for us as they can fly directly into Johor,” he added.
On Indian tourists, he said that they would embark on a travel mission to India where Tourism Johor would focus on southern India such as Kerala.
Suhairi added that earlier this year, a group of Indian wedding agent association members visited several locations in Johor to help promote tourism destinations in the state.
“Among the locations that we would be promoting include Desaru and Legoland. With the 30-day visa-free travel announced by the government for Indian and Chinese tourists, this will be good for the Johor tourism sector,” he added.