Johor wooing European and East Asian tourists

JOHOR BARU: Tourism Johor is eyeing more travellers from Europe and East Asia, says its director Sharil Nizam Abdul Rahim.

Enhancing tourism products would be key in making the state attractive to such foreign tourists, he said.

“We have been and will continue working closely with the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry to promote Johor in Europe,” he added.

He said in the past two years, there had been a steady increase of European tourists to the state – a very encouraging sign for the industry.

Sharil Nizam said the state recorded more than 16 million tourist arrivals last year.

Based on Immigration Department data, he said some 192,796 tourists came from European nations, compared with 102,568 in 2022.

“Besides the Asean market, the European market is also important for Johor.

“Having attractive packages is very important for us to market the state to foreigners. This is why Tourism Johor is always engaging with local tourism players and government bodies to come up with products that are not only attractive but also different from others,” he said yesterday.

On preparations for Visit Johor Year 2026, he said the state is planning more direct flights to various destinations in East Asia.

“We are currently in discussions with several agencies to start direct flights from Senai International Airport to places such as Taiwan, Daegu in South Korea and Kunming in China.

“This is part of our plan to get more tourists to come here and spend to boost local businesses and spur our economy,” he added.

Sharil Nizam said there was a high number of South Korean expatriates living in Johor.

“Before the Covid-19 pandemic, many South Korean tourists came here. So, having a direct flight to and from Daegu can help us attract more South Korean visitors,” he added.

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