JOHOR BARU, Dec 5 — Agencies manning international entry points in Johor should step up their services to ensure a smooth flow of visitors following the granting of a 30-day visa exemption for Chinese and Indian nationals, said Tourism Johor.
Its director Suhairi Hashim said the visa-free travel starting December 1 could help Johor achieve its target of attracting 15 million tourists by the end of this year.
“This initiative is good, but logically, tourism service facilities need to be improved, including Immigration and Customs services at the 16 gateways in Johor, besides adding direct flights for international routes at the Senai International Airport (LTAS).
“A smooth service will drive the growth of the tourism sector and the economy of Johor and the country,” he told Bernama today.
According to Suhairi, Johor recorded 11 million tourists in the first 11 months of this year, with Indonesia accounting for the biggest number of arrivals, followed by Singapore, the Philippines, China and other countries.
He said so far, LTAS only has direct flights from Surabaya, Jakarta, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh and Guangzhou, in addition to domestic flights to various cities in the country.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced on November 26 that Chinese and Indian nationals would be given a 30-day visa exemption to visit Malaysia.
Meanwhile, the Johor manager of the Malaysian Association of Travel and Tour Agents (Matta), Kathryn Lee, said the 30-day visa exemption would attract more tourists to the state.
She said the initiative would also provide income spillovers to players in the tourism industry, such as hospitality, retail, food and beverage (F&B) and small traders.
“The main destination for Chinese tourists in this state is the Johor Premium Outlets (JPO) shopping centre, while the favourite holiday destination for tourists from India is Legoland Malaysia Resort, which is the most iconic theme park in Malaysia,” she said. — Bernama