More than 1.1 million Chinese tourists visited the southern state of Johor in 2010, an increase from 900,000 Chinese tourists the previous year, said the state’s Exco for Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs, Hoo Seong Chang.
Speaking after launching the Johor Bahru City Hall Gallery at the Johor Toursim Information Centre recently, he said that the state are now targeting tourists from smaller Chinese cities.
With the rapid developments of Iskandar Malaysia which encompasses the Legoland theme park and Premium Outlet which is expected to be in operations in 2012, plus an international airport facilities provided by the Sultan Ismail International Airport and the operational Senai-Desaru highway, he expressed his confidence that more tourists will come to visit the state.
He revealed that negotiations are underway with several foreign airlines to encourage them to use the Sultan Ismail International airport as their flying hub.
He commented that even though the airport is of international status, there are still no international flights available there.
He hoped that international flights to and from countries like Korea, Hong Kong and major chinese cities like Guangzhou will use the airport soon.
He also added that Chinese tourists are next only to Singaporean and Indonesian tourists, and thus the state government have set their focus on Chinese cities.
Also present during the launch were the city mayor Mohd. Jaafar Awang, Iskandar Regional Development Authority CEO (IRDA), Ismail Ibrahim and ADUN Stulang, Mok Chek Hou.