JOHOR BARU: The subject of tourism has been a highly debated issue with a assemblyman arguing that more should be done to attract Japanese tourists to the state.
Abdul Aziz Sapian (BN - Nusajaya) said at present the bulk of Japanese tourists were entering Johor on tourist packages offered by Singaporean travel agents that catered to their needs and tastes.
“They come in via Singapore and are brought in for homestay programmes and to enjoy our nature-based tourism activities before they are taken back into Singapore.
“I cannot understand why the federal or state tourism departments are not doing their own promotions to attract the Japanese on our own accord,” he said at the state assembly sitting recently, adding that at the moment it seemed as though Johor was merely a quick stopover.
He added that among the top visitors to the state were tourists from Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, China, South Korea and Hong Kong.
Abdul Aziz noted that it would be a waste not to tap into the Japanese market as they were well to do and had the spending power.
“Why can’t we figure out what they want to do and offer specially-designed tour packages for them. At present, most of their money is spent in Singapore,” he said.
Expressing his frustration, Abdul Aziz said there were so many things that could have been done and that things should have been in place well ahead of Visit Malaysia Year 2007.
He said the continuous stress and focus on tourism was because the coming year would be an important one for the state.
“Next year is just a few days away. We don’t have time to talk any more,” he stressed.
Jamilah Endan (BN - Kukup) also brought up a tourism related topic when she said that chalets should be built in Tanjung Piai to allow visitors to spend the night in the area.
“At present, we only have homestay programmes and camp sites available to tourists,” she said.
Jamilah added that Tanjung Piai, which was being heavily promoted as the southern-most tip of mainland Asia, had plenty to offer tourists with its sea, mangroves and fireflies.
Source : STAR
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