Johor targets one million Chinese tourists in 201630 May 2016, by BERNAMA

KULAI, May 30 — The Johor government is targeting one million tourist arrivals from China this year with the introduction of the Guangzhou-Johor Baharu route by AirAsia.

Tourism, Trade and Consumerism Committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Keong is confident Johor would receive more tourists from China and thus boost the tourism sector.

“I expect tourist arrivals from China to increase by 30 per cent this year to more than one million people,” he told reporters after welcoming passengers of the inaugural flight from Guangzhou to Johor Baharu at Senai International Airport (SIA), here today.

Tee said AirAsia Berhad took timely action in introducing the route in line with the rising number of tourists, traders and investors from China, especially Guangzhou.

“This initiative can shorten the traveling time by three hours and facilitate arrival the people of both cities,” he added.

The Guangzhou-Johor Baharu flight arrived at 6.50am today with 176 passengers comprising 95 per cent Chinese nationals while the rest were Malaysians.

Tourist arrivals from China rose from 628,087 in 2014 to 797,862 people last year (2015) or an increase of 169,775 people.

Meanwhile, Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Md Derick Basir said they set aside RM7 million for upgrading of SIA from July until the middle of December.

“The upgrading work include separating the domestic and international divisions. After renovation, gate one and two will be for international flights while gate three and four for domestic flights.”

Others include seven new check-in counters to make it a total of 23 counters, restructuring of the immigration counters and the addition of 16 retail business and food and beverage premises.

“We will also put up signs in various languages ​​including Bahasa Malaysia, English, and other foreign languages depending on the majority of users in line with the government’s desire to make SIA of global standard.” — Bernama