Onn Hafiz defends Johor’s tourism

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi claimed Johor has many wonderful places to visit and things to see that we can feel proud of.

“The video highlighted that Johor is boring with many places closed. We accept such views with an open heart.

“But let me share that Johor actually has various treasures and tourist centres with good potential and can be proud of,” he said.

He was referring to a viral video on social media that criticised the state’s tourism industry, claiming that Johor lacks appealing destinations to visit.

He was replying to Anuar Abd Manap (BN-Pemanis), Azizul Bachok (BN-Tiram), Datuk Pandak Ahmad (BN-Kota Iskandar), Datuk Mohamad Najib Samuri (BN-Parit Yaani), Amira Aisya Abd Aziz (Muda-Puteri Wangsa), Liow Cai Tung (PH-Johor Jaya) and Ng Yak How (PH-Bentayan) during the state assembly meeting at Bangunan Sultan Ismail in Kota Iskandar on Wednesday (May 15).

Onn Hafiz highlighted Johor’s array of attractions, including national parks, theme parks, museums, galleries, ecotourism sites, and renowned islands.

However, he questioned if these offerings truly align with tourists’ expectations despite their diversity and quality.

He said: “If we accept this question with an open heart, then the answer is not yet.”

Onn Hafiz also mentioned that the government recently organized a workshop to boost tourism.

He said during the event, they gathered feedback on issues such as inadequate public transport, roads unsuitable for tourists, and rural broadband problems.

“Due to this, the state government plans to outline two main strategies to make the Visit Johor Year 2026 agenda a success. Firstly, we will upgrade the existing tourism infrastructure.

“When the infrastructure has been upgraded, we will then move to promote all these tourism products,” he said, reported The Star.

A sum of RM67.6 million has been earmarked in the 2024 state budget for this initiative.

The Menteri Besar also announced plans to finalize 10 tourism development projects this year and four tourism upgrading projects by next year and the state government would execute six marketing and promotion strategies, encompassing tourism campaigns both domestically and internationally.

“Johor has great potential in the tourism sector. With its natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and various other tourist attractions, the state can offer a variety of options to tourists.

“I am confident if the two strategies can be implemented properly and thoroughly, the state will be able to become a major tourist destination in Malaysia,” he added.