Tour operators oppose levy on Singaporeans for Johor entry

INBOUND tour operators slammed Johor state assemblyman Osman Sapian's recent suggestion that Singaporean tourists be charged a RM10 (US$3.11) levy when they enter Johor.

  23/07/2010 08:48

Ping Anchorage Travel & Tours CEO, Alex Lee, said: "It is not true that daytrippers spend only on bottled water when they enter Johor. They would spend at least four hours in the state, have a meal there and purchase local products."

Osman had described Singaporean daytrippers as "mineral water tourists" as this was their only purchase. A local daily, The Star, quoted him as saying: "There is no benefit for locals as the tour agents are Singaporeans and the buses are also from the Island Republic."

Grace Holidays general manager, Godwin Miranda, said: "A levy would result in even less Singaporeans visiting Johor. As it is, fewer Europeans come to Malaysia compared to previous years. Chinese and Indian tourists to Malaysia also pass through Johor on their way to Singapore."

Both agents believed state tourism authorities should do more to tap and market Johor's natural attractions such as its islands, orchards and farms. Lee said: "It should also look at developing special products to entice more Singaporean visitors to the state."

(Sources: Kuala Lumpur, TTGAsia)



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