Johor’s government is optimistic about reviving the national tourism industry under the “travel bubble” initiative announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Johor Tourism, Youth and Sports Committee Chairman Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi said the state government, through Tourism Johor, has proposed three initiatives to revive the industry to boost the economy of State.
The initiatives – Johor Tourism Interchange (JTI), Virtual Majestic Johor (VMJ) and Majestic Johor Safe (MJS) – are expected to be launched by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad on September 27.
“JTI is an online marketplace that brings together all of Johor’s tourism products for easy access for tourists, while VMJ will highlight tourism players who have digitized their product.
“With regard to the MJS, this is a set of special standard operating procedures (SOPs) to assure national and international tourists of the commitment and measures of commercial operators to maintain good sanitation practices and hygiene in the premises, “said Onn Hafiz.
He said he also proposed to the federal government to include three districts, namely Muar, Mersing and Kota Tinggi, in the tourism bubble initiative, as each of those cities had achieved an immunization rate of more than 80%.
“On September 4, Muar achieved herd immunity when 84%, or 168,396 people, received the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
“Muar is famous for its stunning landscapes, historic buildings and good food.
“The 13 islands off Mersing, known as the ‘Maldives of Malaysia’, have also achieved a 100% vaccination rate.
“The 594 people as well as the staff working in the various seaside resorts of the islands have all been fully vaccinated.
“The coast from Desaru to Kota Tinggi, recognized as one of the largest places in the world in 2021, achieved a 91% vaccination rate, with 1,210 workers receiving the second dose,” he added. .
Onn Hafiz said the state government will continue to implement various tourism rehabilitation efforts to strengthen Johor as a brand, with a focus on promoting major tourist destinations in the 10 districts of the state. .
“Each neighborhood has various special characteristics that can be promoted as a unique selling point.
“It will also show that we are able to rise up and become an exceptional tourist destination which is also safe to visit.
“However, this will only be achieved through the ongoing vaccination program and adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs), which will be key to accelerating the economic growth of the country,” he reiterated.
Meanwhile, Mersing District Council (MDM) Chairman Norazmi Amir Hamzah said the council will work with other government agencies to sort out SOPs and sanitation works in public facilities, especially on public jetties.
He said the council will also engage with island travel agencies to ensure the number of visitors to the islands is manageable to limit the possibility of an outbreak.
“Right now our main concern is the number of people coming to the island via the jetties, and where possible we prefer to limit the number of people entering to minimize overcrowding and simplify monitoring and management.
“We’re going to work with the tour operators to get the number of people coming and the timing.
“This is intended to make it easier to get around the jetties and possibly open up more entry and departure points for island hopping, snorkelling and trips to the islands,” he said. he adds.
Norazmi further said the council will issue guidelines for other authorities, such as the police, the fisheries department and the health ministry, to ensure operations run smoothly.
“Tourism stakeholders must also play their part in helping the authorities to monitor their guests and ensure that they strictly follow the rules.
“This includes making sure the environment is clean and avoiding littering on the islands,” he said, adding that he believed people were already familiar with the new standard’s guidelines and n ‘would have no difficulty following the order.
Norazmi also said the board is working with the Mersing Tourism Association (MTA) to share the SOP and the Sustainable Travel Mersing initiative with tour operators and agencies.