Increased demand for Johor Bahru, Muar hotels after Malaysia lifts interstate travel restrictions
JOHOR BAHRU: Hotel occupancy rates in Johor Bahru and Muar have increased by up to 80 per cent since interstate travel resumed in Malaysia last week, said the chairman of Johor's Tourism, Youth and Sports Committee on Wednesday (Oct 20).
At Desaru Coast near Kota Tinggi, the average occupancy rate was about 65 per cent, said Onn Hafiz Ghazi, who is also an executive council member for Johor state.
After months of inactivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Onn Hafiz said boat operators at Mersing jetty were busy again with the arrival of visitors.
“People are taking the opportunity to take a break and spend their holidays in Johor ... I was informed that the tour packages for island hopping in the Mersing district are currently almost fully booked until mid November,” he said in a Facebook post.
The number of local tourists at the Legoland theme park has also increased significantly compared to pre-pandemic, he added.
“Thank you Malaysians, for making Johor your choice of holiday destination. Insya Allah, the state will always be a safe destination for you and your family,” he added.
Fully vaccinated individuals were permitted to move across state lines from Oct 11, including to return to their hometowns and for tourism purposes.
The movement restriction was lifted after more than 90 per cent of adults across the country were fully vaccinated, announced Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Citizens who have received their jabs were also allowed to travel overseas without having to apply for the MyTravelPass scheme.
Mr Ismail Sabri reminded Malaysians to "not be complacent" on observing health protocols, and encouraged those travelling to perform their own COVID-19 tests before starting their journeys.
The ban on interstate travel was imposed in early January amid a spike in COVID-19 infections. The restriction remained in place for much of the year as the country dealt with rising case numbers.
As of Wednesday, Malaysia has reported more than 2.4 million COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, and more than 28,000 fatalities.