Tourist arrivals in Johor steady despite haze

Tourist arrivals in Johor steady despite haze

Johor Causeway
File photo of a general view of the Causeway from Singapore to Johor Bahru. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

JOHOR BAHRU: Tourist arrivals in Johor have remained steady despite the haze, Malaysian officials said on Sunday (Sep 15).

Arrivals in Johor, particularly from Singapore, have remained high, and there have not been complaints about tourists falling ill because of the haze, said State Tourism, Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Liow Cai Tung.

READ: Singapore’s air quality expected to 'gradually improve' in next 24 hours: NEA

“Most tourism activities are focused in Johor Bahru area and the Air Pollutant Index (API) readings in the area have not reached a dangerous level.

“The Singapore school holidays are on this week and I see more and more tourists arriving. They spend most of their time indoors at shopping malls or covered tourist spots," she said.

READ: Malaysia to focus cloud seeding operations in Selangor, Johor to reduce haze

Liow said the state government is monitoring the API readings closely to ensure the safety and health of the people.

Air quality in Malaysia fell to "unhealthy" levels in and around Kuala Lumpur last week, according to the government's air pollutant index, and the skyline has been shrouded in thick smog.

On Saturday, the state education department ordered all schools, from kindergartens to higher learning institutions, in Tangkak, Muar and Pontian to be closed after API readings exceeded 200.

READ: More people fall sick as haze worsens in Malaysia

Forest fires have raged through parts of Sumatra and Kalimantan in recent weeks, prompting the Indonesian government to send in military and police to douse the flames.

Singapore's Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) exceeded the 100 mark over the weekend, marking the first time since August 2016 the 24-hour PSI reading has reached the unhealthy level.

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Source: Bernama/CNA/aa(aj)