For the past decade, Johor has been thriving. If it is the first time you heard of Johor, it is a state in Southern Malaysia that is linked to Singapore by causeways. Johor has a wide range of hotels from the 5-star and 4-star resorts to the budget hotels that suit all budgets. Tourists that visit Johor usually come from Korea and Singapore.
Crowds of tourists that pass the Causeway and the Second Link from Singapore during weekends and holidays bear testimony to the fact that Johor is tourist haven. Singaporeans are attracted by the favourable current exchange rates which make their hotel stay and shopping sprees more affordable.
There is a long list of hotels in Johor and it is expected that more will open in the coming years. There will also be a big name 296-room 4-star hotel that will open next to the Paradigm Mall JoholBaru. Chairman Ivan Teo of the Johor Chapter for Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) and general manager of Ponderosa Golf and Country Club said that hotels in Johor enjoy good business because of the proximity to Singapore and the steady arrival of Malaysian and international travellers to Johor for business and leisure.
Most of the MAH members have partnered with transport operators like Causeway Link buses, government agencies and non-government organizations including educational institutions in an effort to generate more tourist revenues. However, in spite of brisk business, hotels in Johor also face some challenges.
Malaysia has one the lowest hotel rates but while the association supports the newly imposed tourism tax, the association is appealing to the government to spare the locals. For example, there are companies that want to send their staff overseas for training purposes but they have to downgrade the hotel stay because of the tourism tax.
Another tourist destination in Southeast Asia that is popular among travellers is Thailand. A business or leisure traveller has the option of staying at 4 star resort in Pattaya, a place known for sunshine, beaches, fun and drinks. The 4 star accommodation is favourably located to allow you downtown shopping, dining and nightlife venues.