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Friday, December 26, 2008

Legoland will turnJohor into tourist hotspot

The establishment of a Legoland Malaysia theme park in Iskandar Malaysia by 2013 will help transform Johor into an international tourist hotspot, local tourism officials and authorities say.

"Having the presence of such a well-established brand name like Legoland sets us in the right direction in turning Iskandar Malaysia into an international holiday hotspot," Johor State Tourism and Environmental Committee chairman Hoo Seong Chang said in a statement yesterday.

"This, along with Iskandar Investment Bhd's (IIB) broader master plan to develop a fully integrated tourist hub more than complements our state's tourism objectives and efforts in driving larger inbound tourist traffic from around Asia," he added.

An agreement was signed between IIB and Merlin Entertainments on December 13, witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Kathyrn Lee, chairman of the Johor chapter of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents said the strategy will enhance the travel sector's potential and boost the depth and breadth of the travel agency business.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Faculty of Built Environment and the head of its Tourism Planning Research Group Professor Amran Hamzah said the theme park will be a strong pull factor especially for tourists entering via Singapore.

IIB managing director Arlida Ariff said the company chose a theme park that caters to a growing segment of the Asian tourist market - families with young children.

"Legoland Malaysia is merely the first of three international theme parks planned for the southern state, under the umbrella of key catalytic projects that will be driven by IIB in its tourism master plan for Iskandar Malaysia," Arlida said.

By Business Times

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