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Monday, January 16, 2012

Johor Corp to upgrade hotels for RM40m

JOHOR state investment company Johor Corp will spend up to RM40 million to upgrade all its hotel assets to cater to the expected increase in tourist arrivals, which is driven by the opening of several attractions in Iskandar Malaysia.

By end of this year, the RM350 million indoor theme park in Puteri Harbour, which is developed by government investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd, will open its doors.

In Nusajaya, Legoland Malaysia, which is being built at a cost of around RM750 million, is expected to open in September.

For the first nine months of last year, tourist arrivals through the state's entry points rose five per cent to 12.5 million.

JCorp Hotels & Resorts Sdn Bhd deputy chief executive officer, Muhamad Mazlan Ali, said the hotels' upgrading work would start with the Puteri Pacific Johor Baru.

"The hotel, which opened in 1990, needs some refurbishments. To stay afloat, we have to upgrade our properties," Muhamad Mazlan told Business Times.

He said once the refurbishment exercise was completed in about a year or two, the company would review its pricing strategy upwards.

Currently, the average room rate in the Johor market is about RM180 a night.

JCorp Hotels, the hospitality arm of Johor Corp, owns and manages five properties in Johor.

Besides the Puteri Pacific Johor Baru and the Persada Johor International Convention Centre, it also owns Sibu Island Resort, Selesa Johor Baru and Selesa Pasir Gudang.

The company also has a property in Negri Sembilan called Selesa Port Dickson.

The six properties are worth as much as RM600 million.

Muhamad Mazlan acknowledged that Johor needed more hotels.

There are more than 4,000 rooms available in the two to five-star categories and this is expected to double by 2014.

However, they might not be sufficient to meet demand, he said.

"We expect room demand to increase with the expected influx of tourists and attractions.

"We are optimistic that the attractions in Johor will bring more people to the state.

"With more universities and colleges opening at EduCity, we can expect a large number of international students, too," he said.

EduCity is a fully integrated knowledge-based hub comprising world-class universities, industry-centric research and development clusters, international schools and colleges, as well as conference and exhibition amenities.

By Business Times

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