'Bring tourists to Mersing mainland, not just island'

Johor Published 11 months ago on 2 May 2023 | Author TIN Media

The Johor government is asked to attract foreign investors to the Mersing district and develop the local tourism sector.
Azhar Zainal Abidin, a councillor for Mersing District Council, claimed that the district's tourism economy needed to be overhauled because it mostly favours island businesses.
Only during the monsoon season, when the island is idle, do those living on the mainland make a living.
As was done for Desaru in Kota Tinggi, he said, "I think the state government can bring in international investors."
Instead of making Mersing into another industrial area, Azhar suggested that the state government collaborate with the East Coast Economic Region to develop a plan to promote Mersing as a tourist destination.
'Mersing Laguna' was the name of a former eco-tourism project that was abandoned in 2012. "Perhaps this is the time to think about a project like that.
"By bringing new tourism products to the mainland through these investors, we could establish a more balanced sector that would benefit everyone living in Mersing.
"The state government and the local council could introduce investor-friendly policies, such as giving them a three-year tax exemption so that they can build a strong foundation first," he proposed.
According to Azhar, Pantai Air Papan will soon get a motorhome- and recreational vehicle-friendly area.
"This involves a significant financial investment, which I don't believe the council can make.
The current amenities that have been impacted by coastal erosion will be upgraded, as well as untidy food courts, charging stations, and WiFi connectivity.
He emphasized that to promote tourism in Mersing, locals would need to work with them. "The local community should also play a proactive role by opening stalls to sell quality food and products," he stated.
He continued by saying that the beach had once been highly busy, much like Port Dickson in Negri Sembilan.
The tourism business in Mersing is in terrible shape, according to Sheikh Zulkifli Sheikh Abdul Rahim, chairman of the Mersing Tourism Association.
"People have shifted their focus to only spending on necessities since the (Covid-19) pandemic," he said.
"Tourism has turned into a luxury hobby reserved for people with extra cash.
our main rivals as an island and beach vacation spot, according to Sheikh Zulkifli.
Despite the reopening of international borders in April of last year, Mersing's industries are still having trouble.
Even island hopping has lost its appeal.
After Hari Raya, we intend to meet with the state government to discuss how to increase traffic in the neighbourhood.
He continued, "The bulk of tourism operators are having difficulty maintaining their regular business operations and paying their employees on time.