Johor's F&B Industry Is Failing Because Singaporean Tourists Aren't Visiting

Singaporeans made 10.62 million visits to Malaysia last year, which is a drop of 14.7% compared to 2017.

Singaporean tourists have been avoiding Johor Bahru due to ongoing tensions between both countries and immigration delays

The Malaysian Insight reported on Tuesday, 2 April, that Johor's food and beverage (F&B) industry has been affected as a result of the decline in tourists. 

Additionally, Singaporeans have been put off by the long queues at the immigration checkpoints.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via The Straits Times

Singaporeans made 10.62 million visits to Malaysia last year, which is a drop of 14.7% compared to 2017

According to the report, the plunge caused Malaysia to miss its target of 26.4 million tourist arrivals for 2018, as it had recorded only 25.83 million visitors.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via The Straits Times

Malaysia-Singapore Coffee Shop Proprietors' General Association president Ho Su Mong told The Malaysian Insight that businesses have been affected by the decline of tourists

According to Mong, businesses have seen a decrease of up to 30%.

"Besides the overcrowded checkpoints and long waiting hours, the ongoing tensions between the two countries also have an effect.

"Many choose not to come here because of problems between the countries," he said, adding that he does not understand why it takes so long to clear immigration at Johor.

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Image via Okolimg

Echoing his sentiments, Federation of Hawkers and Petty Traders' Association Malaysia president Yow Boon Chuan said that hawkers in Johor have been complaining about the decline since early this year

"Business has been bleak since Chinese New Year (CNY) because of decreasing tourist numbers and the economic downturn," he was quoted as saying by The Malaysian Insight.

Coffee shops in Melaka, another hotspot for Singaporeans, have also been reportedly affected by the lack of tourists.

The dispute between both countries is in reference to the Malaysian government making Singapore pay more for raw water supply from Johor

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Image via Channel NewsAsia

Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association president Albert Tan Sam Soon added that the decline in Singaporean tourist arrivals could also be due to low airfare, which allows them to fly to Penang, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia instead.

The Straits Times reported Tourism Malaysia director-general Musa Yusof previously saying that the declining number may be caused by congestion on the Causeway, and Singaporeans' increasing preference for a "new and different experience".

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