JOHOR BAHRU: The Sanrio Hello Kitty Town theme park will close down on Jan 1, but this is unlikely to have a major impact on Johor's tourist arrivals, said Liow Cai Tung, who chairs the committee in charge of state tourism, women, family and community development.
“I believe it (the closure) will only have a small impact on the Visit Johor Year 2020 campaign (kicking off on Jan 1) and will not affect overall tourist arrivals to the state,” Ms Liow was quoted as saying by Malay Mail on Wednesday (Oct 2).
“The state government does not depend on one particular type of tourism product,” she added.
Ms Liow was responding to reports that overall tourist arrivals in the southern state may dip after the indoor theme park in Puteri Harbour closes its doors.
She also said that Johor has other new destinations planned, including the Desaru Coast area.
“Besides that, Johor is also promoting eco-tourism as well as nature-based tourism and medical tourism.”
The Johor Raya assemblyman added that the decision to cease operations was made by a private company and the state government respected the decision.
“I understand that the theme park is closing due to a lack of response over the last few years,” said Ms Liow, according to Malay Mail.
The RM110 million (US$26.2 million) theme park opened its doors in 2012, but has struggled to attract visitors.
Meanwhile, it was earlier reported that Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah is considering selling Asia's first Legoland located in the Johor state.