Johor’s only international airport, the Senai International Airport received 90 passengers at its arrival from Ho Chi Minh city via AirAsia’s direct flight on 1st April 2022, the day the borders reopened nationwide after being closed for two years since 2020 as a precautionary act to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC), Datuk Seri Dr Santhara JP, Solehuddin Ahmad, Director of Tourism Malaysia Southern Region along with Director of Tourism Johor, Tuan Haji Suhairi Hashim, and Senai International Airport representatives, greeted 90 passengers on the first international flight, Flight AK1491 from Ho Chi Minh City (SGN), departing from Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Vietnam.
A Malaysian citizen arriving at Senai airport on the first flight of the border reopening day, Lee Kong Wah, 54, a supervisor of a manufacturing company in Vietnam was elated to finally meet his family at Taman Pulai Indah, Johor Bahru, after two years of communicating only through video calls from abroad after the international border was closed to curb the COVID-19 spread. Vaccinated and boosted, Lee shared that the situation in Vietnam is a lot less strict with many of the people in the said country having been vaccinated thus allowing him to arrive in the country through the first flight.
“In order to stay competitive, Johor has started preparations engaging with various industry players by providing training, encouragement, and so on,” said Suhairi at a press conference.
“Previously, homestays lagged behind, but this year we will attempt to intensify promotions as Johor has 27 village locations that may be developed as pioneer projects to grow the homestay industry,” he added.
In the meantime, Dr Santhara stated that the reopening of the borders would benefit the tourism sector in Johor.
Malaysia closed its international borders on the 18th of March 2020 as a measure to curb the COVID-19 spread and had reopened again on the 1st of April 2022.