JOHOR BARU: The state government wants to encourage young entrepreneurs, especially those who are talented in making handicraft, to sell their products through Ole-Ole Johor Centre here.
State Tourism, Trade and Consumerism committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said the centre would provide a better platform for these innovative entrepreneurs to market their products to a wider market, especially to domestic and foreign tourists.
He stressed that since 2012, the number of tourists coming and staying in Johor has steadily increased, where tourism products as well as attractive packages were the main attraction for them to come into the southern part of Malaysia.
“There is a huge demand among tourists to buy Johor based souvenirs or ole-ole to give to their friends or keep as a remembrance after staying in the state,” he said after officiating the centre located within Kraf Johor Complex here on Monday.
He added that Singaporeans still ranked the highest number of foreign tourists followed by Indonesians and Chinese while there was also an increased number coming from the Middle East.
Tee also said with direct flights into Senai International Airport from China, the number of Chinese tourists was expected to jump even higher.
“We came up with the Ole-Ole Centre after the Johor strategic marketing focus group discussion plan (2016-2020) under the state Tourism Department back in January this year.
“The centre, which is a pilot project by the state government, was an initiative to develop products needed to spur the tourism industry here even further,” he said, adding that there were at least 30 entrepreneurs who market their various products through the centre.
He also said besides becoming a platform to market such products, the Ole-Ole Johor Centre was also a tourism information centre that allowed tourists to get various information relating to the state.
Tee added that if the centre becomes a success, it would be extended to other districts that have high tourist arrivals.
“The Ole-Ole Johor Centre is open daily between 10am and 6pm.
“We would like to encourage local industry players to send their brochures to us to help promote their products to the tourists,” he said.