Theme park to spur more tourism developments in Iskandar

LEGOLAND Malaysia will be among the first leisure and tourism products to be completed in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, a region that is three times the size of Singapore.

The theme park is within Medini Iskandar Malaysia, a mixed-use development in Iskandar Malaysia that is being developed by Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB).

Spread over 31 hectares and built at a cost of RM720 million (US$236 million), Legoland’s first park in Asia will feature over 40 rides, shows and attractions targeting children from two to 12 years old.

Of the million visitors it expects to attract in the first year, some 60 per cent are likely to be domestic travellers, said Muhammad Zainal Ashikin, CEO of IDR Resorts, a member of IIB.

Siegfried Boerst, senior director of operations, said the priority was to hire 50 pre-operation staff this year, out of which 13 would focus on coming up with a detailed marketing plan to reach out to the trade and general public.

“We hope to be able to talk to the trade and bring them here by summer,” Boerst told TTG Asia e-Daily, adding that promotions by agents may involve “some cost-sharing”.

Meanwhile, sites next to Legoland have been earmarked for a themed hotel and a business hotel, with incentives such as a 10-year corporate tax exemption and the ability to source capital globally being dangled. Work on a smaller indoor theme park nearby that will feature characters such as Bob the Builder and Barney has also started. Puteri Harbour, near Medini, will also be developed to allow cruiseliners to berth, providing a new source of visitors future attractions can tap.

IIB oversees the development of approximately two per cent of land in Iskandar Malaysia, which includes Medini and a 14.5km coastal highway that will connect Johor city centre to Medini in 15 minutes when it opens this year.

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