ISKANDAR PUTERI: The state government intends to make Johor a sports tourism hub, especially after becoming a favoured destination for the organisation of several international sports tournaments.
Johor Youth, Sports, Entrepreneur Development, Cooperatives and Human Resources Committee chairman Mohd Hairi Mad Shah (pix) said the tournament included L’Etape Johor by Tour De France which entered its second year of organisation with a target of 6,000 participants from home and abroad this year.
“The organisation of L’Etape Johor will elevate Johor as a sports tourism hub, not only in Malaysia but also in Southeast Asia due to its strategic location and close proximity to Singapore and Indonesia.
“Through the organisation of L’Etape, we want participants to not just come here to race, but also to experience our culture,” he said when launching L’Etape Johor at the Johor Velodrome here today.
Also present were Johor deputy state secretary (sports, youth and volunteers) Datuk On Jabbar and Johor Tourism director Suhairi Hashim.
L’Étape Johor is an annual mass cycling event that allows amateur cyclists to race on the same route as the Tour de France stages.
L’Etape Johor, which is scheduled to take place on July 8, involves a race route of 60 kilometres and 140km featuring five categories including individual, team and elite.
Meanwhile, Suhairi said Johor is ready to become the national sports tourism hub because it has various equipment and sports facilities in addition to receiving various offers to host international-level tournaments.
“In the pursuit of tourism, so far we have tried to focus on sports. As we can see, apart from motoring, there is cycling as well as other sports of particular interest in Johor.
“We will be able to attract many participants from foreign countries… (as) Johor already has many sports facilities that support this industry,” he said. –Bernama