JOHOR: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said much more needs to be done if Iskandar Malaysia is to achieve its 2025 target of having a GDP of US$93.3 billion.

Mr Najib made these remarks after launching Traders Hotel and LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort - two catalytic projects located within the southern development corridor of Johor.

The planting of little Lego flags marked the official launch of LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort.

Together with Traders Hotel, the two are prized projects located within Iskandar Malaysia's flagship zone of Nusajaya.

"These latest offerings will further enhance the attraction of Iskandar Malaysia as a prime business and tourism destination in the region," said Mr Najib.

Strategically located in the waterfront precinct of Puteri Harbour, international hospitality brands are proving to be an effective catalyst aimed at luring visitors to the surrounding Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park.

Beyond these themed attractions, plans are underway for more, including KidZania Singapore which will be located at Palawan Beach on Sentosa Island.

Mr Ahmad Burhanuddin, managing director and CEO of Themed Attractions and Resorts, said: "We look at complimenting and supplementing the Singapore attractions as well. A lot of attractions have been built in Singapore. And we like to compliment and also supplement people who come.

"The gateway to Changi has been good. We also have KidZania Singapore, end of next year, early 2015 as well. We also are building Desaru as an attraction, with hotels, gold courses, water park and marine park as well.

"A lot of other developments are coming through and hopefully, we should be all ready by 2016. In Desaru, another 1,000 rooms are being built even as we speak now, so there are a lot of capacity building, highways and things like that."

What all this means is that Iskandar Malaysia now offers a wider choice of quality hotels both for Malaysians as well international tourists. The area can be accessed by land via the Tuas second link, by sea to Puteri Harbour ferry Terminal and Nusajaya's proximity to Senai International Airport.

This places Iskandar Malaysia in a good position for it to become a premium business and tourism destination in the region.

Mohamed Khaled Nordin, the chief minister of Johor, said: "I think we are moving in the right direction by having the hotel especially. We are fulfilling the absence of any place or hotel to be found within this area.

"And surely with the hotel, it will facilitate all those who require a place to stay maybe not only for business but also for those coming here to enjoy whatever that is being built especially the theme park and all those things.

"And including the LEGOLAND resort that we are opening today… it shows that when we talk about Iskandar, it is not about only development of property but also other sectors."

The opening of family resort hotels like these are critical to Iskandar Malaysia achieving its 2025 target of having three million people and creating close to 1.5 million jobs with Johoreans being the main beneficiaries.