Saturday, May 28, 2016

Nazri Officiates At 'Magic Of The Night 2016' In Putrajaya

image: MOTAC facebook.
PUTRAJAYA, May 27 (Bernama) -- Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz officiated at the 'Magic of the Night 2016' at the Anjung Floria in Precinct 4, here, this evening, in conjunction with the Royal Floria Putrajaya 2016 festival.

The colourful lights event, organised by the Tourism and Culture Ministry, will see the lake at Precinct 4 glittering with a parade of a flotilla of 14 decorated boats for the next eight days after the start this evening.

A statement from the ministry said the event, organised for the sixth time, managed to attract thousands of visitors to the federal government administrative centre to watch the three-kilometre procession.

It said the public would have the opportunity to watch the boats decorated with retro-styled Malaysian tourism icons.

The flotilla parade is participated by 14 teams from Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Selangor, Terengganu, Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, Penang, Putrajaya Holdings and Tourism Malaysia.

The parade starts for an hour from 9pm daily throughout the festival and the boats will anchor off at 11 pm to allow the public to take pictures.

The boats will compete for several titles including Best Overall Boat, Most Creative Boat, Boat with Best Decorative Lights, and Most Popular Boat.

Members of the public can cast their votes for the Most Popular Boat through the ministry's Facebook account at https://www.facebook.com/mymotac beginning tomorrow until June 4 by noon.

The event also features cultural performances by the participating states, as well as dancers from Istana Budaya every night.

-bernama.

Tourism Malaysia pilih 35 blogger promosi destinasi pelancongan


KUALA LUMPUR 27 Mei - Bagi mempromosikan destinasi pelancongan terkenal di Lembah Klang, Tourism Malaysia mengambil pendekatan memilih seramai 35 blogger tempatan termasuk luar negara menyertai program ‘Eat.Travel.Doodle’ 2016.

Pengarah Bahagian Promosi Domestik Tourism Malaysia, Iskandar Mirza Mohd. Yusof berkata, pihaknya mengadakan Strategi Lautan Biru Kebangsaan (NBOS) bersama Majalah Gaya Travel agar blogger yang dipilih dapat menulis dan memuat naik gambar destinasi menarik di blog mereka untuk mempromosikan pelbagai kawasan pelancongan utama khususnya di sekitar Kuala Lumpur dan Putrajaya.

“Gaya penulisan blogger yang dibarisi generasi baharu itu dilihat berupaya menarik kedatangan pelancong seperti ke Festival Floria Putrajaya bermula 27 hingga 4 Jun 2016 manakala Magic Of the Night berlangsung hari ini hingga 29 Mei 2016.

“Sepanjang tiga hari ini, blogger tersebut akan dibawa ke tempat-tempat tumpuan pelancong seperti Dataran Merdeka, Muzium Tekstil Negara, Kuala Lumpur City Gallery serta dibawa menaiki bas istimewa Hop-On Hop-Off ke seluruh kota raya Kuala Lumpur,” katanya selepas merasmikan ‘Eat.Travel.Doodle’ Magic Of the Night 2016 di Menara Kuala Lumpur di sini hari ini.

Program ‘Eat.Travel.Doodle’ 2016 yang diadakan kali keenam itu telah menarik minat blogger serta media luar negara seperti Brunei, Indonesia, Filipina serta United Kingdom yang menjadikan Malaysia sebagai satu destinasi pelancongan di Asia Tenggara.

“Kita bersama Majalah Gaya Travel memilih penulis blog yang aktif, mempunyai pengikut yang ramai di laman sosial serta artis yang boleh mencoretkan lukisan ketika mengunjungi destinasi pelancongan sepanjang program berkenaan.

“Tourism Malaysia turut berharap kerjasama ini melibatkan pengamal media tempatan agar turut mempromosikan kawasan menarik, selaras dengan hasrat Kementerian Pelancongan dan Kebudayaan Malaysia yang menyasarkan kedatangan pelancong seramai 30.5 juta orang pada tahun ini.

“Kita berharap mendapat impak positif daripada program seperti ini dan mengalukan mana-mana agensi untuk bekerjasama dengan Tourism Malaysia bagi mempromosikan kawasan pelancongan di negara ini,” ujarnya.
-utusan online.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Magic Of The Night 2016 - 14 Creatively Decorated Boats Set To Sail For 9 Nights At Putrajaya Lake


PUTRAJAYA, 26 May 2016 Magic of the Night (MOTN) makes its comeback this year with 14 boats set to sail for nine (9) nights on the serene Putrajaya Lake, beginning tomorrow.

Themed “Retro Magic,” MOTN 2016 will feature the revival of contemporary objects and trends of the previous era through the styling, graphics, colours, motifs, music and history embedded in the designs of the boats.
Organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC), this 6th edition of MOTN is held simultaneously with the Royal Floria Putrajaya, beginning 27 May until 4 June 2016 at Anjung Floria, Precinct 4, Putrajaya.
Participating in this year’s MOTN are all the states in Malaysia (except Perlis, Labuan and Kuala Lumpur) as well as Tourism Malaysia and Putrajaya Corporation. These boats will also be competing in four categories, namely Overall Best Boat, Most Creative, Best Lighted and Most Popular which is voted by the public.
STATE

1. Negeri Sembilan

2. Perak
3. Selangor
4. Terengganu
5. Pulau Pinang
6. Johor
7. Kedah
8. Kelantan
9. Melaka
10. Pahang
11. Sabah
12. Sarawak
ORGANISATION


13. Putrajaya Corporation

14. Tourism Malaysia

The public can vote for their favorite boat via ballot boxes that will be provided around MOTN 2016 site or they can go online to vote via MOTAC official Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mymotac beginning 28 May 2016 (Saturday) until 12.00 pm 4 June 2016 (Saturday).
MOTAC is also organizing the MOTN 2016 Photography Contest, from 27 May until 31 May 2016. Participation forms and the terms and conditions for the contest can be downloaded from www.motac.gov.my/motn16. The winners will be announced on 3 June 2016 (Friday).
MOTN 2016 Photography Contest offers cash prizes as seen in the table below.
PRIZES FOR MOTN 2016 PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST
First Place
RM1,000
Second Place
RM800
Third Place
RM600
Consolation Prizes (5 winners)
RM300
Photos and forms can be submitted by hand or in CDs at MOTN 2016’s site from 8.30pm until 11.00pm on 31 May 2016.
The MOTN 2016 boat parade will begin at 9.00 pm until 10.00 pm every day for the whole 9 days. The boats will then be on a static display until 11.00 pm to enable the public to take pictures.
MOTN 2016 will be officiated by the Minister of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz on 27 May 2016 (Friday).

For more information, contact Corporate Communications Unit, Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia. Tel: 603-8000 8000.Email:info@motac.gov.my or visit www.motac.gov.my
-Tourism Malaysia.

Royal FLORIA Putrajaya 2016 Set To Be Grander With Support From Smart Partners

The establishment of smart partnerships in organizing the Royal FLORIA Putrajaya has successfully enabled cooperative linkages to be established with 32 agencies that are committed toward the success of the festival.


At a function to introduce Royal FLORIA Putrajaya 2016 Smart Partners, YBhg Datuk Seri Hj Hasim Hj Ismail, the President of Putrajaya Corporation, organizers of Royal FLORIA Putrajaya said, ‘Corporative linkages in the form of smart partnerships with other agencies and corporate bodies has helped reduce the cost borne by the government to organize the event, while enabling FLORIA to be self-sufficient. As such, FLORIA serves as an ideal platform for these agencies to promote their services and products, while educating the public on the importance of appreciating and conserving the natural environment.
While offering the opportunity for various agencies and corporate bodies to participate in developing FLORIA as a key tourism product for Putrajaya, such cooperative linkages also helped to foster a sense of belonging among these agencies and corporations in giving their highest commitment to ensure the successful organization of Royal FLORIA Putrajaya this year,” he added.
During the promotional event, Hotel Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside was introduced as a smart partner of Royal FLORIA Putrajaya, with the signing of a contract to be the “Official Partner Hotel”of Royal FLORIA Putrajaya for three years.
Themed ‘The Magical World of FLORIA’, the Royal FLORIA Putrajaya 2016, organized by Putrajaya Corporation with the support of the Ministries of Federal Territories, Tourism and Culture and Tourism Malaysia, promises to serve up a magnificent exhibition comprising attractions like the Mystical Forest, Chrysanthemum Garden, Mermaid’s World and Candy Courtyard to captivate visitors.
Royal FLORIA Putrajaya is a flower and garden festival organized by Putrajaya Corporation (PPj) since 2007. It has become an annual attraction at Putrajaya since 2009 following tremendous reception from visitors. The festival showcases commercial products from the horticulture and landscaping industry, garden shows, garden designers’ demonstrations and local and foreign floral displays amidst sprawling enchanting garden settings.
Royal FLORIA Putrajaya will be opened to the public from May 27 to June 4 2016 from 9.00 am to 10.30pm (Monday to Thursday) and from 9.00am to 12.00am (Friday to Sunday).
Please access the website: www.floriaputrajaya.com.my for further information.
-Royal Floria Putrajaya website.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

AirAsia X To Offer KL-Mauritius Direct Flights From Oct 4

KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 (Bernama) -- AirAsia X Bhd today announced Mauritius as the latest destination to its growing route network, offering direct flights from Kuala Lumpur three times a week.

Chief Executive Officer Benyamin Ismail said in line with the announcement, the airline was offering a promotional all-in-fare from as low as RM299 one-way for standard seats and from RM999 one-way for premium flatbeds seats.

The promotional fares are available for online booking from May 26 to June 5, for travel period from Oct 4 until May 22 next year.

"We are sure the announcement of this route with the promotional fare will definitely excite the market, especially here in Malaysia," he told a press conference after the launch of the latest destination here, today.

Benyamin said the flight announcement to Mauritius was also perfectly timed as it connected all the points in the company's vast network across Asia and Australia using the FlyThru service.

He also said AirAsia X would begin operating flights to Hawaii soon after getting the regulatory approvals from the United States.

"We've done everything on our side...just waiting because the process for approvals often take longer than expected, particularly for an airline group that does not have any prior experience with the US market," he added.

Meanwhile, Benjamin was optimistic that AirAsia X would be able to sustain its profitable growth this year.

"The management is very confident and the aim is to maintain this positive momentum," he said, adding AirAsia X was optimistic of achieving higher profit by year-end.

Yesterday, AirAsia X announced a pre-tax profit of RM218.52 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016 compared with a pre-tax loss of RM117.28 million a year ago.

Revenue jumped to RM970.67 million from RM775.37 million, mainly due to the increase in passenger traffic and growth in average base fare.

-bernama.

E-Visa Draws 647,344 Tourists From China - Nazri

KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 (Bernama) - The electronic visa (e- visa) programme for tourists from China drew some 647,344 tourists to this country from January to April this year.

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said the figure shows an increase from 352,575 tourists over the corresponding period last year.

"The e-visa and electronic tourist registration and information (ENTRI) programmes have drawn more Chinese tourists to this country.

"We are confident the target of four million Chinese tourists this year can be achieved," he said in rely to a supplementary question from Anthony Loke Siew Fook (DAP-Seremban) who asked about the status of e-visa for tourists from China in the Dewan Rakyat, here today.

The e-visa and ENTRI programmes to increase tourist arrivals from China was officially launched in Beijing on March 1.

From March 1 to Dec 31 this year, Chinese tourists can enter Malaysia with ease as they can apply for visa online and print out the e-visa.

E-visa is for those who stay not more 30 days by paying processing fee of 200 yuan (RM128) while ENTRI is for those who stay not more 15 days by paying processing fee of 160 yuan (RM102).

Replying to a question from Loke on a tiff between Tourism Malaysia and AirAsia at 4th International Tourism Expo in China recently, Nazri said a meeting would be held to discuss the issue on Monday.

"A committee will be established to investigate the incident and make recommendations to the minister for further action," he said.

Media reports said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai demanded an explanation from Tourism Malaysia chairman Wee Choo Keong for allegedly ordering the removal of AirAsia bunting from the expo.

The move prompted reaction from AirAsia chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes who questioned the move on his Facebook page.

-bernama.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

8,000 pelancong dijangka kunjungi Taman Negara Kelantan


KEINDAHAN Taman Negara Kelantan Kuala Koh di Gua Musang sehingga April lalu berjaya menarik 5,000 pengunjung. UTUSAN/AIMUNI TUAN LAH

GUA MUSANG 23 Mei – Jabatan Perlindungan Hi­dupan Liar dan Taman Negara (Perhilitan) negeri menyasarkan seramai 8,000 pengunjung melawat Taman Negara Kuala Koh di sini sehingga hujung tahun ini.

Pengarahnya, Mohammad Khairi Ahmad berkata, pihaknya yakin sasaran itu mampu dicapai kerana berdasarkan rekod sejak bulan Januari hingga April tahun ini, seramai 5,000 orang telah mengunjungi taman berkenaan.

Katanya, lebih setahun lalu Taman Negara Kuala Koh telah ditenggelami banjir pada hujung Disember 2014 sehingga menyebabkan kerosakan pelbagai infrastruktur.

“Selepas dilanda banjir, Taman Negara Kuala Koh terpaksa ditutup selama setahun untuk proses membaik pulih infrastruktur sehingga mengalami kemerosotan bilangan pe­ngunjung.

“Kami menerima peruntukkan sebanyak RM2.04 juta bagi memulihkan se­gala kemudahan seperti chalet, jalan, jambatan dan bangunan yang terdapat di Taman Negara ini bagi keselesaan pengunjung,” katanya di sini hari ini.

Menurut Mohamad Khai­ri, Taman Negara Kuala koh telah kembali dibuka mulai Januari lalu dan bilangan pengunjung begitu menggalakkan sama ada dari dalam mahu pun luar negara.

“Tahun ini merupakan Tahun Melawat Kelantan dan Taman Negara Kuala Koh merupakan satu destinasi pelancongan utama yang dikenali umum.

“Pengunjung bukan sa­haja dapat meneroka ke­pelbagaian flora dan fauna tetapi pelbagai kegiatan lasak yang kita tawarkan di sini.

“Antara yang menarik tum­puan pengunjung ke Taman Negara Kuala Koh ialah di sini terdapat dua batang sungai iaitu Sungai Lebir dan Sungai Koh yang merupakan syurga ikan air tawar kepada para pemancing,” katanya.
-utusan online.

http://www.wildlife.gov.my/index.php/en/taman-negara-kelantan.html

Malaysia Takes Home Two TRAVVY AWARDS In New York


PUTRAJAYA, 20 May 2016 – Malaysia added another feather in its cap when it took home two Travvy Awards for the Best City Destination – Asia and the Best Culinary Destination – Asia. Presented by travAlliancemedia, the award ceremony was held on 6 January at New York City’s Gotham Hall.
The annual Travvy Awards, known as the Academy Awards of the travel industry, recognise the highest standards of excellence in the travel industry and honour travel companies, travel products, travel agencies, and destinations for their outstanding achievement.
Travel suppliers, destinations and individuals from all over the world are eligible to submit their nominations to be considered for the honour of being recognised as an innovator in the industry.
This year, nearly 40,000 travel professionals voted on their favourites which determined the 2016 Travvy Awards winners. These winners were honoured during an awards dinner and presentation attended by the finalists, industry leaders and travel professionals.
For more information, a breakdown of categories and to view the full list of winners, please visit www.TravvyAwards.com
ABOUT THE TRAVVY AWARDS
The annual Travvy Awards, presented by travAlliancemedia, recognise the highest standards of excellence in the travel industry and honour travel companies, travel products, travel agencies and destinations for their outstanding achievement – consider it the Academy Awards of the travel industry. Over 39,000 agents — who sell the vast majority of these trips to tens of millions of consumers yearly — vote and award the very best in the travel industry. This represents the largest database of the nation’s foremost leisure-selling, independent travel agents in the country. The selections by agents reflect suppliers and destinations they believe provide the best overall service to their clients. For more information, please visit www.TravvyAwards.com
-Tourism Malaysia.

Royal FLORIA Putrajaya & Magic of The Night 2016 Tour Packages ( 27 May ~ 4 June 2016 ) - UPDATE

-Tourism Malaysia.

Monday, May 23, 2016

2016 Formula 1 Malaysia Grand Prix ( 30 September ~ 2 October 2016 )


The 18th edition of the 2016 FORMULA 1 MALAYSIA GRAND PRIX is held from 30 September to 2 October 2016, the first time it has been moved in the F1 calendar for many years. Coming right after the Singapore F1 Grand Prix, the race offers a unique double F1 treat in Southeast Asia.
With an exciting cluster of events throughout the race week, including a demo run, auto carnival, fan engagement programmes with the drivers, and a spectacular post-race concert, the newly redefined F1 is not to be missed! 
Families looking forward to soaking up the thrills at Sepang can enjoy an improved family-friendly activities at the circuit with the ever popular X-track returning on popular demand, showcasing motorsports-themed thrills such as drifting, rallying, go-karting, ATV rides and more, for fans of all ages.
Get your tickets from:

-AirAsia RedTix.

Park Hotel Group to make Malaysian debut


Park Hotel Group will open its first hotel in Malaysia with a Malacca property scheduled to open in the first half of 2019.

The group signed a management contract for Park Hotel Melaka with a subsidiary of Malaysian developer Jaya Mapan last Friday, marking a step forward in the group’s Asia-Pacific expansion following the opening of Park Hotel Nusa Dua in Indonesia late last year.

Featuring 245 keys over 16 storeys, the new property will sit alongside retail outlets, offices, and serviced apartments that form mixed-use development The Green, located in the entertainment and business district of Kota Laksamana.

Facilities at the new-build hotel include a bistro, rooftop bar, infinity pool, sauna, gymnasium and meeting spaces for 30-100 pax.

Attractions such as the historical A’Famosa fortress, St Paul’s Church and Baba and Nyonya Museum are 10 minutes away, while the commercial area in Melaka Raya is within five minutes from the hotel.

Commenting on the significance of Malacca in the group’s expansion strategy, Allen Law, Park Hotel Group’s CEO, said: “Malaysia’s international tourist arrivals increased from 16 to 26 million over the last 10 years... and Malacca, as its historical city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site will receive increased attention and visits as it continues to develop.”

Mohd Rafin, Park Hotel Group's chief corporate officer, added that Malacca is a major destination that the government is “putting a lot of efforts in”, pointing to upcoming developments such as the 609-acre Melaka Gateway precinct.

As well, Park Hotel Melaka will open in time to benefit from the expected increase in tourist footfall after the launch of Impression Melaka in 2018, a famed musical production to be performed outside China for the first time, added Rafin.

The group, which operates 11 hotels in Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China and Japan, hopes to grow its portfolio by “two to three hotels per year”, with Park Hotel Farrer Park in Singapore set to open this year and a new property in Australia's Adelaide slated for 2018.

South Korea is likely to be the next market in line, shared the group with reporters last week.
-TTG Asia.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Use Natural Heritage In Campuses To Create Tourism Packages - Idris Jusoh

SINTOK, May 22 (Bernama) -- Public universities in Malaysia are encouraged to use the natural heritage in campuses to create educational and ecotourism products that are able to attract local and foreign tourists.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the universities would also able to generate revenue through optimising their natural assets.

"Maybe it is more towards educational tourism, where informal education is provided for visitors," he said after launching Discover UUM 2016 here, today.

He said although UUM is located in a remote area in the north, it had made wise use of surrounding natural resources to attract visitors.

"Although it is located quite far away, UUM has tourism products such as a deer farm and a pet farm with ostriches, geese, and ducks," he said.

UUM, which houses over 20,000 students, also has a 1,061-acre jungle named Hutan Sintok, which is thousands of years old.

It has over 3,000 sandalwood trees and centuries-old trees known as the 'Three Siblings', which would delight nature lovers.

Meanwhile, UUM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Seri Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said over one million visitors are expected to attend Discover UUM 2016, which offers over 15 tour packages.

UUM has recorded 300,000 visitors since January and expects to generate revenue of up to RM5 million, said Mohamed.

The packages include Sintok package, Cengal package, Students package, recreation and tourism packages.

Visitors will be taken around UUM to see attractions such as the ostrich and deer parks, golf course, go-kart circuit, in addition to jungle trekking activities.

At the event, UUM also launched UUMWiFi, which offers free Wi-Fi for local communities in four locations around Changlun and Sintok.

-bernama.
http://ebrochures.malaysia.travel/storage/myfile/ebrochures/20160121142654%7Cadmin/101edutourism//index.html#54

Italian Grand Prix Concludes Difficult Weekend For DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team


Mugello, Italy – Sunday 22nd May
Circuit: Autodromo del Mugello
Circuit Length: 5.2 km
The DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team concluded a difficult weekend at the Italian Grand Prix with riders Jakub Kornfeil and Adam Norrodin finishing in 17th and 22nd place.
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“Morning Warm Up was very good today, with Jakub especially; we found a very good setting that he liked. In the race Jakub made a great start and passed many riders on the first lap; by lap two he was ninth. Then suddenly we saw that he started to go backwards and was losing position after position throughout the race. He never really lost contact with the leading pack but he couldn’t make it to the front and was always at the back of the group. We could see that he made many mistakes running wide and going too tight into corners. He would gain some positions and then lose them again very quickly. Unfortunately today we are not satisfied at all. We were very confident this morning that we could fight in the top five and it didn’t happen.
Adam had a big crash yesterday so he was very sore in his body today. The target for him was just to finish the race, which he did. After the crashes he’s had it was more important for him to build his confidence back up on the bike and find his rhythm. It was not a great race in terms of times and position but it allowed him to gain some more experience and rebuild a more positive momentum. We will work through some more things with him here again tomorrow at the test, so we are as prepared as possible for Barcelona.”
#84 Jakub Kornfeil: P17
“This morning we found a very good setting in the Warm Up and I really enjoyed riding. I went alone and made some good laps before finishing the session in fourth. After such a difficult weekend, struggling to be there from the start, I really felt like we’d made a big step and were prepared for the race. I had such a good feeling with the set-up in the morning, so I was positive about a good result today.
All I can say is that I was losing positions and I couldn’t pass anybody and make it stick; I couldn’t outbreak anyone. I felt as if I was always having to fight with the bike, with the people and it was very difficult. The only positive was the first lap when I overtook a lot of riiders to claim ninth place.
We have to forget this race as soon as possible; it was horrible. Okay 2.2 seconds behind the leader is not so bad, but 17th position is not acceptable.”
#7 Adam Norrodin: P22
“After a big crash yesterday the Warm Up session was quite hard because I had a lot of pain in my hand. I tried to just forget about it as much as possible, release my stress and just concentrate on the race. We started quite far back on the grid so my main focus was to finish the race and gain as many places as possible. In the first corner I got pushed out so it was not the best start for me. I found myself in a group of four; I tried to push more to pass them but they were all struggling to pass each other, so I didn’t have so many places to make a move. I would pass them in the corners and then they would just pass me back on the straight. Being in this group meant that we lost all contact with the rest of the field. We could see the others go so I wanted that we all just focussed on catching them first but instead everyone just kept fighting; this is why we lost so much time. I knew then that the group I was in was as far forward as I was going to get, so I just stayed back and concentrated on how I would pass them all on the last lap. I managed to win the battle which was good and finished 22nd but I’m very disappointed with the result; we should have been better. We have struggled quite a lot the whole weekend here so now we need to reset and refocus our attentions ahead of Catalonia.”

-SIC Racing Team facebook.
PelanconganKini supports DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team.


Note: DRIVE M7 merchandises are available at http://www.m7shop.com/home.aspx

Drive/M7 x Nicky Hayden 69 merchandises also now available.
New Drive M7 Vitamin Drink will be available soon.

Passion for travel takes Mirza to the top

Tourism Malaysia has done a lot to promote the country as one of the top holiday destinations in ASEAN. Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab has led the promotional arm of the Tourism and Culture Ministry since 2006. The 58-year-old travel enthusiast turned his passion into a career opportunity the moment he enrolled for a diploma in tourism administration in 1976.

“I have always enjoyed travelling since I was young. When I was in school, I used to enjoy camping and cycling. I used to cycle all the way from my hometown in Bagan Serai to Kuala Lumpur. “I like adventure. Surely when you work in the tourism industry, all these come as part of the products you feature. “Everybody likes to travel and when I saw the tourism course being offered, I thought to myself this might be an opportunity for me to take up a career in travel,” Mirza told Business Times in an interview.

Mirza joined the then Tourist Development Corp in 1982, and there was no turning back. Being in the agency for more than three decades has taken Mirza all over the world as he and his team work hard to promote Malaysia. His job took him to Germany where he became Tourism Malaysia’s director of Frankfurt office in 1989. He was responsible for tourism promotional activities in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland.

In 1995, Mirza was appointed as director of its Tokyo office to oversee the Japanese market, which was the third-largest market for Malaysia at the time. “Tourism is a business where relationship matters and if you have been in the tourism industry long enough, you will realise that it is a field where experience matters a lot,” he said. Mirza has met and handled different kinds of challenges that come with the job.

The main challenge for Tourism Malaysia was that many people did not fully understand what the agency did, he said. “Travel and tourism is always regarded as fun. And fun, if it’s misread, can lead to wrong decisions. For example, when there is a budget cut, ours will be affected first because of the perception that other sectors such as food, health, education are more essential.” He added that when there was a budget cut, it would affect the agency’s promotional activities, which would then affect the industry as a whole as there would be a dip in travel demand and tourist arrivals.

The other challenge of being in the tourism industry is the difficulty in maintaining a routine lifestyle due to the constant travel. However, Mirza said being in the tourism field had brought him unforgettable memories, such as the World Cup football and rugby matches. “I don’t think I would have done that if I was not in this job. I also saw some other big events that were held in the past years. Every time it happens, I tell myself how lucky I am for being in this line. 

“More importantly, you can relate to every part of the world. We go to many places, we stay there and we learn so much about those places. I always tell my officers we see the best of everything and we deal with the best,” said Mirza.
-nst online.
http://www.malaysia.travel/en/my

MITA To Launch Sungai Batu-cradle Of Civilisation Southeast Asia Tourism Package

SUNGAI PETANI, May 21 (Bernama) -- In conjunction with the World Travel Market in London in November, the Malaysia Inbound Tourism Association (MITA) will be offering a new archaeo-tourism package called Sungai Batu-Cradle of Civilisation Southeast Asia.

MITA president Uzaidi Udanis said the package, aimed at promoting the Old Kedah-Sungai Batu civilisation which was over 2,000 years old, would be launched through a three-in-one concept including tour packages to Indonesia's Borobudur temple and Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

"We have met with all the tourism operators and agents concerned and we will share all our latest tourism products. The Sungai Batu archaeological site is the latest product that we will launch to tell the whole world about it.

"Let tourists know the cradle of civilisation in Southeast Asia. For tourists who want to visit Borobudur and Angkor Wat, we will include a tour package to Sungai Batu," he told reporters after the launch of the Kedah Tua International Conference 2016, here, Saturday.

The World Travel Market is a platform that will gather tourism industry players worldwide and provide them with opportunities to build networking as well as explore many areas of cooperation through their latest tourism products.

Meanwhile, the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority will set up a Tourism Career Club at a school in the vicinity of Sungai Batu, aimed at producing qualified tourist guides at the Sungai Batu civilisation site in future.

Its Education and Human Capital director Jariyah Hashim said through the establishment of the club, several Form 4 students would be selected to undergo a two-year training programme to enhance their ability to become qualified tourist guides at the oldest site of Southeast Asia civilisations.

-bernama.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Tough Qualifying For DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team Riders At Mugello


Mugello, Italy – Saturday 21st May
Circuit: Autodromo del Mugello
Circuit Length: 5.2 km
Bike #84 – Jakub Kornfeil
QP: P16; 1’58.375 – 15 laps
Bike #7 – Adam Norrodin
QP: P31; 1’59.453 – 15 laps
Saturday at Mugello saw a tough qualifying for DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team riders Jakub Kornfeil and Adam Norrodin, who will start tomorrows Italian Grand Prix from 16th and 31st position.
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“It was not the qualifying we were expecting here at Mugello.
This morning Adam had a big crash and for sure he was hurting in qualifying, which makes it very difficult to come back. He should have been faster today but now we have to just focus on building up his confidence again in Warm Up tomorrow and then he has to try his best in the race. He can still push from that position and go with a group.
Jakub struggled from the beginning of qualifying today. He had a good pace in the morning but this afternoon he just wasn’t there. He never really got himself into a group where he could push himself and fight for better positions. Sixteenth on the grid is not what we want but I know he can still make a good race from there. Nothing is over until the chequered flag comes out.”
#84 Jakub Kornfeil 
“This morning in FP3 I felt quite good; we made some big steps forward and I achieved my quickest time of the weekend with a 1m58s time, so I was confident in qualifying that I could go even faster. Unfortunately in QP I couldn’t find my good rhythm on the bike. I managed to go with a group in the second half of the session and I was able to improve my time but then on the last run there was just too much traffic and I couldn’t go any faster. I stayed there until the last lap but then I ended up leading the group and everyone kept passing me. I’m disappointed for 16th position but the times are so close and I know we can still have a good race tomorrow; I feel positive.”
#7 Adam Norrodin
“Today the conditions were a lot better. I started pushing hard from the beginning of FP3 and we were not so far off the pace; I was in a good rhythm. We then put in a new tyre but already on the out lap I could feel that there was not so much grip. I carried on pushing but then I high-side. It was quite a big crash and I hurt myself a bit. For qualifying I wanted to just stay calm and concentrate on my riding. Over this weekend we have lost a lot of laps and I feel this has really affected my performance in Qualifying. I was able to improve my lap time but it wasn’t enough to hold onto a good position. The results look bad because we are quite far back on the grid but I’m not going to let this affect me. I will try my very best to make a good start in the race tomorrow and go with a group. I will fight to gain as many places as possible!”
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