Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Malaysian Gen Zer’s glamping venture takes root in Sabah

Cabana Retreat has been dubbed “the first pop-up beach resort in Malaysia”

Flenny Wong Cheng, 22, was first introduced to glamping during the first year of her three-year Bachelor of Media programme at the University of Adelaide. She quickly saw glamping as a viable business opportunity in her hometown of Kota Belud, Sabah, where there were no similar offerings.

She pitched her idea to her parents who supported her decision to quit her studies and pursue her dream of setting up a glamping venture in Sabah.

“Besides, they missed me and were glad I was coming home for good,” she recalled. Her parents and siblings also provided her with financial support to kick-start this new venture.

It took months of planning and getting the ground work done before Cabana Retreat opened to the public on February 1. It is located on Rampayan Beach in Kota Belud, about 70km from Kota Kinabalu, the state capital.

While the homepage on the official website describes Cabana Retreat as the first pop-up beach resort in Malaysia, there are no plans as yet to relocate as Wong had leased the site for a five-year period from the land owner.

She has set up 24 cotton canvas luxurious tents, custom-made in China. The tents are equipped with lighting, air-conditioning, pillows and mattresses, side tables and most basic amenities guests would expect from a hotel stay, including free Wi-Fi and daily housekeeping. While there are no TVs, movies are screened under the stars at the open cinema.

Said Wong: “We provide a luxurious way to enjoy the outdoors, while staying connected to family and friends.”

Half a year since opening, Wong describes business as being hectic, with high occupancies usually on weekends, school holidays and long public holidays.

“Our guests are mainly locals, young couples and families, and stays range from one to three nights. International guests are mostly from China and Europe. 

They like Kota Belud’s nature and activities like jet skiing, paddle boarding, banana boat rides, ATV rides and local tours to see the fireflies, Mantanani Island, and river cruises.”

Besides marketing through its website and social media, Wong partners inbound tour operators. She also has plans to add more tents and to entice investors to develop more activities in Kota Belud.
-TTG Asia.

Tambur Festival: new tourism product for Lahad Datu

LAHAD DATU, Oct 20 -- The Tambur Festival, which showcases the arts and cultural heritage of the various ethnics in the sub-district of Tungku, has the potential to become a new tourism product for the Lahad Datu district.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi, who opened the festival here today, said it should be made an annual event and organised on a larger scale, maybe for three to four days, next year.

The Tambur Festival is held for the first time this year at Dataran Tungku, about 69 kilometres from Lahad Datu town.

Mohamaddin, who is Lahad Datu Member of Parliament, said the festival would also be included in the state tourism calendar.

Tambur is a traditional musical instrument and often played during cultural performances and in the sub-district of Tungku, there are seven ethnic communities, comprising Idahaan, Begak, Bajau, Dusun Silabukan, Dusun Segamo, Tidung and Bugis

Meanwhile, Sabah Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Assaffal P Alian said the Sabah Institute of Development Studies (IDS) had been appointed as a consultant to carry out a feasibility study on upgrading Tungku as a full district.

“We also want IDS to come up with a development roadmap for Tungku,” said the Tungku assemblyman, adding that a report would be tabled to the state cabinet after IDS had completed the study.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Malaysia Promoted As Destination For Indian Weddings

KUALA LUMPUR, 16 OCTOBER 2019 – To promote Malaysia as the top-of-mind wedding destination to the Indian market, Tourism Malaysia has invited a total of 19 wedding planners and two media representatives from India for a wedding seminar and product inspections from 12 to 17 October.

They attended the wedding seminar at the Quill City Mall, here, today, where they were welcomed by the Deputy Director General (Promotion) of Tourism Malaysia, Y.Bhg. Dato' Mohmed Razip Hasan who presented them with a certificate of appreciation.

Before the seminar, the participants had the opportunity to visit the Langkawi Island for a familiarisation trip and product inspections. Among the hotels and resorts they visited included the Westin Langkawi, St. Regis Langkawi, Aloft Langkawi and Meritus Pelangi Langkawi.

In Kuala Lumpur, they visited the Gold Coast Avani Sepang, Palace of the Golden Horses and Sheraton Imperial Hotel. They also got the chance to visit Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan during their stay here.

During the seminar, the participants were briefed by Malaysian wedding planner, Mr. Vinod Tirathai followed by a presentation by Malaysia Airlines. The wedding planner from India, Mr. Mahesh Verma and Ms. Ruchika Bansal also delivered a presentation to share the market outlook for Indian weddings. All participants were invited for a business matching session before heading to Hotel Sheraton Imperial Hotel, Kuala Lumpur for an official dinner and a late night function.

The wedding destination seminar is a result of collaboration between Tourism Malaysia and the leading Indian wedding planners.

In 2018, Malaysia welcomed 600,311 tourists from India. As of June 2019, tourist arrivals from India registered a total of 354,486, a double-digit increase of 15.2% compared with the corresponding period last year.
-Tourism Malaysia.

Foreign envoys explore Sabah’s tourist attractions

The visitors getting a feel of Sabah’s ethnic Kadazandusun Sumazau dance during the tour.

SANDAKAN: Malaysia’s ambassador to Thailand, Datuk Jojie Samuel, led a group of Bangkok-based foreign envoys to Sabah as part of efforts to draw tourists in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2020.

The ambassadors Dr Phil Hager Eva (Austria), Fransico Patto Vaz Cunha E Morais (Portugal), Fernando Julio Antonio Quiros Campos (Peru), Joseph Anthony Cotter (Ireland), Stansilav Opoela (Slovakia), Jean-Paul Ernest Senniger (Luxemborg) and Kees Pieter Rade (the Netherlands) together with their spouses spent four days, three nights exploring Sabah.

The envoys familiarisation tour also saw over a dozen entrepreneurs from Thailand joining in the trip with a 31-member delegation.

The visit was part of an initiative by Samuel, with assistance from Tourism Malaysia in Bangkok and Dynamic Tours Travel & Incentive Sdn Bhd.

The aim of the trip was in line with Tourism Malaysia’s Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign and generate more traffic flow from Thailand to Sabah.

Air Asia provides direct flights between Bangkok and Kota Kinabalu three times weekly.

During their visit, the group was taken to see Mount Kinabalu Park, the War Memorial in Kundasang, Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary and Sunbear Conservation Centre in Sandakan.

The group also visited the war memorials in Sandakan and Ranau
for soldiers who died at the tail end of World War 2, when the allied forces liberated Sabah from the Japanese occupation.

The march from Sandakan and Ranau by the allied prisoners of war is infamously known as the Sandakan Death March.
-thestar online.

Friday, 18 October 2019

15,000 expected to attend 2019 Deepavali Open House in Ipoh

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 17 -- The 2019 Deepavali Open House to be held in Ipoh, Perak on Nov 16 is expected to draw 15,000 visitors.

Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) secretary-general Datuk Isham Ishak said various cultural events would be held in conjunction with the event to give visitors, especially foreign tourists an overview of the country’s cultural diversity in view of the approaching Visit Malaysia Year 2020 (VMY 2020).

“It is hoped that tourists from all over the world will come to Ipoh and see firsthand how we prepare for Deepavali, how it is celebrated and the activities that are held and view the Indian handicrafts.

“We can see that the open house events held earlier were very successful, in terms of inclusiveness and achieving the objectives,” he told the media after launching the MOTAC Rangoli ‘Kolam’ competition, here today.

According to Isham, Ipoh was chosen as the venue of the celebration this year as the Perak state government came forward by offering MOTAC contributions in terms of manpower and finances to make the programme a success.

About MOTAC’s preparation for the approaching VMY 2020 which is only two months away, Isham said the ministry had a meeting with all the tourism, arts and culture state excos to discuss cooperation and strategies to attract tourists to Malaysia.

“We have agreed that we will not compete among the states, but instead will help each other in making this a successful agenda for the country," he said.

Isham said MOTAC also launched the official song for VMY 2020 on Sept 6 and the official video was expected to be launched soon.

He said various programmes were also planned for VMY 2020 to show the world that there are various interesting locations and activities to explore in the country.

"We also encourage people to keep Malaysia clean, especially the public toilets, roads and tourist areas because we want to showcase our Malaysian hospitality, our friendliness, cleanliness and go the extra mile to welcome tourists,” he said.

Penang eyes Singapore market with Experience Penang 2020 campaign

Penang launches Experience Penang 2020 campaign with Singapore as one of its target markets; Pinang Peranakan Mansion in Penang, Malaysia pictured

Penang Global Tourism is looking to snare even stronger arrivals from Singapore – among the Malaysian destination’s top three source markets – with its new Experience Penang 2020 campaign and soon-to-come travel promotions with airlines and online travel agents.

At its campaign launch event held at Parkroyal on Beach Road in Singapore on Tuesday, Penang Global Tourism’s CEO Ooi Chok Yan revealed that plans to further grow arrivals from Singapore next year include creating loyalty programmes, as well as working on joint promotions with OTAs and airlines that operate flights between Singapore and Penang.

Penang Global Tourism will also intensify its branding and destination marketing through print and online advertising.

Singapore outbound agents that TTG Asia spoke to at the event said that leisure and corporate travel demand for Penang has climbed on the back of attractive airfares, a weak ringgit and new products and attractions.

Otto Gerard Ree, business development manager at Cultural & Entertainment Holidays, observed rising interest among Singaporean youths who favour nature and soft adventures in Penang. Fuelling the demand are return airfares that are priced “as low as S$148 (US$108)”.

For Vincent Tham, director at D’Address, Penang enjoys “healthy interest” from business event groups that are attracted by the variety of business hotels and unique venues at competitive rates.

The number of church and student groups from Singapore is also on the rise, noted Lawrence Koay, owner & CEO of Penang-based DMC Tour & Incentive Travel. He added that durian lovers flock in too when the fruit is in season.

Yeoh Soon Hin, Penang State EXCO for Tourism, Arts, Culture & Heritage, hopes to keep the momentum going through Experience Penang 2020, which will highlight Penang’s diversity of culture, heritage, arts, food and scenic natural surroundings.

“Hence the tagline, The Diversity of Asia,” he explained.
-TTG Asia.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Malaysia Airlines launches FLY MALAYSIA Campaign

KLIA, 17 October 2019: Malaysia Airlines, today, launched a brand campaign in support of Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) called Fly Malaysia.

Fly Malaysia reiterates Malaysia Airlines as the national icon and flag-bearer of Malaysia and reminds Malaysians of its proud history of its warm hospitality, which is a representation of the country. For tourists, the Fly Malaysia campaign will further enable the airline, via partnerships with relevant tourism bodies, to promote Malaysia to the world.

Whilst Malaysian Hospitality remains at the core of its brand promise, Fly Malaysia will heavily promote Malaysia as the preferred destination as the airline will be working closely with Tourism Malaysia. This campaign also works to encourage Malaysians to play a part by participating in the airline’s several social media initiatives in promoting the country.

Malaysia Aviation Group Chief Executive Officer, Izham Ismail said, “Malaysia Airlines first started in the golden age of commercial air travel. We have been serving Malaysia for over 70 years and today, and we continue to serve the country by covering over 1,000 destinations via our airline partners. 

With Fly Malaysia, the Malaysian experience comes alive the moment a traveller steps onboard our aircraft and for Malaysians, it’s the familiar feeling of being at home, wherever their journey goes. As for the airline, Fly Malaysia simply means expressing our service through our culture and to always be Malaysian, for Malaysians.”

The Fly Malaysia campaign will be visible via advertisements and Malaysia Airlines’ social media channels throughout quarter four of 2019 until end of 2020. The airline’s ‘wau’ logo, will be fashioned with the airline’s iconic kebaya motif and complemented with a traditional batik design, which represents Malaysia’s rich culture, heritage and diversity.

Besides that, Fly Malaysia will see Malaysia Airlines embarking on more sales campaigns together with its sister airlines, Firefly and MASwings to encourage Malaysians to travel local and to connect tourists to Malaysia. The airline will also be participating and supporting more local scenes as it will be collaborating with Malaysia’s state tourism bodies in promoting domestic destinations.
-Malaysia Airlines.

Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix 2019 - Direct Bus Service To SIC ( 1 ~ 3 November 2019 )

Get your Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix Bus Tickets at KLCC, KL Sentral, Masjid Jamek LRT Station & Pasar Seni Bus Hub Counters from 16 October - 3 November 2019!
-RapipKL facebook.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Calling For French Expatriates In Malaysia To Join A Video Contest In Conjunction With VM2020

PUTRAJAYA, 15 OCTOBER 2019 – In an effort to increase the awareness of Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) campaign among the estimated 4,500 French expatriates living in Malaysia, Tourism Malaysia have collaborated with the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry Malaysia (CCIFM) to organise a social media video contest which begins today and ends on 30 November 2019.

The video contest entitled “My Malaysia, My Favourite…” will enable the French expatriates to showcase Malaysia through their eyes and perceptions.

The winner of the contest will walk away with a holiday package worth RM5,000 along with a certificate while the first runner-up will receive RM3,000 worth of a holiday package and a certificate, second runner-up will win RM1,500 worth of a holiday package and a certificate and five consolation prize winners will each receive a hotel voucher. Among the sponsors for this contest include Berjaya Group’s The Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Lexis Hibiscus, YTL Tanjung Jara Resort, Pangkor Laut Resort, and The RuMA Hotel and Residences.

According to the Senior Director of International Promotion Division for America, Europe and Ocenia in Tourism Malaysia, Mr Noor Azlan Abu Bakar, the contest was first announced during the “Back to Work Networking Cocktail” event on 9th October 2019 at Sofitel Damansara Kuala Lumpur.

“I hope the French Expatriates in Malaysia can participate in the contest and help promote Malaysia together for the upcoming Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign,” he added.

Contest entry form can be downloaded from this link http://bit.ly/2B0rU85 and must be submitted together with each entry. For more info on the contest, please contact the following persons:

Tourism Malaysia: 
Ms. Sharifah Hafsya Syed Yaziz at sharifahhafsya@tourism.gov.my or call 03 8891 8363
Ms. Emylia Md. Shahir at emylia@tourism.gov.my or call 8891 8360;

Ms. Thina Krishnan at thina@mfccim.com or call 03 2714 6151 (ext 1369). 

The year 2020 has been designated as Visit Malaysia 2020 with targets of achieving 30 million international tourist arrivals and RM100 billion. The focus of the campaign is on ecotourism, arts and culture.

France is an important source market for inbound tourists to Malaysia. From January to July this year, Malaysia received a total of 86,443 arrivals from France, an increase of 1.3% compared to the same period in 2018.
-Tourism Malaysia.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Individuals, industry players can contribute to increasing tourist arrivals

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 13 -- Individuals and industry players have a role to play in the effort to boost the local tourism industry and make Malaysia a destination of choice for tourists.

Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 Campaign was a national mission which must get the participation of every Malaysian citizen.

“The government is confident that with the participation of the private sector, the target of 30 million tourists and tourism revenue of RM100 billion can be easily achieved,” he said at the launch of the Visit Malaysia 2020 Campaign, Penang level, here last night.

Muhammad Bakhtiar said he was optimistic about achieving this target and hoped that industry players and private individuals would ensure that the services they offered were of high quality.

“We must ensure that the services are top quality and include what tourists want, such as cleanliness and transportation, kindness, safety, and personal touch, which are important to tourists who will remember them and take back good memories of Malaysia,” he said.

He said taking the example of Penang, it has to look for the x-factor which makes the island different from the other states in Malaysia, thus drawing more tourists to the state.

He said the ministry welcomed anyone who wanted to use the logo and songs of the campaign for their events so as to increase public awareness of it.

Meanwhile, commenting on Budget 2020, Muhammad Bakhtiar said the ministry was happy with the allocation provided it by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

"We will use the allocation to upgrade several tourist destinations, improve and build new infrastructure,” he said.

In the Budget, the ministry was allocated RM1.1 billion for Visit Malaysia Year 2020, and the government organising the Health Tourism Year 2020 as part of the programme.

Tune Hotel klia2 bags Asia´s Leading Airport Hotel 2019

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 -- Tune Hotel klia2 was named Asia’s Leading Airport Hotel 2019 at the 2019 World Travel Awards ceremony held in Vietnam.

Tune Hotels in a statement today said the hotel edged out a few of the region’s strongest contenders and also knocked off Hong Kong Marriott Airport Hotel from the top spot which it held for the past 6 years.

“Tune Hotel klia2 has now been nominated as a contender in the category of World’s Leading Airport Hotel 2019 alongside international brand hotels such as Hilton London Heathrow Airport, Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai and Parkroyal Melbourne Airport,” it said.

World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries.

Tune Hotel is part of the Ormond Group which also have Ormond Hotels and MoMo’s under their brand.

Tourism players happy with allocation

PETALING JAYA: For the first time in 30 years, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said he found himself truly delighted by the allocation and attention towards the tourism sector.

Referring to the excise duty exemption of 50% for locally assembled vehicles for tour operators to purchase qualified new tourism vehicles, Tan said many of the existing tourism vehicles were old.

“We are losing out to our neighbouring countries. We need to provide better airport transfers and excursion experiences to visitors, ” he said.

Tan also welcomed the accelerated capital allowance for the purchase of new locally assembled excursion buses.

On the bulk application of visa by travel agents through the eNTRI and eVISA systems, Tan said it would encourage arrivals of travellers and group entries.
To date, eVISA applications are available for 10 countries, including China and India.

Malaysian Association of Hotels chief executive officer Yap Lip Seng said the announced initiates were in line with what the tourism sector hoped for, though there was still room for improvement.

“While visa applications are being eased through initiatives, restrictions still exist and they appear to be the main competitiveness concerns with neighbouring countries, ” he said.

The eNTRI facility is only valid for a single entry of a maximum of 15 days, with no extension allowed.

Yap also wanted to see tighter enforcement and regulations to safeguard industry stakeholders.

“The industry is plagued by illegal activities taking advantage of growing tourism and such leaks need to be plugged immediately, ” he said.Budget 2020 also allocated RM25mil to Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), up from RM20mil previously.

MHTC chief executive officer Sherene Azli said this support would go a long way in bringing Malaysia’s healthcare to new heights and providing a significant impact to the country’s economy.

Also announced is a RM1.1bil allocation to the Tourism, Culture and Arts Ministry, in which RM90mil is set aside to further promote the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign.
-thestar online.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Retro Havoc And Drive 4 Paul Events Join VM2020 Campaign

CYBERJAYA, 10 OCTOBER 2019 – Tourism Malaysia today announced collaboration between organiser Retro Havoc and Reach Out Word Wide (ROWW) to host car show featuring DRIVE 4 PAUL – an international charity fundraising event - in Bandar Malaysia, Sungai Besi, this 12 October 2019. 

Datuk Musa Yusof, Director General of Tourism Malaysia, together with celebrity Cody Walker and Dato’ Madani Sahari, CEO of Malaysia Automotive Robotic and IoT Institute (MARii), announced the news during a press conference.

DRIVE 4 PAUL takes off on Retro Havoc Malaysia’s platform, a celebrated car show which is on its sixth edition since 2014. This year, Retro Havoc invited ROWW and Cody Walker – the brother of the late Paul Walker, famously known in Fast & Furious sequels – to join force and organize DRIVE 4 PAUL charity fundraising, with tickets sales, registration fees, merchandise and F&B sales will all go to the fund. For info, ROWW is a U.S registered nonprofit foundation founded by film star Paul Walker, to respond internationally to natural disaster worldwide ranging from earthquake to hurricanes.

The charity event – a full one-day car and automotive show on the 12 October 2019 – will have luncheon and a special convoy ride to Sepang Circuit on the 13 October for registered participants, plus a trip to beautiful Langkawi.

On the background, the Retro Havoc auto show will gather more than 420 vintage and classic cars in one venue, with minimal entry charge of RM10. 

International participants from ASEAN, as well as many car enthusiasts and restorers around the continents are expected to join in the funfair. Among cars displayed include some of Fast & Furious replicas of Skyline R34, Ford Escort MK1, Subaru V10 and many more.

“This is a good effort to welcome VM2020 which is just around the corner, and also to fill up our 2019 motorsports calendar. We will have Malaysian GP from 1 to 3 November 2019, and hottest newcomers FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) with the FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) from 14 to 15 December,” added Datuk Musa.
-Tourism Malaysia.

MyCEB to lead Malaysian delegation to IBTM World 2019

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 -- Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) will be leading a Malaysian delegation to the IBTM World 2019 in Barcelona, Spain from Nov 19-21 to attract more corporate meeting and incentive group to the country.

In a statement today, MyCEB said the delegation will include Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau, Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and Sabah International Convention Centre.

MyCEB chief executive officer Datuk Zulkefli Sharif said he will share new products and developments available in Malaysia that would enhance the country’s offerings to the business events industry as well as entice event planners and organisers to hold their meetings, corporate and incentives groups, conferences and exhibitions.

“I firmly believe that IBTM World has always been and will continue to be a strategic platform for us as it is one of the avenues that opens up to the European and international market.

“While 2018 recorded an overwhelming total of 152 secured business events contributing around 118,735 number of delegates, raking in a notable RM1.58 billion in estimated economic impact to the country, it is a good indication that Malaysia is getting a stronger hold of the business events industry,” he added.

MyCEB is an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

Meanwhile, MyCEB said Malaysia will introduce 10 new hotels by December this year, 11 hotels in 2020 and two hotels in 2022 to cater to business travellers.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Tourism Malaysia Organises CORPORATE TRAVEL BAZAAR 2019 To Stimulate Growth In Domestic Tourism Industry

KUALA LUMPUR, 10 OCTOBER 2019  YB Datuk Mohamaddin bin Ketapi, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Malaysia today officiated the seventh edition of the Corporate Travel Bazaar (CTB2019) at the Pullman Bangsar Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. The programme is organised with the aim to increase awareness on domestic business tourism among the corporate and public sectors in Malaysia. 

The one-day programme, which was first initiated in 2009, serves as a platform for business-to-business (B2B) dealings between sellers and buyers in a bid to promote local products to both public and private sectors. This is in line with Tourism Malaysia’s mission to emphasise the importance of the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) sector, as well as to stimulate the growth of domestic tourism among the local business community.

“We would like to attract the local business community to host their corporate events such as meetings, seminars, conventions, retreats, team building, and incentive trips here in Malaysia,” said the minister during the press conference for the programme.

The participants of this programme consist of the “sellers” - the industry players such as travel agencies, hotel and resort owners, transportation providers, training consultants and tour operators; as well as the “buyers” – comprising of private corporations, government ministries and associations in Malaysia.

Datuk Mohamaddin bin Ketapi expressed his hopes that the CTB2019 will further increase domestic travels among the various government agencies as well as corporations in Malaysia. Similar to the previous editions, CTB2019 will showcase travel incentives packages, corporate family day programme, team building programmes, business tourism packages and many others.

The minister informed the media that the CTB2019 managed to get the participation of 120 sellers and 400 buyers with target sales revenue of RM800,000.

“The MICE packages developed by the participants offer complete venue facilities, excellent quality of services, as well as strategic locations which are close to various tourist attractions,” he added.

The previous travel bazaar was held in Penang in 2014 and managed to attract 70 sellers and 250 buyers as participants.
-Tourism Malaysia.

MHTC joins Penang MATTA Fair to promote health tourism

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 9 -- The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair Penang has attracted participation from the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) for the first time to promote health tourism in the country.

MATTA chief executive officer, Phua Tai Neng said MHTC would be part of the Matta Fair Penang for the first time in conjunction with the Malaysia Year of Healthcare Travel 2020 (MYHT2020).

“The MYHT2020 is a year-long healthcare travel campaign which invites everyone to seek health and wellness treatment in Malaysia, while enjoying the country's tourism attractions.

"We are proud to announce the MHTC’s participation for the first time in the MATTA Fair Penang as the state is also a popular destination for medical tourism," he told a press conference, here, today.

The fair, held at Setia Spice Arena from this Friday until Sunday, 10 am to 9 pm, will have a record of 293 booths including the MHTC booth, which also offers free health check-ups.

According to reports from Tourism Malaysia, Malaysia achieved a positive growth in tourist arrivals in the first half of this year with 13.4 million, with about four percent of the number seeking health treatment.

It also stated that medical tourists' expenditure during the same period amounted to RM2.08 billion.

Meanwhile, MATTA honorary secretary-general, Nigel Wong said Hong Kong's violent protests had resulted in quite a number of tourists changing their itinerary.

He said some groups had redirected their trips to ASEAN countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

"I expect the unrest in Hong Kong to be temporary. Once it has settled down, Hong Kong will resume as a normal tourist destination," he added.

VM2020 Campaign Launching By Tourism Malaysia At Shangri-la Makati Manila, Philippines

MANILA, 9 October 2019: Tourism Malaysia today launched its VM2020 Campaign for the Philippines market which by region, Philippines is one of the top source markets for tourists to Malaysia. VM2020 promises an abundance of excitement with a long line up of cultural themed events, family fun activities, shopping festivals and lots more.

Tourism Malaysia led a delegation of 19 Malaysian travel trade and industry players, comprising of 11 travel agents, 2 hotels, 4 product owners and 2 airlines.

The Philippines travel industry were given an update on the VM2020 campaign, and a Gala Dinner was also held at Shangri-La Makati Hotel for all participants.

To boost Philippines arrivals, Tourism Malaysia encouraged tour operators to develop and sell holiday packages to Malaysia with a focus on niche products like luxury travel, shopping, and sports tourism. A discussion was carried out with the top travel trade associations in Philippines, namely Philippines Travel Agents Association (PTAA) and National Association of Independent Travel Agents (NAITAS).

Tourism Malaysia’s promotional efforts in Philippines is expected to increase the number of Philippines tourists to Malaysia. It aims to promote greater awareness of Malaysia as an ideal holiday destination, besides fostering greater cooperation between tour operators and members of the tourism fraternity. This is in line with Malaysia’s efforts to boost arrivals from Philippines, with as many as 510,650 Philippines tourists visiting Malaysia in 2020.
-Tourism Malaysia.

VM2020 : Tourism Malaysia aims for more than 12 mln tourist arrivals from Singapore

SINGAPORE, Oct 9 -- Tourism Malaysia which launched the official Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign in Singapore on Tuesday, is aiming for more than 12 million tourist arrivals from the republic next year.

Tourism Malaysia is also optimistic of an increase of three to five per cent tourist arrivals from the southern neighbour for the whole of 2019.

According to the Director of Tourism Malaysia-Singapore, Edzuar Zar Ayob Azari, for this year, Tourism Malaysia expects 12 million tourist arrivals from the city-state.

"Going by the current trend, we will witness a rise of between three to four per cent in tourist arrivals from Singapore this year compared to 2018, he told Bernama when met on the sidelines of the VM2020 launch.

The VM2020 campaign here was launched by Malaysia’s High Commissioner to Singapore, Datuk Zainol Rahim Zainuddin, together with Senior Deputy Director, International Promotion Division (Southeast Asia) of Tourism Malaysia, Azilina Azni Zainal Abidin.

"We are also targeting a rise of three per cent to 12 million tourist arrivals from Singapore to Malaysia next year," said Edzuar.

For the first half of 2019, Singaporeans were the top international tourist arrivals to Malaysia at 5,381,566 alongside the the highest receipts of RM11.56 billion.

Singaporean arrivals, however, fell 14.7 per cent to 10.62 million in 2018 compared with 2017 due to among other reasons, traffic congestion on the Johor-Singapore Causeway and changing travel trends among Singaporeans.

Edzuar hoped that initiatives by a special committee chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad can help ease congestion on the Johor Causeway, as this could lure more tourist arrivals from Singapore.

During its first meeting held on Aug 21, the committee said among others, Malaysia will look into widening and lengthening the Causeway and expanding the checkpoint complex to tackle the heavy congestion at the link between Johor and Singapore.