Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Tourism Malaysia Aims To Fuel Demand For Cuti-cuti Malaysia In Collaboration With Petron And Paynet


photo: Tourism Malaysia/Thava

KUALA LUMPUR, 30 SEPTEMBER 2020 – Tourism Malaysia teams up with Petron Malaysia and Payments Network (PayNet) to bring the “Fuel Penuh Gaya MyDebit Je with your ATM Card!” campaign aimed to boost mobility and encourage the public to spend and travel domestically.

The campaign was launched at Petron NKVE KL-Bound, and was officiated by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture YB Dato’ Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri. Also present at the launching ceremony were Datuk Musa bin Yusof, Director General of Tourism Malaysia, Puan Faridah Ali, General Manager of Petron and Mr Peter Schiesser, Group Chief Executive Officer of PayNet.

“Based on the data by the Department of Statistics on Domestic Tourism in 2019, fuel registered as the second biggest share of the total expenditure made by domestic travellers in 2019 at 16.7 percent. Therefore, we believe that promotional programmes like this collaboration with Petron and PayNet are able to drive the demand on fuel consumption and encourage the rakyat to travel within the country,” said the Minister during her speech at the launching ceremony.

“We can easily travel within Malaysia using our roads, via our highways or even jalan kampung. There are so many attractions along the routes just waiting to be explored,” the Minister said further, urging Malaysians to take the opportunity to discover the country in support of the Cuti-Cuti Malaysia campaign.

According to the Domestic Tourism Survey 2019, 96.2 percent of domestic tourists are estimated to have travelled using private vehicles compared to the remaining share of tourists who have utilised public modes such as buses, taxis and trains.

The campaign will run beginning 1 October until 31 December 2020 and entitles anyone who has made fuel purchases of RM5 or more in a single receipt at any one of Petron petrol station’s over 720 outdoor pump terminals using their MyDebit ATM card issued by banks in Malaysia. Petron is the first petrol chain in the country to offer customers the ability to make MyDebit ATM card payments at petrol pumps without the pre-authorisation RM200 hold which was previously done for up to 3 days.

Winners stand a chance to win up to 169 prizes including driving home the coveted Kawasaki Z250 ABS, Modenas Pulsar NS200 ABS, Go Pro Hero8 Black, Petron Miles Points worth RM500 each and 1-year supply of Petron Rifer 4T Synthetic Blend. 36 hotel stay vouchers are also up for grabs courtesy of Tourism Malaysia. The participating hotels include Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi; Hyatt House Kuala Lumpur, Mont Kiara; Maya Hotel KL, Best Western I-City Shah Alam, Fraser Place Puteri Harbour, Swiss-Garden Hotel Melaka & The Shore Hotel Melaka, Federal International Group’s Capitol KL and Tribeca Serviced Suites KL, Grand Ion Delemen Hotel, Genting Highlands; Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson, Iconic Hotel Penang, Ramada Suites and Movenpick Hotel & Convention Centre KLIA

The campaign is hoped to increase mobility and encourage Malaysians to travel via roads and stimulate local businesses especially tourism-related industry that had been affected by the pandemic. According to the Domestic Tourism Survey 2019 by the Department of Statistics of Malaysia, the domestic tourism expenditure was recorded at RM103.2 billion last year, making it one of the significant contributors to the country’s economy.

Malaysia hosts many fun cultural and gastronomic experiences in every state across the country, catering to all kinds of niches and interests. Find yours by visiting Tourism Malaysia’s website at

-Tourism Malaysia.

Malaysia aims to resume leisure travel with neighbours by 1Q2021


Malaysia aims to get travel bubbles with neighbours like Singapore and Thailand up and running by 1Q2021; causeway linking Johor Bahru in Malaysia to Singapore pictured 

Tourism Malaysia is hopeful that cross-border tourism for leisure will reopen in stages sometime in the first quarter of 2021.

Its director-general, Musa Yusof, said in a local television programme recently that the tourism board was keen on resuming cross-border leisure travel with neighbouring Singapore, Brunei, Thailand and Indonesia.

“What we mean by cross-border tourism is situations where one doesn’t necessarily have to get on a plane to travel here. We are looking at countries such as Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, and even, Indonesia. These are the four nations that we are examining and reviewing as to whether travel can be allowed,” he was quoted by the Malay Mail as saying.

Malaysian outbound agents whom TTG Asia contacted said they were getting packages ready in anticipation of the reopening of borders to outbound leisure travellers. Those interviewed opined that neighbouring countries will be the first to allow reciprocal leisure travel with Malaysia and predicted it would take place sometime next year.

Adam Kamal, head of procurement and domestic market at ICE Holidays, believes that Thailand and Singapore will be among the first to establish leisure travel bubbles with Malaysia, and is forging plans for that.

“We are in the midst of researching what packages will be sellable, and we think it will be to destinations where Malaysians can self-drive or travel by land such as Phuket, Krabi and Hat Yai in Thailand, or Singapore,” he shared, adding that family and nature-based packages are likely to do well.

An agent from the southern state of Johor, Raaj Navaratnaa, general manager, New Asia Holiday Tours & Travel, shared that he is repackaging existing tours to Singapore with accommodation at major hotel brands.

He explained: “International hotel chains have the marketing advantage to showcase what additional measures are in place in terms of hygiene and cleanliness protocols. Personal safety concerns during this pandemic is of utmost importance to guests.”

Looking ahead, he believes that Malaysian travellers will favour nature-based and soft adventure tourism, over shopping in malls, given the lower risk of Covid transmission associated with outdoor activities.

-TTG Asia.

Sunday, 27 September 2020

WORLD TOURISM DAY 2020: Global Community Unites To Celebrate “Tourism And Rural Development"


Celebrated on 27 September with the theme of Tourism and Rural Development, this year’s international day of observation comes at a critical moment, as countries around the world look to tourism to drive recovery, including in rural communities where the sector is a leading employer and economic pillar.

The 2020 edition also comes as governments look to the sector to drive recovery from the effects of the pandemic and with the enhanced recognition of tourism at the highest United Nations level. This was most notably illustrated with the recent release of a landmark Policy Brief on tourism from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in which he explained that “for rural communities, indigenous peoples and many other historically marginalized populations, tourism has been a vehicle for integration, empowerment and generating income.”

All around the world, tourism empowers rural communities, providing jobs and opportunity, most notably for women and youth

Historic International Cooperation

For the first time in the 40-year history of World Tourism Day, the official celebration will not be hosted by a single Member State of the United Nations specialized agency. Instead, nations from the MERCOSUR Member States (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, with Chile joining as Member Associate status) will serve as joint hosts. This co-hosting agreement exemplifies the spirit of international solidarity that runs through tourism and which UNWTO has recognized as essential for recovery.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “All around the world, tourism empowers rural communities, providing jobs and opportunity, most notably for women and youth. Tourism also enables rural communities to hold onto their unique cultural heritage and traditions, and the sector is vital for safeguarding habitat and endangered species. This World Tourism Day is a chance to recognize the role tourism plays outside of major cities and its ability to build a better future for all.”

Rural areas hit hard by COVID-19

For countless rural communities around the world, tourism is a leading provider of employment and opportunities. In many places, it is one of the few viable economic sectors. Moreover, development through tourism can also keep rural communities alive. It is estimated that by 2050, 68% of the world population will live in urban areas, while 80% of those currently living in ‘extreme poverty’ live outside of towns and cities.

The situation is particularly hard for youth: young people in rural communities are three times more likely to be unemployed than older adults. Tourism is a lifeline, offering young people a chance to earn a living without having to migrate either within their home countries or abroad.

World Tourism Day 2020 will once again be celebrated by UNWTO’s Member States in all global regions as well as by cities and other destinations and by private sector organizations and individual tourists. It comes as communities in rural areas also struggle with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. These communities are usually much less-prepared to deal with the short and longer-term impacts of the crisis. This is due to a number of factors, including their aging populations, lower income levels and the continuing ‘digital divide’. Tourism offers a solution to all of these challenges.


Valentino Rossi To Join PETRONAS YAMAHA SRT In 2021


PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team is proud to announce that Valentino Rossi will join the squad for the 2021 MotoGP season. Valentino Rossi needs no introduction, considered by many as the Greatest Of All Time through a record-breaking career in the premier class of the sport since 2000.

Rossi - Urbino, 16th February 1979 - has competed in the premier class since 2000 and is the only rider in history to win 125, 250, 500 and MotoGP World Championships. In the premier class alone, Valentino boasts seven world titles, 89 race wins, 199 podiums, 55 pole positions and 76 fastest laps. As part of PETRONAS Yamaha SRT in 2021, the Italian will compete aboard a Yamaha YZR-M1 for the ninth season in a row.

The move will see Rossi join the satellite team in what will be only their third season in the MotoGP category, after the Malaysian squad made their debut at the Qatar GP in 2019. That first season in the premier class saw PETRONAS Yamaha SRT rack up six pole positions and seven podiums, and win the Independent Teams’ Championship. This year has already seen two pole positions, four podiums and three race wins, and the lead of the outright Teams’ Championship, for the outfit.

The announcement of Rossi alongside fellow countryman and friend Franco Morbidelli completes the PETRONAS Yamaha SRT line-up for 2021 - a line-up eager to write another chapter of MotoGP history next year.

Friday, 25 September 2020

Malaysia Wins Esteemed ‘Destination of the Year’ Title Once Again


photo: Noor Hisham Abdullah fb

LONDON, 23 September 2020 – Malaysia was recognised at the recently concluded International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) Medical Travel Awards 2020 by winning the highly coveted ‘Health and Medical Tourism: Destination of the Year’ title. The win enhances Malaysia’s positioning as the World’s Healthcare Marvel and reflects the steadfast commitment from relevant organisations in ensuring a dedicated continuity of care from Malaysia Healthcare amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taking home the highly coveted ‘Destination of the Year’ award marked the fourth time that Malaysia has claimed the title, having previously won it thrice in a row from 2015 – 2017. The results are evident in the progress of the industry whereby the country has received a total of 1.3 million healthcare travellers in 2019 as compared to 643,000 in 2011, further fortifying Malaysia’s status as a trusted destination in the eyes of the world.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) continued its winning streak by clinching an impressive fourth ‘Cluster of the Year’ award. This can be attributed to the solid public-private partnerships that have been integral to Malaysia Healthcare’s thriving growth for the past few years.

“We are immensely honoured to be bestowed with two awards by IMTJ. It is a privilege to receive the ‘Destination of the Year’ and ‘Cluster of the Year’ awards yet again as it signifies the global trust in our country’s excellent healthcare travel infrastructure and exemplary patient journey experience which have been made possible thanks to the dedication and effort from all parties. This motivates us to further improve our service delivery and to keep the Malaysia Healthcare brand flying high,” said Sherene Azli, CEO of MHTC.

Several of Malaysia’s leading private healthcare institutions also nabbed several prestigious wins at the awards:

1.     Thompson Hospital Kota Damansara– Best Quality Initiative

2.     Sunway Fertility Centre – International Fertility Clinic of the Year

3.     Prince Court Medical Centre – International Hospital of the Year

4.     Sunway Eye Centre – International Eye Clinic of the Year

As the healthcare travel industry continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Malaysia Healthcare is proactively working on recovery plans for the industry by highlighting the nation’s abilities and strengths as a world-class quality healthcare provider. A core element is healthcare digitalisation, which enables continuity of care for patients.

“Our commitment in upholding Malaysia as the World’s Healthcare Marvel will never waver. While we work hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Health to ensure the stringent SOPs are closely followed as the safety of the public continues to be our topmost priority, we do look forward to the day when we are able to welcome healthcare travellers at full force to seek health and wellness treatments in Malaysia. Till then, we will continue to direct a more concentrated effort in driving sustainable industry growth for Malaysia to continually be recognised as the World’s Healthcare Marvel,” said Sherene.

Taking place on a virtual platform, the IMTJ Medical Travel Awards 2020 celebrates outstanding achievement in medical travel worldwide. Entries are evaluated by a panel of expert international judges: Keith Pollard, Editor-in-Chief of IMTJ; Executive Chairman of LaingBuisson, UK Chairman of the Judging Panel; Lutz Lungwitz, President of German Medical Wellness Association, Dr Claudia Mika, CEO of TEMOS, Laszlo Puczko, Founder of Health Tourism Worldwide, and Elizabeth Ziemba, President of Medical Tourism Training among others.


Thursday, 24 September 2020

KLIA Crazy Sale Dan Cuti-cuti Malaysia Mini Travel Fair @ KLIA ( 25 ~ 30 September 2020 )


Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad dengan kerjasama Tourism Malaysia akan menganjurkan KLIA Crazy Sale and Cuti-cuti Malaysia Mini Travel Fair untuk kali kedua dengan butiran seperti berikut: 

Tarikh  :  25 hingga 30 September 2020

Masa    :  10.00 pagi hingga 8.00 malam (25-26 September)

                10.00 pagi hingga 6.00 petang (27-30 September)

Tempat:  Kawasan Pentas Anjung Tinjau, Tingkat 5, Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur (KLIA)

Acara jualan ini akan mengetengahkan pelbagai jenama dari dari lapan peruncit iaitu Dimensi Eksklusif, DR Group, Eraman, Heinemann, Karyaneka, Legardere Travel Retail, Retail One dan Valiram. Antara jenama mewah yang ada termasuklah Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Coach, Furla, Tumi, Lego, Godiva, TWG, Lacoste dan Victoria Secret.

Tourism Malaysia telah membawa lapan pempamer bagi Cuti-cuti Malaysia Mini Travel Fair iaitu Malindo Air, Flywind Holidays, Farm In The City, i-City, Museum of Illusion, Gopeng Glamping Park, Avenue Garden Hotel, GR Travel & Tours dan GIT Tours & Travels dengan pelbagai pakej menarik.

Sebarang maklumat tambahan dan kemaskini, bolehlah ikuti Facebook dan Instagram @shopMYairports

-Tourism Malaysia.

Malaysia earmarks US$576.7m to extend wage subsidy support


The Malaysian government has introduced a second wage subsidy scheme worth RM2.4 billion (US$576.7 million) to assist companies that are still affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, while lowering the nation’s unemployment rate.

In a live telecast on Wednesday (September 23), prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the subsidies would be given to companies that have seen a revenue decrease of 30 per cent or more as compared to last year, due to the recovery movement control order (RMCO) which has been extended to December 31, 2020.

Qualifying companies will be given a monthly wage subsidy of RM600 for up to 200 employees each for three months. New applicants that qualify, but have not received assistance earlier under the first wage subsidy programme, will be eligible to receive wage subsidies of up to six months. Applications are open from October 1 until December 31.

When contacted, two major hotel associations told TTG Asia that the government’s announcement was a step in the right direction, but said more needed to be done to help industry stakeholders weather the coronavirus slump.

Malaysian Association of Hotels CEO, Yap Lip Seng, applauded the government’s extension of the wage subsidy scheme, saying that it recognises the impacts of extended border restrictions on the tourism industry.

However, he highlighted that earlier requests by industry players for more assistance, including higher wage subsidies, utilities discounts and special grants, have gone unanswered.

“For the hotel industry particularly, we are hoping for more mid- to long-term support from regulatory requirements and tax incentives to tourism marketing as well as overall tourism development. We hope that the government will take into serious consideration our proposals submitted for Budget 2021,” he said.

“This will in turn facilitate mid- to long-term strategic planning and will set the tourism landscape for Malaysia for the next five to 10 years.”

Similarly, Sri Ganesh Michiel, deputy president, Malaysia Budget Hotel Association, welcomed the government’s latest move and urged its members to apply for the extended moratorium with the banks before the September 30 deadline.

He also appealed to the government to act swiftly in tackling issues that threaten the recovery of the tourism industry, including unfair commercial practices by online travel agents who are not subjected to the same regulations as their traditional counterparts.

He added: “We also see unfair competition in our hotel industry as four- and five-star hotels are reducing their rates, which have forced our budget hotel members to reduce their selling rates as well in order to compete.”

-TTG Asia.

Malaysia Airlines Domestic Fair (MADF) Offers 20% Off on All Seats and Flights to Boost Domestic Tourism


KLIA, 22 September 2020 - As the local tourism scene continues to show positive signs of revival and road to recovery, Malaysia Airlines is proud to introduce the Malaysia Airlines Domestic Fair (MADF) 2020 invading the online space from 23 to 30 September 2020.


This promotion offers savings of 20% for all Economy Class tickets to all domestic destinations in Malaysia. Passengers get to enjoy this discount for immediate travel until 30 June 2021 via the airline’s official website or mobile app.


For more significant savings, purchases via the Malaysia Airlines’ Mobile App entitles passengers to an additional 5% discount on top of the tickets on offer.


CIMB debit, credit and prepaid cardholders can also enjoy the additional 5% discount when they grab the MADF 2020 offers for all ticket purchases made via the airline’s official website. These cardholders can opt for the CIMB 0% Easy Pay Instalment Plan by keying-in the promo code (MH20CIMB5), also made available on Malaysia Airlines’ website. The plan allows passengers to a flexible payment scheme in instalments at 0% interest, up to 12 months.


In addition, CIMB Enrich credit cardholders will earn up to 1,000 Enrich Miles with a minimum booking of RM500.


According to Malaysia Airlines Berhad’s Group Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer, Lau Yin May, “In line with our Fly Malaysia campaign, we are committed as the responsible national airline to promote local destinations all year round to speed up the revival of domestic tourism and hence this MADF offer of 20% discount for all seats and flights. We will continue to offer premium service with unparalleled flexibility to ensure convenience and comfort in mind while travelling, without compromising the safety and health priorities of our passengers throughout their journey with us.


Do not miss out on this excellent opportunity to go for your well-deserved holidays and discover the hidden gems within our backyard such as Penang, Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu, Sarawak, Johor, Terengganu and others!”


As part of the airline’s effort to bring its in-flight dining experience to a next level, Economy Class passengers can now pre-order their complimentary meal choices starting from 22 September 2020. This service is available on flights from Kuala Lumpur to Sabah, Sarawak, other ASEAN destinations and vice versa. The pre-order meal service will be available for booking 30 days up to 24 hours prior to their scheduled departure via Manage My Booking service available in the airline’s booking platform.


Among the dishes available on the pre-order menu are Nasi Lemak with Shrimp Sambal, Classic Beef Lasagna, MH Signature Chicken Satay with Fried Rice, Fish with Hot Bean Sauce and Chicken Rendang with Nasi Hujan Panas. The service is, however, not available on flights under 75 minutes.


Commenting on the Pre-Order Meal Service Yin May said, “We are delighted to extend this premium experience to our passengers as a testimonial of our commitment to offer our passengers a truly genuine and sincere Malaysian Hospitality experience throughout their entire journey with us. By pre-ordering the meals of choice, passengers are guaranteed the meal they would like to enjoy on board. We believe that an impeccable journey is not just about flying our passengers from one destination to another but also to connect between our hearts. This is what Malaysian Hospitality is all about!”


All Malaysia Airlines’ passengers get to enjoy the privileges and services of a premier full-service carrier, with cabin baggage of 7kg, complimentary snacks/meals and beverages as well as access to the specially curated Malaysia Airlines in-flight entertainment system, and enjoy Enrich Miles that connect them to a world of benefits! Additionally, passengers will also be able to enjoy the convenience and warm hospitality of checking-in at our counters, absolutely, free of charge! This service is in line with our promise to ensure all customers enjoy a seamless end-to-end experience.


Head on to to get more information and book your next Malaysian holiday! To make sure you never miss out on great deals like these and the many more exciting promotions and exclusives we have in store, download the Malaysia Airlines app today!

-Malaysia Airlines.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

More holiday packages to boost domestic tourism


PETALING JAYA: Tourism Malaysia continues its efforts to boost domestic tourism by offering more deals and packages to the people.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said that since its inception ( in June this year, a total of 103 deals and 107 packages haes been offered to date.

She hoped tourism industry players would take the opportunity and promote their products via the website.

"I believe domestic tourism has room to be improved as Malaysians are yet unable to travel abroad.

"We continue to do our best to revitalise the tourism industry following the Covid-19 pandemic," she said at the ASEAN Tourism Standard Certificate Award Presentation Ceremony for 2020 - 2022 at Sheraton Hotel here today.

Nancy said the ministry through Tourism Malaysia was also working closely with the local travel agents to develop attractive travel packages to be promoted on My Malaysia Experience booklet.

Also present were the ministry's secretary-general Datuk Dr Noor Zari Hamat and deputy secretary-general Mohd Zamri Mat Zain.

A total of 42 agencies and hotels received the ASEAN Tourism Standard Certificate Award in four categories.

The ASEAN Green Hotel Standard award went to The Datai Langkawi; Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur; The Palace Hotel, Kota Kinabalu and The Zenith Hotel, Kuantan. 

Meanwhile, Penang Island City Council, Putrajaya Corporation, Kota Kinabalu City Hall and Kuala Terengganu City Council won the ASEAN Clean Tourist City Standard award.

Other 34 recipients won ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Standard award and ASEAN MICE Venue Standard (Meeting Room) award.

-nst online.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Matta Fair 2020 goes online for the first time


KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has announced its first ever MATTA Fair Online, featuring domestic and future international travel packages from about 100 participating exhibitors.

The focus of the online fair is on domestic travel with a tagline 'Buy Now Travel Later'.

This new initiative is the first phase of Matta's recovery approach and it is the first of many to come to cater to the various needs of Malaysian travellers. 

Matta president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said despite the physical Matta Fair not being held in March and September 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Matta is establishing a completely new digital platform to facilitate members of travel agents and tour operators and other tourism service providers to sell holidays packages to consumers, focusing mainly on domestic travel and holidays," he said in a statement today.

Over 1,000 holiday and tour packages with irresistible offers for travellers to check out at the Matta Fair Online offered by travel agents from Johor, Kedah, Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak and Selangor. 

Matta also roped in Malaysia Airlines as official airline, and Penang Global Tourism and Sarawak Tourism Board as the destination partners to further boost favourable outcomes from the fair. 

"We are confident that this MATTA Fair Online will be a success for the participating agents and the industry as a whole.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the future of travel and we are in a position to seize new opportunities by transforming and enabling discovery and booking of travel products and services through a digital platform," Tan said.

The Matta Fair Online signals Matta's efforts to kick-start the recovery from the impact of the pandemic on the travel and tourism industry and to incite interest among the travellers now.

Tan said the enthusiasm for the MATTA Fair Online has been way good and positive. 

"We are confident that the online fair can provide a valuable boost and make constructive benefits and contributions to the travel and tourism industry," Tan said.

-nst online.

Monday, 21 September 2020

Trade hails arrival of One&Only Desaru Coast


Tourism providers in Malaysia welcomed the opening of ultra-luxe resort One&Only Desaru Coast – the brand’s first Asian outpost – as timely as it offers them an opportunity to tap the under-served upmarket segment in the destination amid the pandemic.

Uzaidi Udanis, president, Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association, said that the award-winning resort, which opened its doors earlier this month, “caters for the high-end segment which is sorely needed” as luxury hotels and resorts in the country remain scant.

“With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysians are not allowed to travel overseas. The high-end domestic segment is often overlooked by the travel trade as they usually holiday abroad. But this is the time to capture this segment and the opening of One&Only Desaru Coast is timely,” he added.

Adam Kamal, head of procurement & domestic market, Ice Holidays, shared that One&Only Desaru Coast has created buzz among the elite for being the brand’s first property in Asia, throwing up an opportunity for agents to tap high-yield domestic tourists for higher returns.

He opined: “Travel agents need to be smart in coming up with innovative packages so that domestic travellers buy from them.”

Spread across 51ha, One&Only Desaru Coast offers a collection of 42 Junior Suites, a pair of two-bedroom Grand Suites and an exclusive four-bedroom Villa One. All suites boast private plunge pools, as well as indoor and outdoor living spaces. Nestled on the south-eastern shoreline of Malaysia, the tropical retreat is designed by Kerry Hill Architects.

-TTG Asia.

Friday, 18 September 2020

Malaysia Airlines to add 50pct flight capacity by end-2020 with 150 flights daily


SEPANG: Malaysia Airlines Bhd is expected to add up to 50 per cent capacity to its network with 150 flights per day by December this year from the current 60 per cent.

Chief operating officer Ahmad Luqman Mohd Azmi said the gradual increase for the national carrier's capacity would be dependent on the improvement of the Covid-19 cases in the country.

He said the 50 per cent projection of MAB's flight capacity would be based on the data before the pre-Covid-19 crisis with a total of 300 flights per day.

"However, we are very cautious about adding capacity and frequency as things are very fluid at the moment," he told the New Straits Times (NST) in an interview recently.

Ahmad Luqman said Malaysia Airlines could operate close to 70 per cent of its network capacity by mid-2021 on condition that most countries have lifted their travel restrictions and borders.

Malaysia Airlines currently operates between 10 and 15 flights for international destinations including three flights to the United Kingdom (per week), different cities in Australia as well as Bangkok and Singapore.

Some of its wide-body aircraft in active service include A350 (two units) and A330 (seven units) for the long-haul and medium-haul international destinations.

On the domestic front, the airline operates 22 units of B737 aircraft with up to 35 daily flights.

Most in-demand destinations include from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Penang.

It has a total fleet of 80 aircraft comprising the A380 (six units), A350 (six units), A330 (21 units) and B737 (47 units). Of this, 40 per cent - which is mainly narrow-body - has been grounded or in long-term parking.

Ahmad Luqman said this ensures the aircraft would be ready to fly when the market recovers.

"We are doing repair and maintenance on regular intervals. This includes regular disinfecting the aircraft to ensure safety of all passengers and crew onboard. The crisis provides us an opportunity to refurbish our cabin interior.

"We are not always getting our aircraft available for us to do refurbishment. All this while, we have to wait about two years for the aircraft to get C-check maintenance," he said.

Malaysia Airlines said it would need to have a balance maintenance cost in preparing its fleet of aircraft before the customers return. 

"This is being done by maintaining our aircraft in great conditions for better customers experience inline with our 'Malaysian Hospitality' motto," said Ahmad Luqman.

he said the airline would work closely with the government to promote travel bubbles.

"Our role is to facilitate travel and ensure connectivity is safe," he said.

On the outlook for commercial airlines, he said Malaysia Airlines was quite bullish on the domestic demand. This would help the airline weather the crisis, amid the ongoing travel restrictions for certain international destinations.

"We have been gradually increasing our flight capacity with the load factor surged almost 500 per cent post the Movement Control Order (MCO). Hence, we are confident that there are some lights despite the crisis. We focus on customer's needs and experience as that is our centre of gravity," he said.

Meanwhile, the airline's cargo arm has been performing strongly with "tremendous" increase in cargo demand with the utilisation of its air freighter and passenger aircraft.

According to the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) latest report, the global passenger traffic was projected that it would not return to pre-Covid-19 levels until 2024.

However, the recovery in short-haul travel was expected to happen faster than for long haul travel.

IATA urged governments to work together to urgently find ways to re-establish global connectivity by re-opening borders and to continue with relief measures to sustain airlines during the Covid-19 crisis.

The association's call had reflected the industry frustration as government policies such as closed borders, travel restrictions and quarantines continue to impede travel demand.

"Airlines have been largely grounded for a half-year. And the situation is not improving. In fact, in many cases, it is going in the wrong direction.

"We see governments replacing border closures with quarantine for air travellers. 

Neither will restore travel or jobs. Worse, governments are changing the entry requirements with little notice to travellers or coordination with their trading partners. This uncertainty destroys demand," said IATA director general and chief executive officer Alexandre de Juniac.

He said 10 per cent of the global economy was sustained by travel and tourism. Hence, he said governments should do better to re-start their economies.

-nst online.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

PATA underscores the role of hygiene in driving APAC’s tourism recovery


Residents in Asia-Pacific countries harbour an overall positive sentiment around tourism in the region, as compared to the global averages, with most ready to welcome visitors again with due attention to the traveller impact on environment and cleanliness.

Those are among the findings from PATA’s newly-launched report entitled The Impact of Health and Hygiene on Post-Covid-19 Destination Competitiveness in Asia Pacific.

Report contributors include the co-founders of the Global Health Security Index, a project of the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security; TCI Research, Tripadvisor, and the World Economic Forum (WEF).

With Covid-19 changing the way people travel, the report also found that health-related issues are among consumers’ top considerations when selecting travel destinations.

PATA chief of staff Trevor Weltman said: “Despite much remaining unknown about the future of travel post-Covid-19, this timely report highlights emerging trends about health and hygiene in travel and tourism concerning traveller booking behaviour and resident sentiment. Such insights can assist destination managers and marketers to get ahead of the curve to rethink, rebuild, and reposition their destination’s focus on health and hygiene beginning now.”

The report recommends that destination managers and other tourism stakeholders across the Asia-Pacific region begin creating close partnerships with public health officials, tourism supply chain businesses, and local communities to commence a coordinated renewal of traveller confidence in the health and safety of their destination.

Destinations that meet these expectations through investing in hygiene and safety measures and clearly communicate these changes to travellers and residents alike, will be well-positioned to win in the post-Covid-19 travel era.

The methods of analysis used in the report include social listening, sentiment analysis, and surveying. Furthermore, Part III of the report, which provides a destination competitiveness analysis, is a re-weighting of the “Health & Hygiene” pillar of the WEF’s 2019 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI). The TTCI benchmarks the travel and tourism competitiveness of 140 economies to measure the factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the sector.

Ultimately, multi-sectoral coordination between ministries of health, agriculture, tourism, and trade, and communication of the outcomes of these policy actions to the broader community, including travellers, will be critical to meeting these goals and restoring confidence in the tourism industry. “These preliminary findings are shared to provide an enhanced understanding of where the industry is heading, as well as an initial roadmap for how to get there,” Weltman added.

More about the report will be shared at the PTM Forum on The Impact of Health and Hygiene on Post-Covid-19 Destination Competitiveness in Asia Pacific on September 25, 2020 at 16:00 ICT, as part of Virtual PTM 2020. Speakers include representatives from TCI Research, Tripadvisor, Nuclear Threat Initiative, and WEF.

The webinar is open to all Virtual PTM 2020 delegates, PATA members, media, non-members and all interested parties. To register, click here.

-TTG Asia.

Monday, 14 September 2020

Hotels strictly follow new norms as domestic tourism picks up


KUALA LUMPUR: The hotel and tourism industry in Malaysia is cautious and ensures strict adherence to the new norms, especially now when an increasing number of people are travelling domestically.

The industry realises that the health and safety measures are necessary to safeguard Malaysians and prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Hyatt's Alila Bangsar sales executive Lee Siang Chin said the new norms were being followed by the hotel as per the government's call.

"There is no limit to check-ins for as long as we have enough rooms, but every customer must go through the MySejahtera screening as well as complete a declaration form of symptoms.

"As for housekeeping, we have two teams to ensure thorough room misting and changing of the bedsheets. "All the chemicals that we use are disinfectants and anti-bacterial," she added. 

Meanwhile, the Shangri-La Group adopted the "Shangri-La Cares" pledge a few months ago following the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO).

It is aimed at regaining the people's trust through efforts to keep its hotels clean and safe for guests.

Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa and Golden Sands Resort Penang communications director Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman said: "The health and safety of our colleagues and guests are of our utmost priority. 

"At Shangri-La, it is in our DNA to look after people, to anticipate their needs and go above and beyond to ensure they have a memorable experience."

The Golden Sands Resorts, Penang by Shangri-La is the first hotel in Penang to receive accreditation in line with recognised global best practices in prevention.

Suleiman said to reinforce the strong culture of health and safety, the Shangri-La Group ramped up training, learning and development resources for its staff on essential preparatory and preventive measures. 

This includes cleaning and sanitisation frequency, ultimately enabling them to better serve guests and safeguard their own well-being, he added.

Chief executive officer of the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Yap Lip Seng said popular destinations have seen a pickup in hotel occupancy rates, particularly beach and island destinations such as Langkawi, Pulau Redang, Pulau Perhentian as well as Batu Ferringhi in Penang, Port Dickson and Melaka.

"These locations are recording occupancy rates ranging from 70 to 80 per cent on average, higher on weekends and holidays. "However, main cities and destinations dependant on flight arrivals are still low, such as Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, Kedah as well as Sabah and Sarawak, averaging 10 to 30 per cent occupancy.

"Overall, the situation has improved compared with during the MCO. Hotels in general are offering extensive promotions and discounts to attract locals."

Yap said MAH had also introduced its own hygiene and safety label, the "Clean and Safe Malaysia" certification, incorporating base regulatory requirements with best practices from major hotel brands internationally.

For more information, go to

-nst online.

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Tourism Malaysia extends Covid-19 food relief


Tourism Malaysia’s Singapore office held a food donation drive to assist affected

Malaysian workers in the industry.

As the ongoing pandemic continues to take a toll on the travel and tourism sector, Tourism Malaysia’s Singapore branch office has initiated a food donation drive to assist Malaysians in the outbound travel industry.

Held over the past weekend, the donation drive collection sought for donations of suggested food items which will then be distributed to the recipients on September 13, 2020, in celebration of Malaysia Day.

The Malaysian community in Singapore are faced with the dilemma of returning home to be with their families, or maintaining their jobs in Singapore on a higher standard of living, the organisation said in a statement on the initiative, which is supported by Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade & Industry.

By invoking the spirit of unity to uplift affected Malaysians, the organisation said it believes they will be driven to overcome this challenging period.

-TTG Asia.