Saturday, October 30, 2010

New app to boost Muslim travel

The HALAL travel market is being given a shot in the arm with a new mobile application that targets Muslim travellers worldwide. Halal-friendly hotels, holiday packages, restaurants as well as destination and airport guides can be found on crTravel Guide, an Android mobile application launched earlier this month by Singapore-based company, Crescentrating. 

Asian Overland Services Tours & Travel director of sales & business development, Andy Muniandy, said the application would be useful for first-time Muslim FIT travellers to Malaysia as information they required would be at their fingertips. Malaysia is one of 20 destinations covered in the application. Others include India, China, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Singapore. With 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, halal-friendly travel services is set to rise in demand. 

Crescentrating CEO, Fazal Bahardeen, said another 20 destinations would be added over the next six months. The next step would be to launch mobile applications for iPhone, iPad, Symbian and BlackBerry devices, he added. This is scheduled for April 2011. Singapore-based EuroAsia Communications, which helped with crTravel Guide's development, will distribute the application through its partner network of telco operators in countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and India. 
-TTG Asia.

'Pulau Topi Jeneral' gamit pengunjung

MERSING 29 Okt. - Pulau Tinggi yang turut pernah dikenali sebagai Pulau Topi Jeneral oleh kelasi Cina suatu ketika dahulu ternyata menggamit mata setiap pengunjung yang bertandang ke situ. Dengan pantainya yang halus memutih dan air laut kebiru-biruan, pastinya hati pantas terpikat dengan keindahan alam semula jadi pulau berkenaan. Keindahan flora dan faunanya yang masih belum tercemar juga pasti membuat pengunjung yang menggemari aktiviti seperti 'snorkeling' dan selam skuba teruja. Keramahan penduduk yang kebanyakannya bekerja sebagai nelayan ternyata sangat mengalu-alukan kedatangan orang luar. Bukan itu sahaja, pengunjung juga dapat melihat ratusan kelawar dan keluang bergantungan di pokok-pokok kelapa dan kekabu yang terdapat di pulau berkenaan.

Terletak kira-kira 20 batu nautika (37 kilometer) dari selatan tenggara Mersing di pantai timur Johor, perjalanan ke pulau berkenaan memakan masa kira-kira 45 minit dari Mersing. Mengikut geografi, pulau itu terletak berhampiran dengan beberapa pulau lain iaitu Pulau Besar, Pulau Rawa dan Pulau Sibu. Di pulau tersebut, terdapat tiga buah kampung iaitu Kampung Tanjung Balang, Kampung Pasir Panjang dan Kampung Sebirah Besar.

Bagi pengunjung yang ingin menginap di pulau ini terdapat banyak calet yang disediakan dan salah satunya adalah Calet Tok Mok di Kampung Tanjung Balang. Pemilik calet yang merupakan ketua kampung berkenaan, Rahaman Ali, 58, berkata, nama calet tersebut diambil sempena nama timangannya iaitu 'Tok Mok'.


JETI utama yang menjadi laluan keluar masuk di Pulau Tinggi, Mersing, Johor.










Beliau yang juga kontraktor kelas F berkata, terdapat 12 calet berkonsepkan kampung didirikan di kampung berkenaan sejak tahun 80-an dengan kadar serendah RM50 satu malam. Katanya, pengunjung juga boleh memilih pakej menginap tiga hari dua malam, 'snorkling', barbeku dengan harga serendah RM250. "Jika pengunjung bernasib baik, mereka juga boleh melihat penyu naik ke pantai untuk bertelur dan telur penyu menetas pada musimnya. "Bagi keluarga yang membawa kanak-kanak berusia 12 tahun ke bawah, tiada bayaran akan dikenakan," katanya.

Menurut Tok Mok, calet miliknya bukan sahaja menerima kunjungan daripada pelancong tempatan malah dari luar negara terutamanya pada musim cuti sekolah. Calet yang dibina dengan kos RM200,000 itu sering dijadikan lokasi oleh pelbagai pihak termasuk agensi kerajaan untuk menganjurkan aktiviti dan kursus. Lebih membanggakan, Sultan Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar turut berkenaan merasmikan calet tersebut pada 29 Julai 2007 semasa program Kembara Mahkota Johor (Jelajah Pulau) ketika baginda bergelar Tunku Mahkota Johor.

-Utusan Online.

Silap eja bukan salah kementerian

KUALA LUMPUR 29 Okt. - Kementerian Pelancongan menjelaskan kesilapan ejaan dalam risalah Pavilion Malaysia yang diedarkan di Ekspo Shanghai 2010 pada Mei lalu, dilakukan oleh syarikat percetakan di negara tersebut. Menterinya, Datuk Seri Dr. Ng Yen Yen berkata, kementeriannya telah membuat semakan teliti ketika menghantar salinan digital maklumat berhubung Pavilion Malaysia ke Shanghai dan mendapati tiada kesalahan dalam ejaan mahupun tatabahasa. Menurut beliau, pihaknya masih menyimpan draf risalah itu dan setiap perkataan dieja dengan betul tanpa sebarang kesalahan. ''Tetapi kesalahan itu wujud ketika syarikat percetakan membuat cetakan dan mereka tidak membuat semakan selepas membuat cetakan.

''Saya pun hanya menyedari kesalahan ejaan itu semalam. Oleh itu, Kementerian Pelancongan akan menghantar surat kepada pihak Ekspo Shanghai bagi mendapatkan penjelasan berhubung isu ini,'' katanya pada sidang akhbar di sini hari ini. Sebelum itu, beliau mengadakan perjumpaan dengan Pengerusi Pelancongan Pentadbiran Kebangsaan Vietnam, Nguyen Van Tuan.

Semalam, Ahli Parlimen Rasah daripada DAP, Anthony Loke meminta penjelasan Kementerian Pelancongan berhubung kesalahan ejaan yang terdapat dalam risalah Pavilion Malaysia yang diedarkan di Ekspo Shanghai 2010 pada Mei lalu. Kesalahan yang terdapat dalam risalah tersebut antaranya 'decelopment' yang sepatutnya dieja 'development', 'visitious' (visitors), 'beautuful' (beautiful) dan 'ciiti' (city). Tambahnya, kementeriannya membuat cetakan risalah itu di negara berkenaan kerana mahu menjimatkan kos. ''Kami mencetak berjuta risalah dan melibatkan kos tinggi jika dicetak di Malaysia selain terpaksa membayar tambang tambahan untuk dibawa ke Shanghai,'' katanya.

Dalam pada itu, tambah Yen Yen, kerajaan Vietnam sangat tertarik dengan kejayaan Kementerian Pelancongan kerana Malaysia merupakan negara yang berada dalam tangga kesembilan iaitu paling banyak dikunjungi oleh pelancong asing pada tahun lalu. ''Kementerian Pelancongan Vietnam berhasrat untuk mengetahui cara-cara menarik pelancong asing. ''Mereka juga akan membawa pegawai daripada Kementerian Pelancongan dan pihak media untuk melawat negara berkenaan dalam masa terdekat,'' katanya.

-Utusan Online.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Yen Yen’s overseas trips cost RM3.25mil

TOURISM Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen has spent RM3.25mil on her overseas trips since she assumed office last year. In a written reply to Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat (BN - Pandan), Dr Ng said RM1.67mil was spent on official overseas trips in 2009 while RM1.58mil was spent from January to October. “Up to October 2010, there have been 16 visits involving 26 countries and 61 cities since I became Tourism Minister,” she said in her reply dated Tuesday and made available to the press by Rasah DAP MP Anthony Loke.

Dr Ng said her promotional visits overseas had enhanced tourist arrivals in Malaysia by 5.2%. “About 16.18 million visitors arrived here between January and August compared with 15.38 million in the same period in 2009,” she added. “With the rise in tourist arrivals in 2009, the country’s income rose by 7.7% from RM49.56bil in 2008 to RM53.36bil last year.” Dr Ng said Malaysia was also in ninth place among 10 most visited countries in the world last year, adding that her foreign visits were an effective strategy in promoting Malaysia. “Foreign tourists will want more information about Malaysia. With these missions, we will be able to interact with their media, relevant agencies and the leaders of the foreign countries,” Dr Ng said.

Meanwhile, Loke pointed out several mistakes in the Malaysian tourism brochures distributed at the Shanghai World Expo 2010. In a press conference at the Parliament lobby, Loke said the brochures which were printed in English contained 11 spelling mistakes. “One part of a sentence read, ‘To know more about Malaysia, we incite you to step into the Malaysia Pavilion.’ “Taman Negara was spelt ‘Taman Nerara’, visitors became ‘visitous’ and beautiful was spelt ‘beautuful’. How can the writers be so careless?”
-thestar online.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Malaysian agents to mine KL-Riyadh air link

A NEW direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Riyadh is expected to boost travel from Saudi Arabia's capital into Malaysia. Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will launch thrice-weekly, direct services from Kuala Lumpur to Riyadh from December 17, its second new destination in Saudi Arabia this year. World Avenues executive director Ally Bhoonee expects a five per cent increase in business volume from Riyadh next year. Bhoonee said his company would be marketing more aggressively in Riyadh as it has an outbound office there.

"More seats from Saudi Arabia give us better opportunities to close the deal," he said. Andy Muniandy, Asian Overland Services Tours & Travel director of sales and business development, said he was now eyeing the MICE market from Riyadh due to the convenience provided by the direct flights. MAS' twice-weekly flights to Dammam via Dubai commenced on May 5. The airline already has six weekly direct flights to Jeddah.
-TTG Asia.

Menara Alor Setar tawar pakej lawatan pelajar

ALOR STAR 27 Okt. - Menara Alor Setar dengan kerjasama Muzium Telekom dan Menara Kuala Lumpur Sdn. Bhd. mengadakan pakej lawatan khas untuk pelajar sekolah di Kedah. Pengurus Besar Menara Alor Setar, Mazlan Mahmud berkata setiap pelajar hanya dikenakan bayaran RM10 dan mereka akan daibawa naik ke menara tersebut. "Selain itu mereka juga akan dibawa menginap di Muzium Telekom di Kuala Lumpur selama satu malam sebelum dibawa naik ke Menara Kuala Lumpur pada keesokan harinya," katanya dalam satu kenyataan di sini.

Beliau berkata, pihak sekolah hanya perlu menyediakan pengangkutan untuk membawa para pelajar mereka manakala lain-lain keperluan seperti penginapan, makanan dan aktiviti akan ditanggung oleh pihak menara. "Objektif utama pakej ini diperkenalkan kepada pelajar khususnya pelajar luar bandar adalah untuk mengikuti perkembangan dan sejarah telekomunikasi negara di samping mewujudkan lawatan sambil belajar yang dipenuhi dengan aktiviti-aktiviti yang menyeronokkan.

"Para pelajar akan diberikan sijil dan pakej ini sebenarnya telah dibuka bermula awal September lalu dan akan berakhir Januari tahun hadapan. "Pihak sekolah perlu membuat tempahan awal supaya ia tidak berselisih dengan sekolah lain kerana kita hanya menghadkan 80 orang pelajar untuk satu-satu masa," kata Mazlan.
- BERNAMA

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

An update on major issues and events from the past

AirAsia X celebrates 3rd anniversary. AirAsia X (AAX) revolutionised longhaul travel by offering low-cost services when it burst onto the aviation scene three years ago.

THEN AAX was formed to complement AirAsia’s shorthaul services and provide low-cost, medium- and longhaul services. It commenced operations on November 2, 2007 with four direct weekly flights to Gold Coast, Australia, from low-cost carrier terminal KLIA in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. AAX injected 1,260 additional weekly seats that eased the access shortage between Kuala Lumpur and Brisbane via Sydney. In February 2008, it launched its second route – daily services between Kuala Lumpur and Hangzhou in China.

NOW AAX has nine aircraft in its fleet, of which seven are Airbus A330-300 and two are A340-300. It flies to 11 destinations in Asia-Pacific and Europe. This year, it started flights to Mumbai (May 6), Delhi (Aug 4)and Tehran (August 4). Later in the year, it will add Seoul (November 1) and Haneda in Japan (December 9) to its network. With its novel concept, AAX has created a new segment of travellers. The difference in airfare between a full-service airline and longhaul budget carrier AAX is about RM1,000 (US$323), more if booked at least a month in advance. 

FUTURE AAX will take delivery of 18 A330s in stages up to 2016 and 10 A350s from 2017 onwards. The A330s will further link Kuala Lumpur with six core markets. These are Australia, China, South Korea, Japan, India and the Middle East. The A350s will be used to connect direct flights between Kuala Lumpur and four or five European cities as well as one or two North American cities.
-TTG Asia.

PHM tingkat kempen inap desa

Pelancong dari Sweden bersama keluarga angkat Melayu semasa menginap di inap desa Kampung Kuala Medang, Kuala Lipis, baru-baru ini.

TEMERLOH 26 Okt. - Persatuan Homestay Malaysia (PHM) akan meningkatkan kempen menginap di inap desa bagi menggalakkan lebih ramai pelancong domestik dan antarabangsa berkunjung ke Pahang. Presidennya, Shariman Hamdan berkata, pihaknya juga akan mengadakan kempen tersebut ketika Kementerian Pelancongan mengadakan promosi di luar negara. Katanya, ia perlu bagi menggalakkan pelancong luar bermalam di inap desa yang disediakan dengan pelbagai kemudahan. ''Pada masa ini, terdapat trend pelancong asing lebih berminat bermalam di inap desa kerana murah dan boleh mengenali budaya, makanan dan berhubung dengan penduduk tempatan," katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian kepada pemberita selepas majlis makan malam Kelab 1Malaysia Inap Desa Murni di Kampung Desa Murni, Sanggang dekat sini baru-baru ini. Menurut Shariman, kebanyakan pakej percutian sekolah dari luar negara juga lebih berminat bermalam di inap desa. Dalam tempoh Januari hingga Julai tahun ini, kata beliau, pendapatan keseluruhan pengusaha inap desa di Pahang ialah sebanyak RM6.2 juta dengan bilangan pelancong seramai 108,798.
''Bilangan kedatangan pelancong yang menginap di inap desa di negeri ini meningkat sebanyak 18.4 peratus berbanding tempoh sama tahun lalu," katanya. Daripada jumlah itu, kata beliau, 42 peratus yang menginap di inap desa adalah pelancong asing dan hanya 12 peratus pelancong domestik.

Menurutnya, promosi serta kempen galakan pelancongan perlu diadakan sebagai usaha memperkenalkan kesenian, adat dan budaya rakyat tempatan selain menjimatkan perbelanjaan mereka. Program inap desa, kata beliau, ternyata dapat memberikan sumber pendapatan sampingan kepada penduduk tempatan. Tambahnya, sehingga ini terdapat sebanyak 138 inap desa di seluruh negara dengan hampir 3,000 pengusaha persendirian yang menyediakan lebih 4,000 bilik.
-Utusan Online.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Putting Malaysia on shopping haven world map

KUALA LUMPUR: Genting’s plan to build an RM150mil Johor Premium Outlets in Genting Indahpura, Johor, is expected to put Malaysia on the world map of shopping havens. “We are excited as it will be the first premium outlet centre for the South-East Asia retail market,” Genting Simon Sdn Bhd director Datuk Justin Leong said. The project is a mixed development township comprising a hotel, an international water theme park and retail outlets.
Leong said the premium outlet would offer a wide selection of designer fashion products.

According to the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) Roadmap, the outlet is scheduled to start by 2013. Two other premium outlets will be built in Sepang and Penang.
Currently, such premium outlets in Asia are located in Japan and Korea, offering luxury goods at deep discounts besides out-of-season items. At the ETP launch yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Johor Premium Outlets would attract foreign tourists, especially Singaporeans.
-thestar online.

Rainforest Centre to be developed as open zoo

THE Malaysian Rainforest Discovery Centre in Sabah will be further developed as an open zoo concept. It is one of the efforts to launch Malaysia as one of the world’s premium eco-tourism destinations. While the rainforest centre will showcase Malaysia’s wild flora and fauna, the Malaysian Marine Discovery Centre will focus on the marine species. Total funding required is estimated at RM896mil for over a period of 10 years (2010-2020) and the bulk of it will come from private sector.

The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry and the Tourism Ministry will set up the Global Biodiversity Hub (GBH) Board of Management which will comprise representatives from the federal and state governments, private sector, the academia and non-governmental organisations. After a one-year interim period, it will be managed as a non-governmental body with federal and state government representatives participating to ensure that the policies are in line with the national objectives.

Last year, the tourism industry generated RM36.9bil in gross national income (GNI), making it the fifth largest industry after oil, gas and energy, financial services, wholesale and retail, and palm oil. It hopes to reap RM103.6bil in GNI in 2020 and increase higher yield from not only increased tourist arrivals (24 million in 2009 to 36 million by 2020) but also the amount they spend. The ministry targets RM168bil tourist receipts by then and this would mean that the industry will grow by three times and contribute RM3bil receipts per week by 2020.
The 12 entry point projects (EPPs) for tourism are divided into five themes that cater to different segment of tourists such as the avid shopper, nature lover, business traveller and families on vacation.

Another highlight is the development of eco-nature integrated resorts in Sabah. A private investor who has the land, financial resources and industry expertise has been identified for the project and will work with the Sabah state government and related federal agencies to obtain the necessary approvals before 2011. The first phase of the development is expected to be ready by 2013. Total investment is expected to be RM6.7bil with RM6.1bil from the private investor and the rest from the Government while the GNI is expected to be RM707mil with 7,700 jobs created by 2020.

Other EPPs include the development of a Straits Riviera, modelled after the French Riviera cruise experience, positioning Malaysia as a duty-free shopping destination and turning the Bukit Bintang area as a premier shopping precinct with seamless connectivity, establishing premium outlets in three locations and increase flight frequencies and air rights to 10 priority cities. In order to successfully implement all the EPPs, a cumulative total of RM136.6bil (3% public and 97% private) will be required from 2011 to 2020.
-thestar online.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Malaysia remains top destination for Singapore travellers

MALAYSIA continues to be the top destination for Singapore travellers, with 6.3 million trips made between January and June, an increase of 2.5 per cent as compared to the same period in 2009. According to a survey by the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore, Indonesia came in second with half a million visits, followed by China with 484,000 visits.

Nine out of the top 10 outbound destinations registered positive growth for the first six months of this year, with the highest growth registered by Japan with an increase of 100.8 per cent. South Korea grew by 61.8 per cent; Hong Kong, 32.8 per cent; Taiwan, 30.3 per cent and Indonesia, 28.3 per cent. Moderate growth was recorded for Thailand with an increase of 11.3 per cent, Australia with 3.4 per cent, and Macau with three per cent.
-TTG Asia.

Malacca Zoo now has over 530 wildlife species

MALACCA: In a bid to inculcate the love for wildlife among the people, the Malacca Zoo now has over 530 species of wildlife for the public to view. Its director, Ahmad Azhar Mohammed, said the species included 1,340 animals. “Of the species, about 10% are endangered,” he told Bernama at the closing of 2010 Wildife Week at the zoo in Ayer Keroh yesterday.

Among the endangered species are the red panda, tapir, banteng (a species of cow), tree tiger and black panther. Ahmad Azhar said the zoo also conducted animal breeding programmes, especially for endangered animals. The Malacca Zoo started operations as a transit centre for wildlife in 1963, before it was launched by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Aug 13, 1987.
­— Bernama

National-level Deepavali do in Sg Petani

PORT DICKSON: The national-level Deepavali celebration will be held in Sungai Petani, Kedah, on Nov 13, Information Communication and Cul­­­­ture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim. He said the location was chosen because it was away from major urban areas and was part of the strategy to bring leaders closer to the people.

Various programmes, including cultural performances, would be held to promote the 1Malaysia spirit, he told reporters at a Deepavali carnival organised by the Telok Kemang MIC here yesterday. Rais said there was no need to hold such a festival at the stadium and have the programme filled with speeches by leaders. “If possible, we want leaders to visit the homes of the local residents, have tea and talk to them,” he added.
— Bernama

Johor aims to be honeymoon destination

JOHOR BARU: Johor wants to position itself as an international honeymoon destination, similar to other popular spots like Bali, Hawaii and Singapore. Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said Johor had several attractive locations to lure couples from all over the world to have their wedding reception or honeymoon here. For example, he cited Johor’s beautiful beaches like Desaru and the Mersing islands off South China Sea such as Pulau Rawa, Pulau Sibu, Pulau Tinggi and Pulau Besar, as a perfect setting for a beach wedding.
Abdul Ghani said the couples could also choose to have a “green” theme wedding by having their events at parks and gardens.

“We need to learn from Bali, Hawaii and Singapore on how to attract these couples and honeymooners to come here,” he said in his speech at the launch of the Wedding and Beauty Fair here. The text of his speech was read out by Yayasan Warisan Johor director Jama Johan. Abdul Ghani said good marketing strategies were needed to develop Johor as the preferred choice of newlyweds. He noted that wedding receptions were a lucrative business, which would create economic spin-offs such as costume rental from bridal boutiques, bridal make-up services, photography and hotel accommodation.

Abdul Ghani said the Tourism Ministry could also help to promote Malaysia as a wedding destination to international tourists during its roadshows abroad. “Apart from the colourful wedding ceremonies we could also promote popular Malaysian cuisine as well as traditional music to the wedding guests,” he said.
-thestar online.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

M’sia eyes subvention

(BANGKOK) The Malaysia government is set to greenlight a MICE budget on October 15 that will for the first time arm the country with a subvention fund to bid for conventions and guarantee funding for the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) over the next 10 yearsTTG Asia understands a budget of RM25 million (US$8 million), leading to RM55 million by 2020, has been tabled as part of Malaysia’s 10-year action plan, unveiled on September 21, to double tourism receipts to US$33.5 billion. 

Brokenshire: “Hopeful.”

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) general manager, Datuk Peter Brokenshire, said he was “hopeful” the budget would go through, saying Malaysia had lost “several” bids because it was not able to offer subvention. He said he was all for subvention but warned of the need to “be careful it does not go out of hand”. 

Said Brokenshire: “We’ve seen the level of subvention given creating false expectations for a number of organisers. If a professional event of 2,000 pax is guaranteed, say, US$1 million, it could create artificially-low conference fees and not actually attract incremental number of delegates. The selection of a destination for a conference should be based on what benefits the issues discussed would have to the country/city hosting it, and what benefits its delegates could gain from being in the destination, rather than the amount of money put on the table. If a country misses out on a conference that is vital for it, say, AIDS research, because it cannot afford a subvention, that is a sad thing for the industry.”

A “template” detailing guidelines, such as level of funding to be given, has been drawn up following inputs from KLCC, MyCEB consultant Gary Grimmer and other MICE players, according to Brokenshire. Part of the deal is for organisers to show cause how their congress would benefit the country, apart from its economic benefit.

ICCA member and AOS Conventions & Events owner Anthony Wong said subvention had become a “necessary evil”. “Competition is tough in our region, where countries such as South Korea support the business with an aggressive subvention policy. Governments justify it by the direct impact on the economy but also by viewing it as knowledge building and education transfer for the economy when international associations meet in their country.”

Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau director Oliver Chong agrees. “If you do not have a subvention, you lose out” as “there are organisers who shop around and play one destination against another”.  Singapore is continuing its subvention scheme, which is part of the BE in Singapore stimulus launched several years ago, even as the global economy improves and the Singapore tourism industry is booming as a result of new attractions. “We need to look at making our schemes more flexible and geared towards individual events rather than a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Chong.
-
TTG Asia.

Underwater patrols to nab coral thieves from January

ALOR SETAR: Underwater patrols will be conducted at the 42 marine parks nationwide from January to nab those who damage or collect corals. Marine Parks department director Dr Sukarno Wagiman said 100 enforcement personnel would be conducting the patrols to nab these culprits. He said the stricter enforcement was aimed at to prevent damage to corals. He said those caught could be fined under the Fisheries Act but did not specify the amount.

Dr Sukarno also said the temporary closure of several dive sites at three marine parks since June due to coral bleaching has been extended. He said this was because the corals at these sites have yet to fully recover. He said some of the corals had only recovered by between one and two percent. “When we first gave the time frame for the temporary closure until the end of this month, we thought that it would give ample time for the corals to recover. “It seems the corals need a much longer period of time to recover,” Dr Sukarno said Sunday when met at a seminar on coral protection organised by Tourism Malaysia here. He said the department had yet to decide when the dive sites would be reopened to the public.

It was reported in June that several dive sites at the Pulau Tioman marine park in Pahang, Pulau Redang marine park in Terengganu and Pulau Payar marine park in Kedah were temporarily off-limits to divers and snorkellers until the end of October. The sites were affected by coral bleaching, a phenomenon caused by global warming that has increased sea water temperature by 2C to between 28C and 29C. The affected dive sites are Pulau Chebeh and Batu Malang in Pahang; Teluk Dalam, Tanjung Tukas Darat, Tanjung Tukas Laut, Teluk Air Tawar, Pulau Tenggol and Teluk Bakau in Terengganu; and Teluk Wangi, Pantai Damai and Coral Garden in Kedah. Pulau Regis, Pulau Soyak and Pulau Tumok in the Tioman marine park have also been temporarily closed.

-thestar online.

TMCs band together

(KUALA LUMPUR) Ten independent travel management companies (TMCs) in Asia have launched an alliance they tout as Asia’s first and largest corporate travel network with an “Asian-centric focus”. The Corporate Travel Alliance (CTA) has its regional headquarters in Singapore, under its initiator, Corporate Travel Services. Benjamin Christen, CTA director – partner relations, said: “Our value proposition is our regional strength and local knowledge. CTA seeks to leverage on the strength of its partners who know Asia best to meet the needs of clients within and to Asia.” Thaddeus Foo, CTA founding member and Corporate Information Travel managing director, said: “The alliance will provide a strong platform for sustainable longterm value for stakeholders, personalised and culturally-attuned service to customers, and new opportunities for employees.”

CTA members are Corporate Travel Services (Singapore), Corporate Information Travel (Malaysia), TransViet Travel Group (Vietnam), Far East Travel Center (Thailand), Best Tour (Indonesia), DVL (Taiwan), Travelux (Hong Kong), Hanjin Travel (South Korea), King of Travel (The Philippines) and a TMC in Japan whose name could not be disclosed at press time. Members have a combined sales turnover of US$1 billion. By year-end, CTA will expand its alliance into India, China, Australia and the UAE. 

CTA regional director Audrey Ng said partners would benefit from advanced travel technology sharing and account acquisition via regional and local tenders for CTA partners. New clients would gain from free consultation and advice, while all clients would welcome the boutique-style service based on Asian hospitality, competitive pricing and the conveniences of a one-stop hassle-free regional travel management services with consistency throughout. According to Foo, CTA would soon roll out joint marketing initiatives with airlines and hotel partners as well as negotiated deals for clients. He added that alliance members were expected to grow their business by 10 to 30 per cent within a year. 
-TTG Asia.

Tarikan makanan tempatan



NG Yen Yen (empat dari kanan) bersama sebahagian penaja pada majlis prapelancaran Karnival Pertandingan Masakan yang akan diadakan Disember ini di Kuala Lumpur, semalam. – BERNAMA


KUALA LUMPUR 23 Okt. – Pelancong asing yang mengunjungi negara ini dijangka menghabiskan kira-kira RM10.13 bilion untuk makanan sebelum akhir tahun ini, iaitu peningkatan satu peratus berbanding tahun lalu.

Menteri Pelancongan, Datuk Seri Dr. Ng Yen Yen berkata, pada tahun lalu pelancong asing membelanjakan RM9.29 bilion iaitu 17.4 peratus untuk makanan daripada RM53.4 bilion yang dibelanjakan keseluruhannya.

Menurutnya, makanan Malaysia menjadi tarikan utama pelancong asing di mana ia membantu menjana pendapatan ketiga tertinggi dalam sektor pelancongan negara.

“Jumlah pelancong yang mencuba makanan di negara ini semakin meningkat dari hari ke hari dan terdapat pelancong yang mengunjungi negara ini hanya untuk mencuba makanan yang terdiri daripada lebih 100 jenis.

“Oleh itu, saya menyasarkan lebih RM30 bilion akan dibelanjakan oleh pelancong asing bagi makanan tempatan negara,” katanya pada sidang akhbar di sini hari ini.

Sebelum itu beliau telah menyampaikan cenderahati kepada penaja yang akan membantu menjayakan Karnival Pertandingan Masakan yang akan diadakan Disember ini.

Tambah Yen Yen, pada tahun lalu, karnival pertandingan masakan itu berjaya menarik lebih 100,000 pelancong dalam tempoh tiga hari tersebut.

“Pada tahun ini, kami menyasarkan kira-kira 120,000 pelancong akan mengunjungi Pusat Dagangan Dunia Putra (PWTC) dari 17 hingga 19 Disember depan untuk menikmati makanan tradisional Malaysia,” jelasnya.

-Utusan Online.

Jimin Kang wins Sime Darby LPGA

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP): Jimin Kang won the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia for her second LPGA Tour title, beating Juli Inkster by a stroke Sunday when the 50-year-old Hall of Famer bogeyed the final hole. Kang, the 30-year-old South Korean player, birdied the par-4 18th for a 6-under 65 and a 9-under total at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

Inkster finished with her second straight 67. She birdied Nos. 15-17 to take the lead, but couldn't hold on in her bid to break the LPGA Tour age record of 46 years, 8 months set by Beth Daniel in the 2003 Canadian Women's Open. Sweden's Maria Hjorth (71) and Japan's Mika Miyazato (69) tied for third at 6 under, and South Korea's Meena Lee (69) was 5 under. Michelle Wie shot a 74 to tie for 34th at 3 over.

Kang, also the 2005 LPGA Corning Classic winner, birdied three of the last four holes. She earned $270,000 in the inaugural event. The tour will remain in Asia the next two weeks for events in South Korea and Japan.

-thestar online.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Indonesia remains top choice for Singapore, Malaysia and Australia travellers

Singapore, Malaysia and Australia travellers continue to pick Indonesia as their top destination in the next two years, according to Visa and PATA Asia Pacific Travel Intentions Survey 2010. Based on past and future travel plans for the next two years, the online survey conducted by Nielsen involved 6,714 respondents from 13 key Asia-Pacific markets. It indicated that among respondents most likely to head to Indonesia, 29 per cent were from Malaysia, 18 per cent from Australia and 15 per cent from Singapore. 

Taiwan was next at nine per cent, followed by Japan and South Korea at eight per cent each. Both countries had been important markets for Indonesia, but showed declining figures due to the economic crisis. Fifty-nine per cent of respondents who would go to Indonesia within the next two years were repeat travellers who were drawn by the destination's dining and shopping options as well as the natural scenery. First-time travellers who would consider visiting Indonesia cited new attractions, the natural scenery and affordability as deciding factors. They were likely to visit with spouses, stay in four- and three-star hotels for three to five nights and spend an average of US$1,538 per person per trip, including airfare.
-TTG Asia.

Malacca’s past set to come alive

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians will get a chance to experience the lively mysterious tales of Malacca in a refreshing heritage and historical way in April next year. After the upgrade and facelift of the historical city, locals and tourists can watch the story of Malacca in a light and sound presentation through projected water screens on board a traditional Malay ship, Bahtera Merdeka. With the use of modern technology, visitors can venture through time to appreciate the transformation and evolution of Malacca in the existing museums.

All smiles: Suffian Afendi, Mohd Nizar and Magri having a light moment after a media briefing on the “Melaka Alive – History In a New Way” project in Kuala Lumpur Friday.

Bahtera Merdeka will be the first of its kind here and will feature the biggest automated water screen in the region,” said Sarner IXL Sdn Bhd president Mohd Nizar Najib at a media briefing here yesterday on the “Melaka Alive - History In a New Way” project. Upon the completion of the project by 2012, visitors will be able to experience 4D theatre that showcases the rich Malaysian natural history and human planet as well as a time machine ride for visitors.

Sarner IXL chief executive officer Suffian Afendi Ahmad Apandi said Melaka Alive was expected to attract 800,000 to 900,000 visitors in the first year. He said the company planned to spend RM62.6mil to upgrade the existing heritage sites and assets in the historical city in two phases. The project is undertaken by Sarner IXL, a content provider for branding promotions and theme park management. Sarner UK’s managing director Ross Magri and several top management staff were also present at the media briefing yesterday.

-thestar online.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Global win for Avillion PD

The pool deck faces the water chalets
The pool deck faces the water chalets
AVILLION Port Dickson won the Luxury Boutique Hotel award at the recent 2010 World Luxury Hotel Awards held in Hua Hin, Thailand. The awards, the most coveted in the luxury hotel industry, recognise hotels that go the extra mile to service their guests, making them “exceptional hotels”. Avillion Port Dickson, at the third mile of the town’s coastal stretch, is about an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur. It won for consistently providing a high level of efficient and personalised services to guests and for its architectural design, an eclectic blend of Malay and Javanese influences in the style of a Malay fishing village. Water chalets with windows opening out to the sea line the seven finger piers of the unique hotel. 

The hotel’s group executive director Gricia Gan says of the award: “We thank our guests and business partners for this achievement. Our success was a result of the efforts, commitment and dedication of our staff at all levels. We will continue to strive towards providing greater service excellence as we surf new waves in the challenging market environment.”  Avillion Port Dickson has 259 rooms, from Beach Rooms and Garden Chalets to Premium Water Chalets, Water Chalets and Water Suites. The rooms come with either a king-sized bed or two single four-poster beds with a pangkin or day bed, and private open-air bathroom. The Avillion hotel group maintains three other Malaysian beach resorts and hotels: Avillion Admiral Cove, Avillion Legacy Melaka and Avillion Layang-Layang.
-newstraitstimes.

Offers for Malaysia’s pavilion in World Expo in China

KUALA LUMPUR: The Tourism Ministry has received offers from three Chinese local governments to take over the entire building of the Malaysia Pavilion after its exhibition ends this month. Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said the offers came from Hebei, Wuxi and Guangdong local governments. ”They have expressed interest in taking over the building after the World Expo ends late this month and exhibiting it in their cities,” she told reporters at a press conference on the Malaysia Pavilion in the Shanghai World Expo here Friday.

Dr Ng said the Finance Ministry had allocated RM20mil for the building of the Malaysia pavilion and another RM15mil for its maintenance and operating costs. She said all pavilions exhibited would have to be demolished after the expo ended, at the cost of the respective countries. ”However, if we are giving away the building to one of these governments, we will not have to spend money at all to demolish it. ”It will be also a win-win situation for both parties because the building will continue to be exhibited in China and it will be a good promotion material for our country,” she said. She said the offers received showed that people were attracted to the Malaysia Pavilion.

However, she said, the ministry had yet to decide which local government it would give the building to, which would also have to bear the transportation cost if it took over the building. Dr Ng said the pavilion, which opened its door to the public since May 1 this year, had received a total of 6.366mil of visitors as of Wednesday (Oct 20). “The figure made up 10% of the total number of visitors who went to the expo, where 300 pavilions have participated in the exhibition,” she said. She said the Malaysia Pavilion received an average of 40,000 visitors a day with the highest number of visitors recorded on Oct 16, whereby 65,000 people had gone in to the pavilion.

“Our building cost is much lower than other countries,” she said. She said Australia had spent USD82mil (about RM256mil) while New Zealand had spent USD22.8mil (RM70.7mil), Singapore (USD22mil or RM68mil), Indonesia (USD10mil or RM31mil) and Thailand (USD27.14mil or RM84mil). She said the ministry had been very careful with the money spent on the pavilion and that the contract was granted based on the open tender basis. ”We had the engineers seconded by the Works Department for the building of the pavilion and we were monitored by the Shanghai Expo technical committee on a daily basis during its construction to ensure that it meets their criteria,” she said. She said the pavilion did not close its door at all for any repair or alteration work, except once, when there was a heavy downpour and its staff had forgotten to close the window on the roof. “It was a human error and it was not a leakage but it won’t happen again,” she said.

-thestar online.

Malaysia is a top ten tourism market for India

SINGAPORE: Malaysia is now one of the top ten markets providing tourism traffic to India. Appreciating this, India is launching an aggressive campaign to highlight features of interest to Malaysians, according to the Singapore-based Government of India Tourism Office. The Director, Rajesh Talwar, said:" Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand are India's key markets in Southeast Asia."

India recorded some 325,000 visitors from the Asean region last year. Malaysia accounted for 117,000 tourists, followed by Singapore with 96,000 and Thailand with 64,000. Telwar said his office had staged road shows in Kuala Lumpur in June and Penang in July. A road would be held soon in Kuching and another in Johor Baru.

- Bernama

Ng: Overseas trips attracted more tourists

TOURISM Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said money spent for her overseas travels to promote Malaysia had attracted more tourists. Hitting out at the Opposition for calling her a tourist rather than the Tourism Minister, she said the change in strategy was successful. She said the ministry spent less money on promotion last year because she decided to go down to the ground more often and address tourists’ concerns directly as she believed that a minister’s assurance carried more weight.

“If the impact of the minister’s visit is much more than just a general promotion, then the minister should go down to the ground. “The figures speak for themselves. “Who is going to tell me my strategy is wrong?” she asked reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday.

Dr Ng said that in 2008, RM358mil was spent on promotion and tourist arrivals were 22.052 million and receipts from tourists’ spending amounted to RM49.56bil, and last year when the promotion spending was reduced to RM337mil, tourist arrivals increased to 23.65 million.

On another matter, backbencher Liang Teck Meng (BN–Simpang Renggam) lamented on the lack of a proper solid waste disposal system, adding that all types of garbage were thrown in the same landfill and there was no separation of garbage. Landfills in Simpang Renggam, he said, were getting bigger and residents nearby had to endure the foul smell. He added that garbage from Batu Pahat, Kluang and Simpang Renggam amounting to 250 tonnes were all disposed in the same landfill.
-
thestar online.

MAHB To Host Forum Focusing On Future Check-in Practices

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 (Bernama) -- Malaysia will host Check-In Asia, a forum focusing on future check-in practices, at the Pan Pacific Kuala Lumpur International Airport next month. The forum from Nov 24 to 26 will also take a closer look at the end-to-end process from the passenger point of view, from booking to the collection of baggage at the arrival destination, said Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) in a statement Thursday.

Themed "Enhancing the Passenger Experience -- From Beginning to End", the sessions include enhancing the passenger experience through every stage of the travel continuum; security, immigration and facilitation; solving baggage challenges; advanced self-service strategies and future terminals; and implementing new technology and processes. "Malaysia Airports is proud to play host to this exciting new event and delighted to see that so many airlines, airports and leading solution providers have put forward their leading experts to share experiences and ideas in this key subject area of improving the passenger experience," said MAHB managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad.

The speakers at Check-In Asia include Malaysia Airlines' managing director and chief executive officer Tengku Datuk Azmil Zahruddin, SkyTeam Alliance's director of airport services Cees de Vas, ANA All Nippon Airlines' senior manager of passenger services planning Takeshi Tokunaga and leading industry figures and experts. MAHB is organising the event together with PPS, an event management company, and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

RM16.5 Million Sungai Melaka Tourist Monorail Launched

Oct 20 (Bernama) -- The RM16.5 million Sungai Melaka tourist monorail connecting Taman Rempah to the Hang Tuah Station in Jalan Bunga Raya was launched by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam Wednesday. This latest tourism-aimed project uses green technology from China and it covers a 1.6 km route that runs parallel to Sungai Melaka, connecting Hang Tuah Station and the Hang Jebat Station in Taman Rempah. The project was developed by the Historic Melaka City Council.

"The one-coach monorail will be able to ferry 22 passengers each roundtrip which will take about 30 minutes," he told reporters at the official launch of the service in Hang Jebat Station here. The service will be opened to the public Friday. Adults will be charged a fee of RM10 while children will be paying RM2 for the tourist train ride. "I want to express my gratitude to Transport Minister (Datuk Kong Cho Ha) for approving the permit. The project will further drive tourism programmes in Sungai Melaka," Mohd Ali said, adding that the project was significant amid the declaration tonight of Melaka as having achieved developed state status in 2010.

Work on the project started in May 2008 and was completed in June this year by Agibs Engineering Sdn Bhd. The chief minister also said that the Tourism Ministry had approved the second phase of the project costing RM13.2 million which will see the monorail route expanded to Jalan Tun Ali which is close to Jalan Bunga Raya. Work on the second phase is expected to start end of this year with completion next year. This will add on to the service capacity of the monorail to three more coaches and 66 passengers per trip.

International Islamic Tourism Conference And Travel Mart 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 (Bernama) -- An international Islamic Tourism Conference and Travel Mart (ITCM 2010) will be held for four-days, beginning October 28, aimed at showcasing the Islamic tourism and travel trade to the world. The conference would also share and discuss current issues, tourism attributes and new frontiers on Islamic tourism," the Islamic Tourism Centre said in a statement Thursday.

Local travel market and international participants from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Brunei Darussalam, China, India, Thailand, Singapore and South Africa will attend the event. The last two days of the exhibition will be open to the public while the conference and exhibition, on October 28 and 29, is strictly for industry players to network and to establish contacts.
- BERNAMA

MAS offers special fare to markdouble daily Sydney to KL flights

MELBOURNE: Malaysia Airlines is offering a special fare from A$599 to Kuala Lumpur to mark the start of double daily direct flights from Sydney. The sales, from Oct 25, offers flexible travel dates from March 1 to June 15. Malaysia Airlines Regional Senior Vice President, Australia and New Zealand Ignatius Ong said: "To date, we have seen a 17 per cent increase in the number of customers from Sydney travelling to Kuala Lumpur. "In line with the increase in demand, we are offering double daily flights from Nov 1."

He said the flights have been timed to enable passengers arriving in Kuala Lumpur, to connect easily to Europe and other destinations. "We will continue to promote Australia in Malaysia and globally," Ong said. The mid-day flight departs Sydney at 3.40pm and arrives in Kuala Lumpur at 8.50pm. The night service from Sydney departs at 9.55pm and arrives in Kuala Lumpur at 3.20am the following day. Malaysia Airlines operates 47 weekly flights from Australia to Kuala Lumpur. From Jan 15, MAS will introduce three weekly direct flights from Perth to Kota Kinabalu.
- BERNAMA

Tourism facts and figures

TOURISM Malaysia has come out with two vital reports of the country’s tourism industry as a guide to promote, market and improve the infrastructure of tourist destinations. The reports, Malaysia Tourism Key Performance Indicators (KPI) 2009 and the Malaysia Tourists Profile 2009 by Selected Markets, are available at RM50 each.

The first report, among others, furnishes figures such as tourist arrivals and receipts, components of tourist expenditure, hotel guests and room supply from 2007 to 2009.
There is also a section on medical tourism which specifies the number of foreign patients seeking treatment in the country, including their weekly flight frequency and seat capacity. Malaysia Tourism Key Performance Indicators (KPI) 2009, shows, among others, the country’s achievement of 7.7 per cent increase in tourist receipts from RM49.6 billion in 2008 to RM53.4 billion last year. This despite the average occupancy rate of hotels dropping from 66.3 per cent in 2008 to 60.9 per cent last year.

The tourist arrivals in the same period increased from 22,052,488 tourists to 23,646,191 while tourist per capita expenditure grew from RM2,247.40 to RM2,256.70. The Malaysia Tourists Profile 2009 by Selected Markets shows the travel patterns and demographics of Malaysia’s top 20 markets. The average length of stay of tourists increased by 0.3 night from 6.4 nights in 2008 to 6.7 nights last year. Tourists from the Asean region showed an increase of 10.5 per cent from 16,636,977 in 2008 to 18,386,363 last year.

Singapore is the largest contributor in the region, accounting for 51.5 per cent of the total receipts. The Asean receipts show a 12.3 per cent increase from 2008. Those who wish to buy the reports through the post need to pay RM55 for each of the reports. Overseas purchase including postage is US$60 (RM186.35) for The Malaysia Tourism Key Performance Indicators (KPI) 2009 and US$55 (RM170.80) for the second report.

For more details, contact Nurul Ain Md Kasim or Norjuliana Nordin, Finance Department, Tourism Malaysia, 15th Floor, Menara Dato’ Onn, Putra World Trade Centre, 45 Jalan Tun Ismail, 50480 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-2615 8189/8185/2615 8188, fax: 03-2692 3007 or email nurul@tourism.gov.my or norjuliana@tourism.gov.my.
-newstraitstimes.

Michelin star honour for Malaysian restaurant in New York

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian restaurant in New York City, Laut, has been awarded a prestigious Michelin star for its achievements in Malaysian cuisine. Two other Malaysian restaurants in New York City, Nyonya and Fatty Crab, have also been acknowledged in the 2011 Michelin Guide for New York City Restaurants. All three restaurants are participants in Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation's (Matrade) Malaysia Kitchen Programme (MKP).

Located near Union Square, Laut is believed to be the first Malaysian restaurant in the United States to receive this award, a huge culinary honour. Having a Michelin star associated with a restaurant means that a restaurant is not only among the best in its city, but also in the world.
It is a mark of consistent excellence across all categories and it is based solely on the quality of its food. Among the notable Malaysian dishes served at Laut are beef rendang, curry laksa, satay and nasi lemak. "Not only is this a wonderful honour for Laut, Fatty Crab and Nyonya, it also elevates the overall position and prominence of Malaysian cuisine in the US," said Wan Latiff Wan Musa, Matrade's New York-based trade commissioner, in a press statement.

"The award complements the goal of our Malaysia Kitchen For The World campaign, of which these restaurants are active participants. Our campaign seeks to boost interest among Americans to try Malaysian food and visit Malaysian restaurants. We are confident that this prestigious award will generate more excitement about Malaysian cuisine all over the world." The Michelin guide has become an international benchmark in gourmet dining. Now representing 23 countries and three continents, the collection of 26 Michelin guides includes more than 45,000 addresses. Its team of highly trained inspectors visits establishments anonymously, applying Michelin's international standards for quality across many categories.
-thestar online.
http://www.malaysiakitchen.my/

Ministry to work with media to promote clean, green campaign

KUALA LUMPUR: The Tourism Ministry is committed to collaborating with media groups to increase public awareness on the 1Malaysia Green, 1Malaysia Clean campaign. Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said the campaign is aimed at changing the mindset, habits and attitudes of Malaysians towards cleanliness. “This is an initiative to spread the message that every Malaysian needs to contribute to making the country clean,” she said at a press conference yesterday to announce the media collaboration.

The media partners are The Star Group, Media Prima Group, New Straits Times Press, NST-Travel, Harian Metro, Sin Chew Daily, Guang Ming Daily, Nanyang Siang Pau, China Press, Jiayu (Astro Channel 304) and Malay Mail. “The 1Malaysia Green, 1Malaysia Clean campaign is part of the ministry’s efforts to engage the public and corporations to make Malaysia clean and attractive for all residents,” said Dr Ng. The ministry would allocate RM5mil for the first phase for promotions and activities for the campaign throughout the year.

The campaign will involve the public, tourists, secondary school students, private bodies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The campaign will be promoted in The Star’s special environment pullout – Go Green Live Green every third Tuesday of the month. The Star will also make the 1Malaysia Green, 1Malaysia Clean part of its BRATs activities and it will also feature in the The Star Kids Fair 2010.
-thestar online.

Sarawak spends 1 million to help trade

SARAWAK is pumping in RM1 million (US$319,700) to promote the state to Singapore's local and expatriate market. The budget would focus on direct promotional efforts aimed at Singapore consumers, which is a key South-east Asia market. This would include advertisement placements in the local media and local promotional brochures to supplement the efforts of outbound agents in Singapore. 

These strategies would complement the efforts of a newly formed consortium of 26 outbound travel agents in Singapore, who would work closely with seven inbound tour operators in Singapore to promote the destination through 38 packages created specially for this market. These packages range from full-day tours to Niah Cave to six-day/five-night tours to Kuching and Sibu. 

Sarawak's eight-month campaign, which ends in June 2011, is timely as it comes in the wake of improved air connectivity between Singapore and Sarawak over the last two years. Furthermore,
Malaysia Airlines will launch new daily flights between Miri and Singapore on October 31. This will be the only direct connection between the two points since AirAsia suspended its services on the Miri-Singapore route on March 1. Direct air links between Miri and Singapore are vital for Sarawak's tourism as Miri is Sarawak's northern gateway.
-TTG Asia.

Guna Internet promosi pelancongan

KUCHING 20 Okt. - Rakyat Sarawak terutamanya pengusaha industri pelancongan seharusnya menggunakan kemudahan Internet untuk mempromosi serta memperkenalkan destinasi menarik di negeri ini kepada dunia. Menteri Muda Pelancongan dan Warisan, Mong Dagang berkata, ini kerana kemudahan Internet merupakan kaedah yang terbukti berkesan untuk mempromosikan Sarawak ke seluruh dunia. Sehubungan itu, katanya, pengusaha-pengusaha industri pelancongan di negeri ini diminta untuk menggunakan kemudahan tersebut dalam usaha memperluaskan pasaran dan produk masing-masing.

''Menerusi Internet, seseorang itu boleh mencipta laman web sendiri dengan meletakkan kandungan yang dapat memperkenalkan serta mempromosikan produk atau destinasi pelancongan menarik di Sarawak. ''Ini kerana, sebuah laman web yang sesuai bukan sahaja memudahkan pelanggan atau pelancong melihat huraian-huraian tarikan pelancongan di negeri ini, malah dapat terus membuat tempahan melaluinya," katanya.

-Utusan Online.

AirAsia tawar tambang rendah setiap Jumaat mulai esok

KUALA LUMPUR 21 Okt. – AirAsia Bhd memperkenalkan “Hari Penerbangan Hebat” yang membolehkan pelanggan menikmati tambang rendah setiap Jumaat ke destinasi terpilih. Mulai esok, penumpang akan diberi tawaran tambang murah bermula 11 malam hingga 4 pagi bagi tempoh perjalanan daripada 1 hingga 30 November tahun ini, kata syarikat penerbangan itu dalam kenyataan hari ini. "Ini merupakan satu lagi kempen pemasaran kreatif AirAsia untuk menyediakan nilai harga berbaloi kepada pelanggan,” kata Ketua Komersial Serantau, Kathleen Tan.

Tawaran mingguan itu membolehkan pelanggan memaksimumkan rangkaian laluan AirAsia dan ke rangkaian di seluruh rantau ASEAN, China, Taiwan, India, Jepun, Korea Selatan, Australia dan Eropah. Kempen minggu ini menawarkan tambang serendah RM55 perjalanan sehala ke destinasi seperti Phuket, Jakarta dan Kuching, dan mereka yang berminat boleh melayari www.airasia.com atau www.mobile.airasia.com setiap Jumaat semasa waktu yang dinyatakan.

– Bernama

Motor tourism set to become high-yield product

KUALA LUMPUR: Motor tourism is set to go into overdrive as a new tourism product in the country. Come December, a task force is scheduled to meet to chart out a roadmap to develop the sector, said Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen. To extensively develop motor tourism in the country, she said key industry players, including the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), would be roped in to study ways to fuel the sector.

Already, the country had in place, good infrastructure such as highways, and comparatively cheaper fuel price, to help enhance motor tourism, she noted. We just need to look at how (best) to optimise this infrastrucuture and existing tourism products, such as the many homestay programmes that we have, for the 'motorism' prospect. "But at the same time, we also need to study and improve our weaknesses, such as road signs," she said Thursday, after launching the advertising and promotion campaign for the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show 2010 (KLIMS'10). Dr Ng added that the ministry would also study the best practices from other countries before innovatively promoting motor tourism to suite the local prospective.

Earlier in her speech, the minister said motor tourism had the potential to become a high yield tourism product and KLIMS'10 could be used to promote the sector. KLIMS'10 will be held from Dec 3 to 12 at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC). It is expected to lure about 330,000 visitors and tourists. The Star is the official media for the event.

- Bernama.

Plans afoot to draw affluent visitors through works of local artists

KUALA LUMPUR: See Malaysia through its works of art. This is the message that the Tourism Ministry hopes to relay worldwide to draw more affluent visitors to the country. “Through art, the ministry aims to develop Malaysian tourism into a high-yield, high-end industry,” said Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen. “We want to fully optimise local artists and art galleries as our tourism products,” she said when launching the art catalogue of the up-coming Art Expo Malaysia 2010 here yesterday. The five-day event that starts on Oct 28 at the Matrade Exhibition and Trade Centre will feature art works from Malaysia and 18 other countries, including Argentina, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Germany and Japan.

Showcase of art: Dr Ng launching the art catalogue of the 4th International Art Expo Malaysia 2010 in Menara Dato’ Onn at the Putra World Trade Centre Wednesday.

Also included are Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Korea, Macau and Myanmar. The other countries are Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain and Taiwan. Dr Ng said the ministry had begun promoting art shows and festivals to make people aware of Malaysian art. She cited, as an example, the 1Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourism Festival 2010 in July that drew more than 28,600 visitors and yielded more than RM1.7mil in sales. As for the annual Art Expo, which is going into its fourth year, Dr Ng said the ministry had been supportive of the event, which had proven to be financially successful.

The organisers target sales at the expo to be around RM8mil this year, improving from the RM5.6mil chalked up last year and RM5.3mil in 2008. With art tourism being one of its products, Dr Ng said the ministry hopes to increase tourist arrivals to 36 million by 2020, which is 1.5 times its current number, and tourism receipts to more than RM156bil, which is three times the current revenue.

-thestar online.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

AirAsia chides Singapore rival in newspaper

PETALING JAYA: The rivalry between the two Tonys heading two budget airlines in the region continues – with AirAsia taking out a full-page colour advertisement chiding the Singapore-based Tiger Airways. The advertisement, published in The Straits Times yesterday, depicted a cartoon caricature of a tiger cub on the bottom left with the words: “If tigers were meant to fly, they would be born with wings.” AirAsia put out the advertisement after Tiger Airways had reportedly accused the AirAsia boss of making a racial slur with his “white guys” remark.

Tiger Airways, headed by British Tony Davis, had earlier expressed disappointment over AirAsia head Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes alleged racist remarks. In a recent Bangkok Post article, Fernandes expressed his scepticism over Westerners running any successful Asia-based business. “We’re Asians, not a bunch of white guys running the airlines,” Fernandes was quoted as saying, and this caused the eruption of the war of words between the two Tonys.

According to reports, the Thai Transport Ministry had opposed the 51:49 joint venture between Thai Airways and Tiger Airways – with local industry players questioning the need since Thai Airways already had a 39% share in Nok Air, Thailand’s budget airline.
-thestar online.

Plan to boost tourism with Morocco in the works

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and Morocco plan to have more mutual investments and tourist arrivals. Speaking at a joint press conference with her Moroccan counterpart Yassir Zenagui at the Parliament lobby yesterday, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said Malaysia was attracting many tourists from China, India and South-East Asian countries. Morocco, on the other hand, received many Europeans, Ameri­cans and South Americans, she said.

Dr Ng said there were currently 17 weekly flights from Malaysia to Morocco, via Dubai. “We received 5,000 Moroccan tourists in 2006, but unfortunately the figure has since been declining,” she said. Zenagui, who invited Dr Ng to visit his country, said bilateral cooperation would enable Malaysia and Morocco to strengthen their tourism markets. “We have more Moroccans coming here than Malaysians going (to Morocco),” he said.
-
thestar online.

Red Planet and Tune Hotel team up to tap budget markets

MALAYSIA'S Tune Hotel Group has partnered Red Planet Hotels in a franchise to grow its presence in budget travel markets. Red Planet Hotels cited the unique hotel concept of Tune Hotels as a key factor in its decision for the partnership. The no-frills Tune Hotel Group, which is owned by AirAsia, adopts a limited-service model used by low-cost airlines.

“The concept has been successful. Brokering on this success, we are expanding the market to include China, Thailand, India, Philippines and Bangladesh,” said Red Planet Hotels chief executive officer Tim Hansing. He added: “The concept is for Red Planet Hotels to operate Tune Hotels under the franchise model. Recently, 1,023 rooms were signed, covering six hotels in three countries – including cities like Jakarta, Bangkok, Pattaya, Angeles City and two in Manila, while more deals are in the works.”

Red Planet Hotels would operate Tune Hotels under the franchise model. The expanded Tune Hotel model would be similar to the original concept, where guests are charged for the services they use. Plans are in store to tackle the lucrative China market, but Hansing declined to disclose the location of Red Planet Hotels' debut in China.
-TTG Asia.