Monday, October 31, 2011

The Aryani - A Royal Retreat


Located on the quiet sandy beach of Terengganu facing the Redang National Marine Park, is The Aryani Resort. With just 20 villa units to ensure exclusivity and privacy, The Aryani Resort is a cultural retreat offering the finest collections of authentic Malay culture and artifacts. The owner, an architect - conservationist, wants The Aryani Resort to be a total cultural experience.


The State of Terengganu which has one of the longest coastlines in Malaysia has been widely regarded as the cradle of Malay culture in Malaysia. It’s rich heritage of hand woven gold thread 'Songket', brassware, fine-wood carvings, woven mats and batik are amongst the local handicrafts used throughout The Aryani in the order to indulge guests in local culture.


Amongst the unique features of The Aryani Resort are the hundred-year-old timber 'Heritage Suites' which has been dismantled and rebuilt on the resort site. The 'Heritage Suite' is part of the original timber Palaces Complex of Royal households from the previous Century. It offers guests the unique experience of living in an ancient Malay Timber Palace.


All villa units have their own private garden and gateway with an outdoor sunken bathtub in an intimate garden setting. The Heritage and Modern Suites feature both outdoor and indoor baths giving guests the choice of enjoying both luxuries.


accommodation in terengganu resort merang


For guests to sample the delights of local cuisines, The Aryani offers three food outlets, 'The Serai' open-air restaurant, 'The Hikayat' Fine Dining which is fully air-conditioned and the 'Pulau' Beach Club at the beachfront. While 'The Serai' is more casual and informal, 'The Hikayat' Fine Dining offers an intimate ambience for those wanting more privacy. 'The Pulau' Beach Club is a very laid back and rustic open pavilion right on the beach.


The Central Courtyard resembling an ancient village square, holds the swimming pool with the three elevated pavilions built around it. These pavilions are used by the traditional 'Gamelan' musicians in the evenings for their daily performances. The Central Courtyard is the recreational and traditional performances area popularly used by guests. In the evening, the Central Courtyard comes alive with the tantalizing music of the classical 'Gamelan' Orchestra. It is a place to escape the business world and be immersed in a fantasy world of past civilisation.


Just off the beach of The Aryani are various islands of the National Marine Park offering crystal clear diving waters and rich coral communities. A short boat ride away is one of the finest Marine Parks of Peninsular Malaysia.


We call The Aryani a cultural experience, but some choose to call it a 'Fantasy Retreat' into the past civilisation where time stood still. Whatever it may be regarded as, it is a retreat to be experienced.


- www.thearyani.com

MACS a hit with Singaporeans

JOHOR BARU: Mobile counters aimed at registering foreigners for the Malaysia Automated Clearance System (MACS) have received overwhelming response since they were initiated on Oct 15.

State Immigration director Nasri Ishak said the department had registered 12,098 applicants through the counters. “We have received a lot of positive feedback especially from Singa­poreans who are happy that we have made the registration process so easy,” he told The Star.

Nasri said the counters were strategically placed at shopping complexes frequented by Singaporeans. “We have also stationed multi-lingual staff at the counters,” he said, adding that those interested would only have to bring along their passports and pay a fee of RM30.

Nasri said those who registered for MACS would not have to fill up the white immigration cards whenever they enter the country. “Once registered, holders have a special sticker on their passports which will be scanned whenever they pass our checkpoints,” he said.

He added that the counters would be available until Nov 15 but the department would consider extending the period if the response continued to be positive. “Currently, the mobile counters are at Jusco Bukit Indah, Jusco Tebrau, Holiday Plaza, Plaza Angsana and City Square Johor Baru,” said Nasri.

-thestar online.

Students turn padi farmers

KANGAR: A group of foreign students trudged eagerly through the muddy padi field in Kampung Sungai Bakong here to experience the traditional way of planting through the “Mai Turun ke Bendang” (Let’s Go Down to the Padi Field) event.

The participants of the Antarabudaya Malay sia (Malaysia Intercultural) student exchange programme, who are here for between three months and a year, were also aptly clad in Perlis padi farmers’ attires. The students are not only learning the local culture and way of life, they have also picked up Bahasa Malaysia (Malays language).

Growing with joy: Two foreign exchange students planting padi in Kampung Sungai Bakong yesterday.

Meveen Patzelt, 19, from Germany, is one of them. She said she did not find it tough although it was her first such experience. Daniela Reiter, 15, said she was fascinated with the local culture.

Antarabudaya Malaysia board chairman Yahya Mat Hassan said each year, 300 students were involved in the student exchange programme, with 200 Malaysians taking part in the programme overseas and 100 foreign students coming here.

Established 54 years ago, the Antarabudaya Malaysia programme is under the auspices of the American Field Service (AFS), which was introduced 10 years earlier. Earlier, the Perlis Mentri Besar’s wife Datin Seri Asiah Asmuni launched the event. 

– Bernama.

Conservation boost for pygmy elephants in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Efforts to establish forest corridors along the lower Kinabatangan region – where isolated groups of wildlife are under threat – have received a boost with the recent collaring of five Borneo pygmy elephants.

Wildlife researchers said the four female and one male pachyderm would provide researchers with crucial information on the available elephant habitat in the region. Dr Benoit Goosens of the wildlife research unit, Danau Girang Field Centre, said: “Extensive agriculture through oil palm plantations has considerably reduced the habitat of elephants in Kinabatangan, increasing human-elephant conflict. “The herd there, estimated at about 200 to 250, is having difficulty moving between flooded lands, swamps, fenced plantations, villages and nature lodges,” he said yesterday.To complicate matters, Dr Goosens said uncontrolled tourism with up to 20 boats along riverbanks increased the pressure on the elephants when they drink from the river. “It is time we act to re-establish quality habitat and provide space for the elephants in the Kinabatangan region,” he added.

Three Bornean elephants were fitted with a satellite collar last week in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary as part of a collaborative project between the Sabah Wildlife Department, the non-governmental organisation HUTAN and the centre. The project was financed by the Asian Elephant Conservation Fund from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, Elephant Family, Houston Zoo and Columbus Zoo.

Last week, members of the centre and the department’s Wildlife Rescue Unit re-collared one bull named Gading (it was first collared in July 2008) and two females. “We followed another bull for almost two hours when Gading showed up. He was our primary target and it took us another two hours to dart and collar him,” said Jibius Dausip from the unit who led the collaring team. Department
director Dr Laurentius Ambu said the launching of the Sabah Elephant Action Plan in January would pave the way for the government to properly manage the elephant population in the state.
-thestar online.

Malaysia gets China charters

Growing interest in Malaysia among travellers from the Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan has prompted travel agents in those markets to commence chartered flights starting December.

M. Wahid, director, Tourism Malaysia South China, told TTG Asia e-Daily that these flights will take off from Chengdu and Kunming to Sabah, Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur. He pointed out that Sabah, on the northern side of Malaysia’s Borneo island, has also been gaining much popularity among Chinese travellers from Guangzhou. However, he did not elaborate on the number of chartered flights planned.

“Malaysia is now concentrating on attracting the high-end segment from China,” he said. In the past six months, Malaysia received 560,000 arrivals from mainland China, a six per cent increase compared to the same period in 2010.
-TTG Asia.

MM2H applications set to increase

KUALA LUMPUR: The number of applicants for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme is expected to grow by 10% this year.

Tourism Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Ong Hong Peng said up to September 16,372 participants had registered for the programme. “Since the programme was launched in 2002, each year we have seen an increase of 6% to 7%, but it is expected to go up,” Dr Ong said when interviewed at the MM2H Agents Association International Gala Night here on Saturday. 

Dr Ong said the highest number of applicants came from China with 2,693 followed by Bangladesh with 1,996, United Kingdom, Japan and Iran. Dr Ong also said the MM2H agents had been working closely with the ministry to promote the programme. Meanwhile, the President of the MM2H Agents Association, Jeremy Yeong said the next target market is Russia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
-thestar online.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Qurban 2011 @ Pachitan Homestay

Van Pelt wins CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia title


KUALA LUMPUR: Bo Van Pelt won the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia golf title with a tournament record total of 23-under 284 at the Mines Resort and Golf Club here on Sunday.

The 36-year-old American carded a final round 64 to win by six strokes from second-placed American Jeff Overton. Overton carded a final round 69. Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson carded a final round 68 to finish third with a 16-under total.

Local ace Danny Chia carded a final round 70 to finish joint 13th on 12-under 284. Danny took home about US$85,000 - the biggest pay cheque of his career thus far.

Van Pelt was two-under at the turn on Sunday and went three shots clear after Overton bogeyed the 12th and 13th holes. He pulled away from the hapless Overton with three birdies on the trot from Holes 13 to 15 for the 23-under total. American Ben Crane won the inaugural event last year with a 18-under 284.

Van Pelt pocketed US$1.3mil for the victory. Although Overton failed to mount a strong challenge, he still walked away with US$550,000 for second place. Former Asian Tour No. 1 Jeev Milkha Singh of India was the best placed Asian finisher. He carded a final round of five-under 66 for a share of 10th spot with a 13-under total. 

Results 

261: Bo Van Pelt (US) 66-64-67-64;

267: Jeff Overton (US) 67-62-69-69; 

268: Fredrik Jacobson (Swe) 65-64-71-68;

269: Camilo Villegas (Col) 69-66-68-66, Cameron Tringale (US) 66-68-71-64, Mark Wilson (US) 67- 66-67-69;

270: Vijay Singh (Fij) 72-64-66-68, John Senden (Aus) 67-70-68-65, Ryan Palmer (US) 71-65-67-67;

271: Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind) 69-69-67-66, Jerry Kelly (US) 69-66-69-67, Jason Dufner (US) 70-67-65-69;

272: Brandt Snedeker (US) 71-68-67-66, Robert Allenby (Aus) 63-72-70-67, Stewart Cink (US) 67-66-71-68, Jimmy Walker (US) 66-67-71-68, Chris Kirk (US) 71-65-67-69, Danny Chia (Mas) 71-65-66 -70; 

273: Ricky Barnes (US) 69-71-66-67;

274: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 70-67-72-65, Jonathan Byrd (US) 69-68-69-68, Ben Crane (US) 69-68-68-69;

275: Tommy Gainey (US) 68-70-70-67, Spencer Levin (US) 70-67-72-66, Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) 64-69-72-70; 

276: Kyle Stanley (US) 68-69-72-67, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 68-71-68-69; 

277: Rory Sabbatini (Rsa) 68-70-73-66, Jbe Kruger (Rsa) 70-70-72-65, Chinnarat Phadungsil (Tha) 70-66-72-69; 

278: Stuart Appleby (Aus) 72-67-71-68, Brendon De Jonge (Zim) 68-72-70-68, Scott Stallings (US) 67-72-70-69, Chez Reavie (US) 69-71-67-71;

279: D.A. Points (US) 71-68-71-69, David Gleeson (Aus) 73-71-70-65;

280: Carl Pettersson (Swe) 68-67-78-67, Brian Davis (Eng) 71-71-71-67, Lucas Glover (US) 71-70-71-68, Mohd Siddikur (Ban) 68-73-68-71;

281: Tetsuji Hiratsuka (Jpn) 70-72-72-67; 

286: Brendan Steele (US) 74-73-70-69, Charley Hoffman (US) 69-73-75-69;

288: Chan Yih-shin (Tpe) 72-70-74-72;

291: Angel Cabrera (Arg) 73-73-69-76, Shaaban Hussin (Mas) 72-72-75-72;

293: S.S.P. Chowrasia (Ind) 75-71-74-73.

-thestar online.

AirAsia X slams Malaysia Airports

PUTRAJAYA: AirAsia X, the long-haul budget airline subsidiary of Tune Group, has fired one salvo after another at Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB).

Its chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani aired his grievances against the airport operator via Twitter yesterday. What irked him most was the delay in the construction of the new budget terminal at the KL International Airport, KLIA 2, and the recent hike in airport fees imposed by MAHB.

“Would be interesting to sponsor (Powerman Malaysia Duathlon) if 2012 edition held at KLIA. But too bad MAHB will miss construction deadline for KLIA2. “If the Government allowed AirAsia/Sime Darby to build new low-cost carrier terminal at Labu, it would have been ready by now, no public funds used, and lower charges,” he said, revisiting the old controversy of the Government's earlier nod for AirAsia to build their own terminal in Labu before U-turning in 2009 and ordering MAHB to build the terminal instead.

“MAHB promised the prime minister they could deliver the same. “Now, delayed construction, public funds cost overruns, and they're hiking fees! Way to go, GLC,” he said. MAHB had recently announced the International Passenger Service Charge (PSC) and Aircraft Landing and Parking Charges.

The PSC has been raised by 28% from RM25 to RM32 for international passengers departing from LCCT-KLIA and the Terminal 2 Kota Kinabalu.

This has been lambasted by Azran in his series of hard-hitting tweets, saying that there was no consultation in MAHB's decision. “The critical failure of this knee-jerk policy decision to reinstate airport fee monopolistic increase, is that there is no consultation or analysis.

“We keep taking two steps forward, and get dragged two steps backward. Macam mana nak maju? (How do we progress?)” he asked. Asked by one of his Twitter followers what he thought was the reason behind the fee increase, Azran had only one word in response: “Tamak! (Greed!)” When contacted by The Star yesterday, MAHB declined to comment.

-thestar online.

AirAsia X to rescue Qantas fliers with special fares

PETALING JAYA: Long haul budget airline AirAsia X has announced special fares for passengers affected by Qantas’ decision to ground its flights indefinitely.

“Anyone holding a valid Qantas ticket to any of our AirAsia X destinations in the next 48 hours can access our special one-way rescue fares of RM503,” said AirAsia X chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani in a statement here yesterday. He said passengers with valid Qantas tickets could purchase a seat (if available) at the special fare at any AirAsia X check-in or service counter, which opens three hours prior to flight departure.

AirAsia’s flights are not affected by Qantas’ decision and a check withMalaysia Airlines (MAS) also revealed it does not share flights with the Australian carrier under code-share agreements. A check with the KL Internatio-nal Airport also confirmed that Qantas does not operate out of Malaysia.

At 2pm yesterday, Qantas grounded all its domestic and international flights in an unprecedented response against unions, amid unresolved disputes between both parties. Announcing the action, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said all employees covered under the agreement currently in dispute would be locked out from Monday evening.

It is estimated that with more than 600 flights cancelled, at least 70,000 passengers worldwide will be affected. Passengers who choose to cancel their flight will be able to get a full refund.

-thestar online.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

15th Malaysia National Lion Dance Championship 2011

Semi Finals on 18~19 November 2011 @ 3pm
Final on 20 November 2011 @ 3pm
Venue: Arena of Stars, Resort World Genting, Malaysia
www.rwgenting.com

Keasyikan penginapan Singgahsana Lodge


RUANG resepsi yang menampilkan elemen dan sentuhan Sarawak asli di Singgahsana Lodge di Kuching, Sarawak.

Singgahsana Lodge, nama ini mungkin janggal atau tidak diberi perhatian serius sebagai tempat penginapan pilihan oleh pelancong tempatan yang berkunjung ke Kuching, Sarawak, walaupun ia terletak di lokasi strategik.

Mungkin kerana pihak pengurusannya tidak pernah mengeluarkan belanja untuk tujuan promosi melalui pengiklanan sejak ia mula beroperasi tujuh tahun lalu. Namun, di kalangan pelancong asing, Singgahsana Lodge merupakan satu nama yang agak terkenal dan mendapat ulasan yang baik di laman web panduan pengembaraan terkemuka seperti lonelyplanet.com, hostelworld.com dan tripadvisor.com.

Selain itu, testimoni mulut ke mulut yang disebarkan oleh tetamu yang pernah menginap di Singgahsana Lodge juga menyebabkan ia sentiasa meriah dengan kehadiran pelancong asing. Benarlah kata pepatah, ‘hanya jauhari yang mengenal manikam’, ia kerana Singgahsana Lodge itu sendiri diasaskan oleh pasangan suami isteri, Donald dan Marina yang juga merupakan seorang pengembara tegar.

Sebagai pengembara, mereka berdua memahami kehendak para pelancong yang mahukan tempat penginapan yang tidak membebankan kewangan, namun masih berpeluang menyelami suasana tempatan yang tulen. “Jika melancong dengan bajet yang terbatas, jarang sekali kita berpeluang menikmati intipati tempatan sebenar kecuali jika menginap di hotel warisan yang mewah.

“Sebagai peminat seni, kami cuba menerapkan elemen dan sentuhan Sarawak asli di sini supaya setiap tetamu dapat merasakan mereka berada di bumi eksotik ini setiap kali bangun tidur di dalam bilik yang dipenuhi dekor tempatan yang unik,” kata Marina kepada S2 baru-baru ini.


KONSEP tiada televisyen di dalam bilik berjaya mewujudkan kemesraan dengan tetamu lain.

Itulah antara keunikan hiasan dalaman di Singgahsana Lodge, anda akan merasakan benar-benar berada di Sarawak dengan artifak-artifak unik etniknya dijadikan hiasan dalaman. Penerapan elemen Sarawak dilakukan dengan teliti walaupun ia hanya membabitkan perkara yang kecil seperti papan tanda nama bilik menggunakan kulit kayu.

Turut menghiasi dinding ialah koleksi gambar-gambar yang dirakamkan oleh Donald serta Marina sewaktu mereka berdua melancong di seluruh dunia dan ia dibuka untuk jualan. Selain aspek hiasan dalaman, Singgahsana Lodge turut mempunyai keistimewaan lain seperti polisi kebersihannya yang mewajibkan semua tetamu menanggalkan kasut dan alas kaki.

Merokok juga tidak dibenarkan kecuali di kawasan khas dan berdasarkan maklumat daripada laman webnya, www.singgahsana.com, tetamu yang didapati melanggar peraturan berkenaan akan dikenakan denda RM50 atau diusir tanpa sebarang bayaran balik.

Penulis sendiri pernah menginap di Singgahsana Lodge sewaktu pertama kali menjejakkan kaki di bumi Kenyalang penghujung Disember tahun lalu dan ternyata ia memberikan satu dimensi baru. Tidak sekadar menikmati keasyikan hiasan dalaman ala Sarawak, penulis juga berpeluang bergaul dengan pelancong asing dari seluruh dunia yang tidak lokek berkongsi pengalaman asalkan kita tidak berat mulut.

Konsep tiada televisyen di dalam bilik berjaya mewujudkan kemesraan dengan tetamu lain yang sama-sama berkongsi televisyen di lobi utama mahupun layar besar di bar terbuka yang terletak di tingkat paling atas Singgahsana Lodge.

Bar yang hanya dibuka pada waktu malam itu merupakan tempat istirehat yang mendamaikan kerana ia menyajikan pemandangan indah Bandaraya Kuching pada waktu malam antaranya berlatarbelakangkan Kuching Waterfront dan bangunan Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) yang serba moden. Pangkin kayu dan buaian rajut juga disediakan untuk tetamu bersantai bersama rakan-rakan selepas seharian menjelajah destinasi pelancongan menarik di sekitar Bandaraya Kuching.

Untuk kelainan, jika tiada teman untuk berbicara bolehlah meluangkan masa membaca coretan tetamu lain dari seluruh dunia pada dinding bar terbuka berkenaan yang adakalanya boleh membuatkan anda tersenyum sendirian.

-Utusan online.

Yen Yen bimbang industri pelancongan Kedah kian merosot

ALOR SETAR 29 Okt. – Kementerian Pelancongan bimbang dengan industri pelancongan di Kedah yang semakin suram ekoran jumlah kedatangan pelancong asing dan tempatan ke negeri ini kian merosot sejak 2008.

Menterinya, Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen berkata, statistik menunjukkan bahawa jumlah kedatangan pelancong ke negeri ini merosot kepada 3.8 juta pelancong pada 2008 dan 2009 berbanding 4.5 juta pelancong tahun sebelumnya. Katanya, jumlah itu terus merosot pada tahun lepas iaitu hanya 2.7 juta, manakala jumlah pelancong asing turut merosot daripada 1.8 juta pada 2007 kepada 1.6 juta orang pada 2008, naik sedikit kepada 1.9 juta pada 2009, tetapi merosot teruk kepada 1.1 juta pada 2010.

"Malaysia menerima 23 juta pelancong asing pada 2009 dan meningkat kepada 24.6 juta orang tahun lalu, namun mereka tidak datang ke Kedah dan memilih untuk melancong ke negeri lain seperti Sabah. "Kerajaan negeri jangan anggap Kedah hanya ada Pulau Langkawi sebagai tempat pelancongan menarik. Malah mereka boleh promosikan produk pelancongan lain seperti muzium padi dan pusat kampung budaya yang perlu dijaga dan diselenggara dengan baik,” katanya pada sidang media selepas melawat Balai Seni di sini hari ini.

Yen Yen berkata, beliau kesal dengan kegagalan kerajaan negeri mengurus kampung budaya itu dan kementeriannya pula tidak berhak untuk campur tangan dalam hal itu kerana ia hak kerajaan negeri. 

–Bernama.

photo: pelancongankini

Tourists fleeing Bangkok for Penang


GEORGE TOWN: Penang has seen an increase in tourists following the flood situation in the Thai capital.

Holiday Inn Resort general manager Stella Jacobs said the resort recorded an increase possibly due to tourists skipping Bangkok to come to Penang. “Compared to the same period last year, we are seeing more tourists. Our sister properties in Thailand are diverting tourists to Penang. “We are in the process of collecting blankets, bottled water and dry foodstuff to send to our Thai counterparts,” she said yesterday.

Its communications director Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman said they were discussing with their counterparts in Bangkok to transfer tourists to Penang. “Tourists from Europe generally visit Thailand for the warm weather and friendly people, which Penang also has, and by transferring the tourists here, they won't have to cancel their holiday.”

-thestar online.

photo: pelancongankini

Kedah International Red Tee Invitation: Tee time at Gunung Raya

LANGKAWI: The Kedah International Red Tee Invitation starts today with amateur women golfers swinging their way at the scenic Gunung Raya Golf Resort here. Entering its second year, the invitational tournament has attracted more than 50 participants from several Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.


Kedah Tourism Malaysia director Roslan Othman said the leisure-like tournament was initiated by Sultanah Kedah Sultanah Haminah Hamidun and organised by Tourism Malaysia since 2010. "It is aimed at promoting Langkawi as an international golf and vacation destination to high-end tourists.

"This year, there will be 14 flights for the ladies. And to make the event more exciting, 36 male golfers will also join the tournament in nine flights," Roslan said. He said 56 women golfers from Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and South Korea took part in the event last year where Sultanah Haminah emerged champion.


Besides the championship cup, attractive prizes sponsored by KTM Motor Sports, MATTA Kedah Chapter, 100 Plus, Fama, Mada, Jakel, Sunway Lagoon and Courts are up for grabs. A lucky draw offering vacation packages to various destinations in Malaysia also awaits the participants. The prize-giving ceremony will be held together with a gala dinner hosted by Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen. The function will be held tonight at the Awana Resort & Spa Hotel.

-NST Online.

Tourism Ministry reviews strategy on crisis-hit countries

KUALA LUMPUR: The Tourism Ministry is reviewing its strategy to overcome the reduced number of tourist arrivals from crisis-hit countries. Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said this involved monitoring the situation globally, via a 24-hour crisis management centre. She said the centre would, among others, advise Malaysia's tour operators on how to overcome the problem.

The centre, established in 2009 during the Influenza A (H1N1) outbreak in the country, is headed by the ministry's secretary-general, Datuk Dr Ong Hong Peng. "We don't snatch the tourists (from flood-hit countries) but instead, manage their arrival to Malaysia and advise them on other countries in the region," she told reporters after launching the 5th International Art Expo Malaysia 2011 at the Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre here today.

Dr Ng said tourist arrivals from Europe, United Kingdom, United States, Japan, Syria and Egypt had reduced this year due to the political and economic crises, as well as disasters affecting those countries. However, the ministry is focusing on attracting tourists from China, India, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Russia and other Middle East countries.

-thestar online.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Exciting package deals on offer at travel fair

It is time to clear your leave and you’re wondering where to go for a holiday? Check out the offers at the Malaysia International Travel Mart 2011 to be held from today to Sunday at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre.

According to organising chairman Jackson Thian, the fair spreads over three halls will have more than 60 exhibitors taking up 300 booths to attract a targeted 70,000 visitors with attractive prices and prizes. The fair organised by Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association (MCTA) also boasts of having more than 30 airlines supporting them. “It is the first time both AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines join hands in the same travel fair,” Thian said at a press conference yesterday.

MCTA president Paul Paw said the fair was supported by the tourism boards of Taiwan, South Korea, Macao, India, Thailand and Sarawak, adding that a total of RM200,000 worth of travel vouchers, lucky draws and gifts would be given away during the fair. MasterCard returns as the official card of the travel fair, treating one lucky winner to two business class return air tickets to Shanghai. Those who buy a Malaysia Airlines’ ticket or promotion will double their winning chances. MasterCard Worldwide Malaysia country manager Jim Cheah added that the first 7,000 MasterCard holders could redeem one Seng Heng voucher worth RM25 with any transaction made during the fair.

Malaysia Airlines (central region) area manager Richard Tang highlighted that attractive fares from as low as RM144 one way would be available from today till Nov 2, not only at the fair but also the online portal as well as all travel agencies nationwide. AirAsia head of financial services and loyalty Johan Aris Ibrahim said visitors purchasing air tickets and travel insurance packages at the fair would be treated to extra perks. He added that the airline’s loyalty card would also be open for public sign-up for the first time at the fair.

Taiwan Tourism has lent huge support to the fair to draw more Malaysian tourists to the island especially during winter and spring. “Taiwan is entering an exciting period of the year when we have colourful activities such as hot spring carnival, cycling festival, New Year countdown, plum blossom and cherry blossom’s seasons just to name a few,” said Taiwan Visitors Association (Kuala Lumpur officer) director Chang Fu-Nan.

The travel fair will be open from 10am to 9pm, entrance fee is RM3 per person.

-thestar online.

Berjaya Air to fly to Langkawi

Berjaya Air Sdn Bhd (Berjaya Air) customers can look forward to more holiday options with the airline beginning flights to Pangkor and Langkawi next month.

In her speech at the company’s first poolside get-together last Friday, Berjaya Air general manager Adelie Lee said this was the airline’s first domestic expansion and is only the beginning as there are plans to fly to destinations in Southeast Asia next year. “We are trying to make holidays affordable and available for the entire family in line with our new tagline unveiled last month, ‘Your getaway starts with us!’ or ‘Your getaway airline’.

“We will begin flying directly to Langkawi four times a week from Nov 18 using the DeHavilland Dash 7 aircraft as the numerous activities available on the island makes it a popular destination and Budget 2012 has also allocated funds for further development there,” she said. Meanwhile, the airline will resume direct flights to Pangkor three times a week from Nov 25 using the ATR72-500. It had stopped its Pangkor route, which had been in operation since 2001, in May last year.

“In our expansion, our focus remains unchanged – a niche market where we bring our passengers to place where everyone can have fun, enjoy the sun and sea and all in all have the perfect getaway,” Lee said, adding the company also works closely with hotels and resorts to create holiday packages. She also said the management is committed to improving service standards, and over the past 12 months the airline has managed to maintain an average on-time performance of 95%.

“Compared to other carriers, Berjaya Air is small. But we believe that a smaller structure does provide the advantage of a closer and more beneficial relationship, creating a win-win situation for all,” she told the 100 travel agents, hotel and resort operators, media and guests present at the event. The airline is attached to the Berjaya Group and operates out of Subang Airport.

-thesundaily.

photo: pelancongankini

Spa Indulgence @ Lake Kenyir Resort & Spa

www.lakekenyir.com

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Nikmati Night Travel Fair 2011


PUTRAJAYA 25 Okt. - Kementerian Pelancongan melalui Tourism Malaysia buat pertama kali akan menganjurkan Night Travel Fair 2011 di pusat pelancongan i-City Shah Alam, hujung minggu ini.


Ketua Penyelaras Cuti-cuti 1Malaysia (CC1M) Night Travel Fair 2011, Azhari Haron berkata, pameran pelancongan domestik waktu malam mulai pukul 5 petang hingga 12 tengah malam itu akan berlangsung selama tiga hari bermula Jumaat ini (28~30 Oktober 2011). Menurutnya, lebih 2,500 pakej pelancongan domestik pada harga berpatutan akan ditawarkan oleh 70 agensi pelancongan termasuklah pengusaha inap desa dan hotel tempatan sepanjang pameran itu berlangsung.

''Sebelum ini kami mengadakan pameran pelancongan pada sebelah siang tetapi kali ini ia akan dianjurkannya pada sebelah malam. ''Kami ingin menjadikannya lebih santai dengan menyasarkan kepada golongan berkeluarga dan individu yang memilih waktu malam untuk mengunjungi pusat pelancongan itu," katanya ketika ditemui di pejabatnya di sini, hari ini.


Pameran waktu malam yang tidak akan mengenakan bayaran masuk itu dijadual dirasmikan oleh Timbalan Menteri Pelancongan, Datuk Dr. James Dawos Mamit. Bagi memeriahkan lagi pameran itu, beberapa artis tempatan dibawa mengadakan persembahan di samping aktiviti kuiz pelancongan dan pertandingan mewarna


Azhari yang juga Penolong Pengarah Kanan Bahagian Pemasaran Domestik Tourism Malaysia berkata, pihaknya menjangkakan lebih 100,000 pengunjung membabitkan individu, pelajar, belia dan syarikat akan mengunjungi pameran itu selama tiga hari. Malah, beliau menambah, pihaknya juga menyasarkan jumlah jualan sepanjang tiga hari tersebut melebihi RM500,000.
''Aspek kreatif dan inovatif pada pakej pelancongan yang ditawarkan selain soal mutu perkhidmatan yang berkualiti akan menjadi tumpuan utama para pengunjung," katanya.

-Utusan Online.

Kosmopolito to launch five hotels

KUALA LUMPUR: Kosmopolito Hotels International Ltd (KHI), which has 17 hotels primarily in Asia, has at least five ongoing projects in Malaysia that it plans to launch within the next 12 to 24 months. KHI vice-chairman Datin Jasmine Abdullah Heng said the company was also looking for land in Malaysia to set up either hotels or serviced apartments.

“We would have more (than five projects) in the pipeline if we can secure the land,” she told StarBiz during a donation ceremony and visit to the National Heart Institute (IJN) on Tuesday. Its ongoing Malaysian projects include the renovation of Phoenix Plaza in Cheras and the renovation of the Sri Jati serviced apartments in Kuala Lumpur into a hotel cum service apartments. Jasmine also said KHI intended to develop service apartments on a site near the Dorsett Regency Kuala Lumpur.

“We also plan to launch service apartments within the Grand Dorsett Subang area by year-end and (also) have an on-going project in Sri Hartamas (in Kuala Lumpur),” she said.
“We are also looking at potential projects in Kota Kinabalu (Sabah), Penang, Langkawi, Kuantan (Pahang) and Malacca. We're aggressive on our expansion plans,” she added.

KHI, a subsidiary of
Far East Consortium International Ltd (FEC), was set up in January 2007 and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in October 2010. The company owns and manages four key hotel brands in different market segments Boutique Series by Kosmopolito, Grand Dorsett, Dorsett Regency Hotels & Resorts, and Silka Hotels, which can be found in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Chengdu, Wuhan, Singapore, Malaysia and London.

On the local front, KHI's properties are the Grand Dorsett Subang, Dorsett Regency Kuala Lumpur, Grand Dorsett Labuan, Silka Hotel Johor Bahru, Maytower Hotel & Serviced Residences Kuala Lumpur and Damas Suites & Residences Kuala Lumpur. Jasmine declined to comment on an old report that FEC was planning on a real estate investment trust (REIT) listing that would include the Malaysian properties.

Meanwhile, KHI on Tuesday donated RM6,000 to IJN as part of the former's corporate social responsibility initiative. Earlier this year, the National Heart Institute received a donation amounting RM30,000 from KHI. KHI
executive director Winnie Chiu, who will be elected president of the company effective Nov 1, said: “We are committed to this good cause. We're supportive of this and will continue to support (IJN) going forward.”
-thestar online.