Thursday, 31 May 2012

MITE 2012 Officially Opens Today

Serdang: MITE 2012 is finally here and has opened its curtain. Malaysia’s inaugural 
tourism exchange event was successfully launched today by YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd 
Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, witnessed by YB Dato’ 
Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Minister of Tourism Malaysia, tourism ministers from Kenya, 
Mozambique, Iran, India and Egypt, ambassadors and high commissioners of foreign 
missions, 150 international hosted buyers and media and other corporate officials 
from private sectors, government agencies and NGOs along with some 5000 visitors 
of the opening ceremony. 

MITE 2012 is organised by My Events International and supported by Ministry of 
Tourism Malaysia and Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB). Taking 
place at Malaysia Agro-Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) from 31st May till 3rd 
June, MITE 2012 expects a turn-up of 600,000 visitors and provides a vast 
opportunity to network with all tourism related businesses, service providers, hosted 
buyers, sellers and media from 23 countries. Through its Travex Programme, 
scheduled to run during the event, MITE 2012 is also a good stage for buyers to 
meet their chosen prospects on a one to one basis, thus giving them a wider choice 
of tourism products and services. 

MITE 2012 is also this year’s perfect holiday getaway for family and friends 
showcasing indoor tourism pavilions and others namely the Fabulous Food Corner 
and Lifestyle Exhibition. Outdoor activities like Kids Playland, MITE 2012 Concert, 
Moon Walker, Bumper Boat, Hamster Roll, Sumo Suit and KMX among others have 
been set to enthrall the crowd. Treasure Hunt, online Photo and Video Contest, 
Graffiti Art, Skate Board, BMX Flatland & Stunt and a lot more are being featured as 
well throughout this four-day mega tourism event. 

MITE 2012 is targeted as one of the most comprehensive and prestigious tourism 
based events on the Malaysian Calendar. This annual event will provide a platform 
of visible communication for all tourism products and services. In this event, visitors 
will experience a new dimension in tourism and it will depict and define a more 
fascinating and refreshing approach.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

One World Hotel named the best convention hotel in Malaysia and Asia Pacific

One World Hotel was named the best convention hotel in Malaysia with a five-star status and best convention hotel in Asia Pacific at the recent Asia Pacific Hotel Awards. It became the first hotel in Malaysia to have received these two prestigious awards.
In November, One World Hotel will compete against other winning hotels from Europe, Africa, America and Middle-East for a chance to be named the World’s Best Convention Hotel at the International Hotel Awards at a gala event in London. “My team and I are indeed honoured to receive the awards,” said One World Hotel general manager Ho Hoy Sum.
The business end: Ho (front row, centre) sharing the joy of winning the awards with his team from Conventions and Events and Banquet Department.
“To be voted the best convention hotel in Malaysia was indeed a wonderful recognition but clinching the title of best convention hotel in Asia Pacific at the same time was gratifying. “Our team, especially the Conventions & Events and Banquet Departments, have been working very hard in offering superlative services to our guests. These awards are indeed a testament to their hard work and dedication.
“To be able to represent Malaysia and the Asia Pacific Region on a worldwide stage in London in November will be one of the hotel’s greatest successes,” he said. “Nevertheless, we will not rest on our laurels but will continue to strive harder to maintain an excellent product and ensure that guests receive only the very best from us.”
We did it: Ho (left) and sales and marketing director Shereen Chow proudly displaying the award for the Best Convention Hotel in Asia Pacific.
The Asia Pacific Hotel Awards, in association with HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad, is a hotly contested competition, which includes categories for specific types and sizes of hotel. The best hotels, hotel architecture, interiors, construction and design across the entire Asia Pacific region were celebrated at the recent awards ceremony held in Kuala Lumpur.
These awards, combined with the other regional hotel awards’ programmes for the Middle-East, Europe, Africa and America, form the globally renowned International Hotel Awards. Judging was carried out through a meticulous process involving a panel of over 20 experts covering every aspect of the hospitality business. Top scoring winners of five-star awards will then proceed to be re-judged against those from the other regions to determine the world’s best winners.
-thestar online.

The A380 has landed

PETALING JAYA: Almost a decade after it was ordered, the world's largest and fuel efficient A380 aircraft finally landed on Malaysian soil at 3.35pm Wednesday, signalling a major advance for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) as it joins the elite A380 club.
The 73m-long A380 can carry up to 494 passengers and offers one of the best seating arrangements of the industry for its first class cabin. It will take to the skies for commercial flights on July 1 on the lucrative Kuala Lumpur-London-Kuala Lumpur daily route.
A second A380 will be added to the system by August, with delivery expected in July. MAS, in 2003, ordered six A380 aircraft and the first delivery was scheduled for 2007. However, there was a five-year delay by the aircraft manufacturer.
MAS takes delivery of the A380, the world's largest and fuel efficient aircraft.
On board the A380 were MAS top brass, group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya and deputy CEO Mohamed Rashdan Yusof. After the handing over ceremony held in Toulouse on Tuesday, the flight took off at about 8pm (French time) for the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Soon after its arrival, several MAS employees, including MAS chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof, took a ride to Langkawi, before the aircraft was moved to Hanger 6 for some final touches. The aircraft is also slated to return to Toulouse on June 6 for some additional touches.
MAS is the eighth carrier in the A380 club, the others being Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Air France, Qantas, Lufthansa, Korean Air and China Southern Airlines.
-thestar online.

Malaysia offers Twin Deal in more markets

Malaysia is now offering its Twin Deal programme, first launched in China last September, in Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

The programme rewards both the client and the MICE planner. Depending on the size of the meeting, the client enjoys free souvenirs, welcome package, cocktail, police outriders, etc, while the planner gains points which can be redeemed for a Malaysia trip.A corporate meeting or incentive travel with at least 50 delegates automatically qualifies for the programme.

Ho Yoke Ping, general manager sales and marketing of Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), said Twin Deal saw "immediate" response in China when it was launched. To-date MyCEB has secured 9,000 participants from China under the programme. She said MyCEB was planning to appoint a sales representative in China "earliest by the end of the year".

Only in operation since July 2010, MyCEB has established a global presence with the appointments of Moulden Marketing as its sales representative in Europe, Marketing Challenges International in North America and Gaining Edge in Australia/New Zealand. Last year, it secured more than 49 international and regional conventions until 2016 in partnership with its affiliates.
-TTG Asia.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Adnan wants Royal Pahang Weaving to be patented

KUANTAN: The Tenun Pahang Diraja (Royal Pahang Weaving) has to be patented for it to become an exclusive identity of Pahang.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob said it was timely for the product to be mass produced but it must be done without sacrificing its exclusive image as finished products such as official attire, handbags, shoes and souvenirs. He said its production centre’s research and development unit also had to widen its scope of research including marketing plans, promotions and finding ways on how to make the mixture of colours of its string long-lasting.
First hand view: Adnan looking at the weaving process after opening the centre in Kampong Sungai Soi, Kuantan.
“All finished products of the Royal Pahang Weaving have to maintain its traditional characteristics. “Its development team also has to find ways of making the products affordable as its current prices are quite exclusive and could only be purchased by certain groups in the society,’’ Adnan said after opening the centre at Kampung Sungai Soi here. He said despite its prestige, the products of the Royal Pahang Weaving should also be available in the market.
“Currently, customers have to wait for weeks to own the products because of its high demand which are not synchronised with the production as it is still manually produced. “However, its quality should still be top priority should machines be used in its production,” said Adnan. He said the government had set up an advisory council and executive committee in the centre to be led by state executive councillor Datuk Shafik Fauzan Sharif to check and monitor the quality of the products.
During the ceremony, Adnan also officially named the centre as “Pusat Kecemerlangan Tenun Pahang Diraja Tunku Azizah” in recognition of the efforts taken by Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan Iskandar in promoting its heritage. Adnan said through her aggressive efforts, the centre had produced many new talents in the art of weaving with the opening of the Institusi Tenun Pahang Diraja Tengku Ampuan Afzan.
“Tunku Azizah’s initiave had also lifted the Royal Pahang Weaving’s prestige and status to an even higher level when it was officially recognised as ‘royal’ in 2006 to produce textiles that are more exclusive and special,’’ he said. Royal Pahang Weaving was originally used in crafting the attire of the royal family, chiefs and nobles. In the present day, it had became a versatile woven product of various design patterns without compromising its traditional characteristics.
-thestar online.

Pelancaran Pakej Cuti-cuti 1Malaysia (CC1M) Kuching Bike Ride

KUCHING, 27 MEI 2012: Kuching, Sarawak menjadi destinasi kelima selepas Putrajaya, Raub (Pahang), Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) dan Kuala Terengganu (Terengganu) bagi siri pelancaran pakej pelancongan berbasikal Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia (CC1M) anjuran Tourism Malaysia.

Majlis pelancaran pakej pelancongan berbasikal yang dinamakan Pakej Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia (CC1M) Kuching Bike Ride ini telah diadakan di Muzium Sarawak pada jam 4.30 petang di sini hari ini bersempena dengan Minggu Belia Peringkat Negeri Sarawak. YAB Ketua Menteri Sarawak, Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud telah melepaskan seramai 10 orang penunggang basikal yang membawa replika Pakej Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia (CC1M) Kuching Bike Ride sebagai simbolik pelancaran pakej tersebut.

Sebanyak lapan buah pakej pelancongan berbasikal telah dibangunkan hasil kerjasama antara Tourism Malaysia Negeri Sarawak dengan tiga buah agensi pelancongan tempatan. Pakej berbasikal tersebut boleh dibeli dari harga serendah RM140 hingga RM930 seorang mengikut destinasi. Antara lokasi-lokasi berbasikal yang terdapat di dalam pakej ini ialah Bandar raya Kuching Selatan, Santubong, Sematan dan Petra Jaya.

Pakej-pakej menarik yang ditawarkan termasuklah:

• "Kuching's Day City Tour / Kuching's Night Moon Ride" - Pakej sehari ini bermula pada jam 6.00 petang dengan harga RM140.00 seorang. Bermula dari Muzium Kuching hingga ke Waterfront Kuching dan seterusnya menyeberangi sungai ke Perkampungan Melayu dengan menggunakan bot penambang untuk melawat sekitar kampung, Astana Negeri, Taman Orkid, Dewan Undangan Negeri, Gerai Kek Lapis Sarawak serta sekitar Petra Jaya dan berhenti di Kampung Gersik sebelum kembali ke hotel menggunakan bot Penambang.

• "Kuching Malam Mau Cycling" - Pakej sehari bernilai RM165 seorang ini diadakan setiap hari bermula dari jam 8.00 malam hingga 10.30 malam. Pakej tersebut turut menawarkan pengangkutan pergi balik dari tempat penginapan, makan malam di restoran atau salah sebuah rumah Melayu yang disinggahi dan lawatan ke Perkampungan Melayu, sekitar Waterfront Kuching serta tidak ketinggalan bangunan-bangunan bersejarah.

• "Borneo Coastal Cycling 'Against The Wind-Sun-Rain" - Pakej 3 hari 2 malam dengan harga RM930 seorang ini menawarkan tempat penginapan, pengangkutan pergi balik dari hotel ke lapangan terbang, sarapan pagi/makan tengahari dan aktiviti berbasikal di sekitar kawasan Timur Sematan, dusun buah-buahan, kampung nelayan, hutan paya bakau, sawah padi dan Air Terjuh Pueh.

Acara Kayuhan

Seramai 1,000 orang peserta memulakan kayuhan dari DUN Lama dan berkumpul di Muzium Sarawak. YAB Ketua Menteri, Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud turut menyertai acara kayuhan tersebut bersama-sama para tetamu khas dan para peserta lain bermula dari Muzium Sarawak hingga ke Dewan Suarah yang merupakan lokasi program Minggu Belia Peringkat Negeri Sarawak.

Untuk maklumat lanjut, sila hubungi En. Rizal Mas, Timbalan Pengarah, Pejabat Tourism Malaysia -Sarawak, Tourism Malaysia di talian 082-246575 / 082-240370 atau emel
-Tourism Malaysia.

Clean up your act, hawker stalls told

RAUB: Food and hawker centres in Malaysia have attractive decor and have become major draws for tourists – but their hygiene and cleanliness are often neglected, says Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen. “Although the food stalls are beautifully decorated, spacious, strategically located and offering all kinds of delicious meals, tourists may be turned off because of the poor hygiene and cleanliness,” she said here yesterday.

She added that the ministry was keen to help promote these food centres but the operators must first play their role by raising the standard of their cleanliness. “Efforts to promote these centres for their good food and wide range of dishes will all be futile if the operators do not take heed of the cleanliness aspect,” Dr Ng told reporters after launching the 100 Best Kopitiams in Malaysia Guide here.

“They should meet the same standards of established restaurants and coffeeshop chains, which also offer attractive decor and service but are hygienic and clean.” She said that hospitality and quality should be consistent with the standard of the meals served.

Regarding the kopitiam heritage in Raub, Dr Ng said it has become legendary, referring to their unique ambience of marble-topped wooden tables, aromatic, freshly-brewed coffee and tea, old-fashion cups and saucers and the servings of roti bakar (toasted bread), half-boiled eggs, nasi lemak bungkus and kuih muih. “I am told the history of the kopitiam goes back to the early years of the 20th century when Hainanese migrants, who worked as cooks for their colonial masters, acquired a taste for coffee.

Malaysia-Singapore Coffee­shop Proprietors Association president Ho Su Mong advised members to apply for halal certificates from the relevant authorities to assure Muslim customers that the meals and drinks served are fit for their consumption.
-thestar online.

Malaysia International Tourism Exchange (MITE) 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: The heat is building up towards the launch of the inaugural Malaysia International Tourism Exchange (MITE) 2012. A pre-event media brief session was chaired by YBhg Dato’ Dr. Ong Hong Peng, Secretary- General, Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia and hosted by the organizer – My Events International represented by Mr. Shahul Hameed Shaik Dawood, Group CEO. The media brief was also attended by MITE 2012 prime partners, Malaysian Association and Hotels (MAH), Sunlight Taxi Group and Airport Limo (M) Sdn Bhd. Event was held at Saloma Bistro, MATIC today.

The objective of this briefing session was to give media members a sneak preview of MITE 2012 notably, 700 exhibition booths signed up, and trade players participating from Cuba, India, China, ASEAN region, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia and Malaysia. It is expected that a few memorandum of understanding (MOUs) would be signed during MITE 2012, among which would be between Kenya and Malaysia on Tourism business and intra regional tourism promotions between nations.

The other highlight would be 130 international hosted buyers participating in MITE 2012 travel exchange invited from 23 countries. There would be 30 hosted travel journalists being invited to cover MITE 2012 and write on tourism in Malaysia. Besides this, various outdoor and indoor activities would be carried out during MITE 2012. MITE 2012 is set to bring visitors to experience first-hand, the wonders of global travel under one roof, while having fun-filled family outing with the various exciting activities in place.

MITE 2012 is a home-grown tourism-based event organised by My Events International and supported by Ministry of Tourism Malaysia and Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB). This event is set to be an annual affair henceforth. Taking place at Malaysia Agro-Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) from 31st May till 3rd June, and expects a turn-up of 600,000 visitors throughout the four-day event.
-MITE 2012.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Javanese told to explore homestay business

KUCHING: The Javanese are urged to consider operating homestays or “Inap Desa”. Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang said the state had yet to come across a Javanese operating a homestay, making it a potential economic opportunity for the community to venture into.

”Tourism is a big money spinner and homestay programmes fall under this sector. I believe the Javanese have a lot to offer,” he said at the Arts and Culinary Festival of the Javanese Community of Kolong 2 in Matang here yesterday. He believed with the rich culture and traditions of the Javanese, a homestay programme could definitely take off successfully.
A taste of culture: Deputy Science, technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof (third right)sharing with Padawan Municipal Council chairman Lo Khere Chiang (fourth right)and others a spoonful ofJavanese traditional delicacy ‘nasi ambeng’ when officiating at the Arts and Culinary Festival of the Javanese at Kolong 2 in Kuching.

He said tourists were very fascinated by exotic culture and traditions in Sarawak and the Javanese had a lot of them. ”From the gamelan music to their traditional dishes, tourists would be delighted to learn and see all these for themselves,” he said. Lo noted that the Kolong 2 settlement had been in existence for more than a century and till today, the community kept true to their culture by giving emphasis to their practices and language.

However, he cautioned that if efforts to promote these traditions were not continuous, it could be forgotten by the new generation. He explained that technology these days had made the younger generation spend more time on the Internet instead of learning the arts of the their community. ”This is why MPP is very supportive of communities holding activities that promote get-togethers. We include activities like this into our Padawan Fest each year and it is not only for the Javanese but for other races too,” he said.

Earlier the festival’s organising chairman, councillor Dr Zaiedi Suhaili said Padawan Fest was not only about holding happy gatherings but it was also to bring communities together to celebrate their respective culture and traditions. He said this was what spread the awareness of tolerance and understanding among the communities living in the Padawan area.
-thestar online.

Freewheeling times ahead

Cycling adventure: Participants of the Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Bike Ride George Town riding in the heritage enclave.

The Tourism Ministry’s Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Cycling Package has been well-received by cycling enthusiasts, associations and the travel trade industry. Its domestic marketing director Musa Yusof said the country had the potential to become a top cycling destination. “Professional cyclists will find our cities and towns are well-connected with highways and roads that offer scenic routes and all kinds of terrains.

“However, according to a recent listing, Malaysia was not among the top 10 cycling destinations in Asian. “Thailand and Vietnam made the list. “However, I’m sure we can become a top cycling destination if we put in a little more effort into our cycling packages,” he said.
He said those living in villages and plantations could increase their income by catering to the cyclists on the tours. “For instance, in Balik Pulau, villagers could offer homestay or food catering or sell handicraft to help increase their income,” he said. He was speaking during the Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Bike Ride George Town at the Tanjung City Marina, Weld Quay, Penang, yesterday.

The half-day event was organised in conjunction with the Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Cycling Package launched by Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen on April 1 in Raub, Pahang. Penang was the fourth state in the country to participate in the nationwide campaign.

Musa later led a convoy of some 200 trishaw and bicycle riders on a 3.8km route through Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling, Lebuh Cannon, Lebuh Armenian, Lebuh Farquhar, Lebuh Light, Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, Jalan Padang Kota Lama and Pengkalan Weld. Colouring contests, crossword puzzles and free health checks were among the other activities held.
In George Town, the trishaw and bicycle packages are jointly developed by the Tourism Ministry and local travel agents to promote arts, culture, food and heritage.The packages, ranging from half-a-day to three-day-two-night tours, include accommodation and a guide. Prices range from RM98 to RM318.
For details, call 04-2505055 (Ever Best Holidays)/2623790 (Pinang Jaya Holiday)/2632145 (Ravi Sharma Travel)/2266161 (Sin Pen Travel)/ 6433585 (Suria Indah Holiday).
-thestar online.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Youths urged to tap into field of tourism

PUTRAJAYA: Youths have been urged to explore job opportunities in the tourism field, particularly as tour guides, caddies and spa therapists.
Many of these jobs, said Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, would give them a chance to earn high wages, especially so for those without university qualifications. She said the Government was increasing its efforts to promote lifestyle tourism, a category in which the golf and spa sectors fall into.
“We have a problem where many of our local tourist guides are concentrated in the cities such as Kuala Lumpur and Penang, leaving other tourist spots unattended to. “These are among the careers that youths can consider,” she told a press conference after launching the Youth Tourism Fair at theHimpunan Jutaan Belia (Millions of Youth Gathering) here yesterday.
Dr Ng said a high performing tourist guide could earn up to RM10,000 per month, while the basic pay for a junior caddy starts at RM1,500.
-thestar online.

Tourism Malaysia using Frankfurt zoo to promote Malaysia

FRANKFURT: As a rare gesture, Tourism Malaysia's Frankfurt office has been allowed to profile Malaysia's wildlife and nature at the reputed Frankfurt International Zoo which has a combined population of 18 orang utans.
The strategy of arousing public interest in Malaysia's wildlife, using the zoo as a vehicle for promotion of tourism, has been lauded by tourism promotion experts here. Indeed, there is tremendous public interest in the orang utan, which can help further enhance the level of interest and, thus, also boost tourism traffic to Malaysia. The pitch will be made to children who, accompanied by their parents, are a common sight at the zoo, particularly on weekends.
Tourism Malaysia will make a presentation on Sunday, enticing children, helped by their parents, to participate in a quiz game called "Discover Malaysia and its Fascinating Nature," said Syed Yahya Syed Othman, the director of the Frankfurt office of Tourism Malaysia in an interview with Bernama. The quiz will include questions about Malaysia's wildlife and its natural environment; the questions will be posed to children who, according to the Tourism Malaysia's Frankfurt office, can induce their parents to take them to the real habitat of the animals, particularly the orang utan.
"Our strategy is very simple. We are trying to get children actively involved in the quiz game and also in the wildlife of Malaysia in the setting of the zoo. "Once children see the orang utan in the zoo, and after participating in our quiz games, they will ask their parents to take them to the natural habitat of the animal," he said. Syed Yahya said in the course of their participation, Tourism Malaysia will seek the active participation of the children and, also the parents.
"This will enable them to not only see the animals but also motivate them to visit places in Malaysia where the orang utan live," he said. The full-day event could well open up new avenues of opportunities for promoting tourism to Malaysia.
"Europeans, particularly Germans appreciate nature and environment. We have organised a treasure hunt game for the children and parents can, of course, also join in. “The children will provide answers to questions put to them, and this also indicate their level of knowledge about Malaysia," Syed Yahya said, adding that the first prize is a free flight to Malaysia for two persons. Syed Yahya said that Germany was a "promising market" with tremendous business potential inherent in nature tourism.
The idea of stepping up interest in Malaysia by organising an event at the zoo has, meanwhile, travelled far and wide, reaching Malaysian envoys in other countries as well. Syed Yahya revealed that he had been asked by Malaysian ambassadors in Budapest (Hungary) and Prague (Czech Republic) to organise similar events at the zoos in the capitals of the two countries.
Syed Yahya, who recently held a meeting with German hoteliers inducing them to join in promotional work in conjunction with Tourism Malaysia, said that the idea of organising a wildlife quiz event was also well timed because of the success of the film "We bought the zoo" which has aroused public interest in wild life and nature. 

Treasure Hunt @ MITE 2012

MITE 2012

MB: Negri plans to promote eco-tourism to draw more tourists

Negri Sembilan plans to tap into its eco-tourism potential to draw more tourists, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
He said the state had much to offer in terms of homestays and forest reserves apart from its beautiful beaches. Despite that, its tourism potential was often overlooked. “Our economy is dependent on industries. Tourism contributes less than 5% of our Gross Domestic Product.
“Tapping into our eco-tourism potential is among our efforts to strengthen and improve the industry. “Our proximity to Kuala Lumpur is a plus and we have managed to attract foreign investors here, which in turn has led to consistent economic growth.
Unique experience: A traditional kampung house at the Sogo Homestay in Kampung Sega.
“However, because Negri Sembilan is such a small state, people often drive through it and we want to change this,” he added. Mohamad said to enhance its tourism sector, the state had to find its own niche. “We have our unique culture and traditions as well as forests waiting to be explored. “We don’t have to compete with others, when we already have our own strengths, among them homestays,” he added.
In recent years, homestays have become one of the most successful tourism products in the state, contributing more than RM1mil in turnover annually over the past three years. Homestay is a programme where visitors stay with local families to learn about the culture and lifestyle of that particular community.
Attentive: Mohamad Hasan speaking on the state’s various plans to enhance its eco-tourism sector. Looking on is the village headman Abdul Aziz Ahmad (seated, right).
Since homestays were launched in the state, the programme has been quite a success with tourists and foreign university students keen to immerse themselves in the local culture. “We have 14 homestays and each one offers a different experience.
“In Kampung Lonek, Jempol, visitors can experience harvesting rice, while in Kampung Pachitan, Port Dickson — one of our most popular homestays — tourists get to learn about traditional Javanese customs as villagers are mostly Javanese descendents,” said Mohamad, who joined the StarMetro team during a visit to Sogo Homestay in Kampung Sega, Rantau. Aside from boosting tourism and encouraging cross cultural exchange, he added that homestays also allowed locals to earn additional income.
“Here in the newly-launched Sogo Homestay, with its orchards and a nearby river, visitors can learn about traditional kampung life. There aren’t many places where you can experience that,” he said. Mohamad said plans were under way to upgrade recreational facilities at several eco-tourism spots.
“We will be refurbishing recreational facilities at several spots including Ulu Bendol, Jeram Toi and Lata Kijang. “The only lowland tropical forest in the country in Sungai Menyala, Port Dickson, will be open to visitors soon,” he said, adding that the emphasis was to conserve the natural environment and not to build multi-storey hotels.
Sitting cross-legged on the floor in a traditional kampung house, StarMetro team feasted on hot and spicy Negri Sembilan-style Malay cuisine, including ikan masak lemak cili api and fresh fruits as well astapai pulut for dessert.
Village head Abdul Aziz Ahmad said visitors who wanted to experience village life in Kampung Sega could choose from two packages. “We have a one-day programme that costs RM80 per person and a two-day, one-night programme that costs RM150 per person,” he said.
A one-day programme includes a traditional welcoming ceremony, cultural performances, a glimpse into village activities and local delicacies for lunch. If you are lucky enough to visit during the fruit season, you will be able to sample durian, rambutan, mangosteen and other fruits grown at the orchards. The two-day, one-night programme offers visitors a guided night tour of the village, fishing, traditional games like lari upih and baling tin as well as cultural performances.
-thestar online.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Malaysia’s Tourism Highlights May To September 2012

Putrajaya, 25 May 2012 Foreign and domestic tourists in Malaysia will have an exciting year to look forward to as the coming months will be filled with exciting tourism events. Below are some of the highlights between May and September 2012.

The Tourism Ministry is taking part in the Youth Tourism Fair from 23 to 27 May, organised by the Malaysian Youth Hostel Association as part of the “Himpunan Sejuta Belia” (Millions of Youth Gathering) event. A total of 13 tourism trade players will be exhibiting under the Tourism Malaysia banner, with the theme ‘Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia for the 1Malaysia Youth’. The exhibitors consist of resort operators, tourism product owners, hoteliers and travel agencies. The fair promises affordable tourism packages, competitions and exciting activities. 

Date: 23 – 27 May
Venue: Presint 2, Putrajaya (in front of Ministry of Finance building)
Facebook: Youth Tourism Fair (YTF) 2012

The Malaysian International Tourism Exchange is an international tourism exhibition event which intends to be the largest tourism exchange event in Malaysia. It is a platform to promote Business to Consumer (B2C) products and services, such as domestic travel packages, outbound tour bookings, hotel packages, golf club promotions, homestays, and family activities. Organised for the first time by My Events Sdn Bhd, the event is supported by the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia and Tourism Malaysia. A total of 67 tourism trade players will be exhibiting under the Tourism Malaysia pavilion, consisting of tour operators, tour agents, homestay, resorts and hotel developers/owners who will be selling domestic travel packages.

Date: 31 May – 3 June
Venue: Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang, Selangor (MAEPS)
Facebook: Malaysia International Tourism Exchange

The World Islamic Tourism Mart is a tour and travel expo organised by the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), in collaboration with the Islamic Tourism Centre, Ministry of Tourism Malaysia, and Tourism Malaysia. The expo, which focuses on Hajj & Umrah packages, will also feature new destinations and products under Islamic Tourism, to promote Islamic Tourism in the country and to visitors. Aside from the consumer exhibition, there will also be an international conference, and a Business to Business (B2B) networking session. Those interested to exhibit their products or attend the conference are encouraged to register at their official website.

Date: 31 May – 2 June
Venue: Putra World Trade Center (PWTC) Kuala Lumpur
Facebook: World Islamic Tourism Mart 2012

For those who enjoy shopping, be prepared for one of the biggest sales event in the country, the 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival. Stretching for 11 weeks, the carnival will feature a string of promotions and discounts, from 15 June – 2 September 2012, with the official launch at Sunway Pyramid on 14 June.

Date: 15 June – 2 September 2012
Venue: Nationwide

The Minister of Tourism, YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, will lead a cycling tour of Raub on the first Sunday of every month. It is part of the Ministry of Tourism’s campaign to promote cycling as a tourism activity and as a healthy recreation.  This June 3, explore Raub on two- wheels with the Minister of Tourism – this free activity is open to all, just bring your bicycles. The route begins at Raub Lake Garden, passing through Jalan Lipis, Kampung Melayu Sempalit, Simpang Felda Krau, Jalan Lipis/Raub, Taman Raub Jaya 5, Jalan Lipis/Raub, Taman Raub Jaya 3, Taman Lee Man, Taman Melati, around Raub town, and ends at Raub Lake Garden. The “Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Sunday Bike Ride @ Raub” is a collaboration between Tourism Malaysia and local organisations, such as the Kelab Berbasikal Reborn Raub and also local residents in Raub.

Date: The first Sunday of June, July, Sept, Oct, Nov and Dec 2012
Time: 7 am
Venue: Raub Lake Garden
Facebook: Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Bike Ride
Contact: Kelab Berbasikal Reborn Raub, 017 965 2679 / 012 718 5330/ 016 986 9125

The Ministry of Tourism is organizing the 1Malaysia International Tourism Night Floral Parade themed “Magic of the Night.” The event showcases a parade of lighted and decorated boats floating across Putrajaya Lake to promote the tourism attractions and icons of Malaysia and international tourist destinations. A total of thirteen local and international boats will parade across the Putrajaya Lake nightly from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm, after which they will be on static display until 11:30 pm to be admired by the public. Held in conjunction with Floria Putrajaya, the event’s official launch will be at 8:30 pm on 30 June by Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong. Entrance to the event is free.

Date: 30 June to 8 July
Time: 7:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Venue: Presint 2, Lake Putrajaya
Contact: / Tel: 03 8891 7000 (Unit Komunikasi Korporat)

The 1Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourism Festival will be held over a three-month period to showcase the talents of Malaysian artists around the country. Various art-related events and exhibitions will be held as part of the Ministry of Tourism’s effort to promote Malaysia as an art tourism destination. The launch of the festival will be held at 2:30 pm on 11 July at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre by the Minister of Tourism, YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen. A special exhibition on 1Malaysia and the meaning of unity will be held during the launch, featuring a visual representation of YAB Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak’s vision of a 1Malaysia as well as selected art works by primary school students of their interpretation of 1Malaysia.

Date: 1 July to 30 Sep
Venue: Nationwide
-Tourism Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur Makes Top 5

-   Malaysia Retains Its Position as the Top 10 Meetings Destination in Asia Pacific


World Ranking
Asia Pacific Ranking
No change
No. International Association Meetings

World Ranking
Asia Pacific Ranking
No. International Association Meetings
Source: International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Rankings 2011

Kuala Lumpur, 24 May 2012 – Kuala Lumpur has jumped two places in world convention city rankings and three places in Asia Pacific ranking based on the number of international association meetings held in 2011, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), Zulkefli Hj. Sharif, said today.

Kuala Lumpur staged 78 international association meetings, gaining two places on the ladder to finish 21st in the world and securing the top five position in Asia Pacific. Malaysia is ranked 29th overall – down one spot from the 28th world position while retaining its position as one of the top 10 meeting destination in Asia Pacific.

Despite the slight decline in ranking, the number of international association meetings hosted in Malaysia grew from 119 to 126 in 2011. This increase is testament to the interest and confidence from global associations on Malaysia as a premiere meetings destination. A good example is the success in hosting the 2011 Institute of Internal Auditors International Conference in Kuala Lumpur. Held for the first time in Asia and touted as the world’s largest gathering of internal auditors, the globally-prestigious 2011 IIA International Conference has attracted more than 2,200 internal auditors and governance practitioners from 93 countries worldwide. This is the largest number of participants that has ever been recorded outside the USA.

“Malaysia’s promising increase in number of meetings is the sounding result of growing strength, collaboration and commitment between the Ministry of Tourism, MyCEB and the various industry partners to bid for, secure and deliver successful international meetings for the country. We are also very proud to announce that other than Kuala Lumpur, other Malaysian cities like Penang, Kota Kinabalu and Melaka have also been ranked this year reflecting a growth in Malaysia’s association meetings business amidst a competitive and challenging market”, Zulkefli said.

Penang and Melaka, both declared by UNESCO as world heritage site is ranked 32 and 68 in Asia Pacific city rankings respectively while Kota Kinabalu’s natural wonders allure secured the capital city of Sabah, Malaysia number 38 in the listings.

In 2011, MyCEB supported 29 convention bids and 20 corporate incentive groups representing 35,750 delegates and an economic value of RM382 million (USD123 million). It also assisted 130 meetings and conventions, 6 exhibitions and 62 corporate incentive groups, which contributed an estimated economic impact of RM1 billion (USD344 million) to Malaysia.

The data on international meetings held in 2011 was released by the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA), based in Amsterdam.