Friday, November 30, 2012

Perak government continues efforts to attract more tourists

Tourist-minded: Hamidah speaking to reporters while State Economic Planning Unit director Datuk Abu Bakar Said (left) and Tourism Perak chief executive officer Musa Dun (right) look on.

The state government will soon launch a three-year tourism plan to continue attracting tourists to the state as Visit Perak Year 2012 (VPY 2012) draws to a close.

State Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Hamidah Osman said the new campaign would be launched next year.

“Instead of using the name ‘Visit Perak Year’, we have decided to change it to ‘Discover Perak’. “The logo and its design will remain the same,” she said.

Hamidah added that the state would also be working closely with the Federal Government, which will be launching Visit Malaysia Year 2013/2014, to drum up promotional efforts. “We will be ready to welcome more tourists by 2014 and 2015,” she said.

Hamidah said VPY 2012 had been a successful campaign, adding that she was confident the state would achieve its targeted five million tourist arrivals, by the year end. “We expect the five events, which will be carried out in December, to attract large numbers of tourists,” she said.

The events are the Taiping Lake Gardens Carnival, Pangkor International Poetry and Folk Song Festival, Kacang Putih Festival in Buntong, Perak Tourism Fest and Hotel Decoration Competition. She added that the actual number of tourist arrivals during VPY 2012 would only be available early next year.

On a separate matter, Hamidah said a lay-by would be built near the Lata Kinjang waterfall on the North-South Expressway in Tapah for motorists to admire its scenery without having to exit the expressway.

She said PLUS Expressways Bhd approved an allocation for the project and was in the midst of acquiring land to construct an access road to the waterfall. “Parking bays will also be made available,” Hamidah said.
-thestar online.

Philea Resort and Spa in Ayer Keroh awarded top ten eco-friendly hotel

Well done: Top managment of Philea Resort and Spa in Ayer Keroh in a jovial mood after Agoda.com, Asia’s leading hotel booking site, announced it’s annual shortlist of eco-friendly hotels from its international network and awarded Philea Resort and Spa in Ayer Keroh as the Top ten Eco-Friendly Hotel 2012.

MALACCA: Environmentally-friendly hotels had emerged across the world in recent years, offering guests a greener getaway.

Agoda.com, Asia’s leading hotel booking portal, announced its annual shortlist of eco-friendly hotels from its international network and awarded Philea Resort and Spa in Ayer Keroh here as the Top 10 Eco-Friendly Hotel 2012.

Malaysia is one of the two countries that have more than one hotel inthe list and Philea Resort and Spa makes the cut, yet another moment of pride for Malacca. Spanning over 15 acres, strategically located in the fast-developing Ayer Keroh and wholly owned by Majestic Hotels and Resorts Sdn Bhd,this multi award-winning 5-star resort ranks at the top of the list,having received this and many other coveted awards since its openingin June 2010.

Built with natural Malaysian made resources, including 8,000 pieces railway sleepers for fencing and staircases, more than 6,000 tons of marble from Perak as block fencing and specially planned and planted more than 3,000 trees within the resort to conserve and restore the natural resources. Also recycled materials from shipwrecks used as furniture in the lobby. In addition to that, all detergents and cleaning products in use throughout the resort are certified biodegradable and eco-friendly.

Philea Resort and Spa embraces environmental initiatives as a basic for creating the resort, in fact one of Philea Spirits is ‘caring’and this applies particularly to their care concern of the environment.

CEO of Agoda.com Robert Rosenstein observed that hotels that once are considered eco-friendly are now taking things a step further,cleaning up trash, investing in best-practices, actually improving thesustainability of the communities. Whether in big cities or remote resort islands, our customers lovethese eco-friendly resorts, he noted.

Others in the list are hotels from more internationally prominent destinations such as Shanghai, Melbourne, Barcelona, New Delhi, Bangkok, Koh Samui and Vietnam.

Philea Resort and Spa Malacca Director of Marketing Communications Connie Chun said a total of 201 rooms of the hotel is specifically designed to resemble a village with panoramic views of the whole resort.

She said the stunning effect resulted in Philea being awarded as the First Log Resort and The Largest Log Resort by the Malaysia Book of Records; the Best Green Resort by Malacca Tourism Association;Creative Industry Brand of the Year by Global Golden Brand Award. Apart from this, she revealed that the Philea Resort and Spa Malacca also earned Excellent Award for Landscape Design and Planning at the Malaysia Landscape Architecture Award 2011.
-thestar online.
https://www.phileahotel.com/resort_melaka_malaysia/index.html

Sixth exhibition of luxury timepieces kicks off

Ladies of glamour: (From left) Joyce Yap, Michelle Hee, Dr Ng, Datin Angie Emam, Jennifer Ong, Yenti Luo and Annette Chan.

The glittering gala opening night of the sixth edition of ‘A Journey Through Time’ watch exhibition was held recently at Shook! restaurant and was attended by KL’s high society.

It was declared open by co-hosts Tourism Minister Datuk Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen and Tan Sri Francis Yeoh of YTL Group who banged a gong six times to signify South-East Asia’s biggest watch show which is now in its sixth year.

“Since YTL took over Starhill in 1999, the Malaysian Government has supported the tourism industry by lifting duties on watches, cameras and luxury goods. As a result, Jaeger LeCoultre and many others have opened their flagship stores in Kuala Lumpur,” said Yeoh.

“As proof, Kuala Lumpur is now a major shopping haven, it was voted Second Best Shopping City in the world by Globe Shopper Index after Hong Kong. When Singapore, which came in fifth after Shanghai and Beijing, heard this, they thought there must be some statistical error!

Added Dr Ng: “When ‘A Journey Through Time’ started in 2006, tourists spent RM6.6bil on shopping alone. “Last year, they spent RM17.6bil. By 2020, we expect tourists to shop to the tune of RM60bil!”

Dr Ng attributed Kuala Lumpur’s stunning success to what she called the 5 P’s. “First ‘P’ is Public Policy by the Government which has always supported tourism!

“The second ‘P’ is Private Enterprise and we need events like this to make Kuala Lumpur a top luxury shopping destination and visionaries like Tan Sri Francis Yeoh who will soon be a grandfather!

“Third ‘P’ is People followed by Products and finally Promotions! We cannot rest on our laurels but must continue to promote, push, promulgate and press harder for publicity in print and multimedia.”

She noted tourists usually spend 30% of their holiday budget on shopping. In the Globe Shopper Index for the Best Shopping Cities in Asia, Hong Kong was first followed by Malaysia, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, Sydney, Bangkok, Tokyo, Seoul and Delhi.

In the midst of dinner, Dr Ng received news that CNN had placed Kuala Lumpur as the World’s 4th Best Shopping City. She shepherded her team on stage to announce this newsbreaking event as the crowd applauded. The exhibition is currently ongoing until Dec 1 at Starhill Gallery, Kuala Lumpur.
-thestar online.
http://www.ajourneythroughtime.com.my/

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ali Baba - Sebuah Muzikal @ Istana Budaya



Date: 21 ~ 29 December 2012

Time: 8.30 pm daily + 3.00 pm on Saturday & Sunday

Venue: Panggung Sari, Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur

Online ticketing: www.ticket2u.biz-Istana Budaya.

Lake Kenyir Resort - Family Get-away Package



-www.lakekenyir.com

MRCA’s 20th Anniversary & Awards Banquet 2012

MRCA’s 20th Anniversary & Awards Banquet 2012 was held on October 24, 2012 at Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa. It was attended by over 1300 people.

In conjunction with the 20th anniversary celebration, MRCA launched a VIP incentive programme for its members to enjoy cross voucher deals and as a reward for them and their families with various e-voucher deals and promotions.

MRCA also presented awards in various categories such as effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and overall business growth over the past year as reviewed by MRCA council members.

Marrybrown Sdn Bhd won Platinum for its Global Growth Award while 7-Eleven Malaysia Sdn Bhd took the same spot for the National Growth Award with KK Supermarket & Superstore Sdn Bhd winning Gold and Marrybrown Sdn Bhd winning Silver.

The Best Visual Presentation Outlet Award went to Bonia Corporation Bhd with Mircoz Cosmetics winning Gold and Occubite Resources Sdn Bhd winning Silver.

Mircoz Cosmetics grabbed platinum for the Excellent Customer Service Award with Rotol-Food Chain taking Gold and Ruyi Holdings taking Silver.

Mircoz Cosmetics also grabbed platinum for Most Supportive Member Award.

Sunway Pyramid was awarded the Most Supportive Shopping Mall and 99 Speedmart took the Extraordinary Performance Award.

MRCA’s Elite Award went to Poh Kong Holdings Berhad with CIMB Bank Berhad and Maxis Berhad winning Best Business Partner Award.

MRCA marked its 20th anniversary by distributing RM5,000 to 20 charitable homes through the MRCA Branding Education Charity Foundation.
-MRCA.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tarian Cuti-cuti 1Malaysia - 2 December 2012


Join the biggest dance event of the year the Tarian Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia! This is an Exclusive invitation for the Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia facebook fans to be part of this excitement! Sign up to be a participant in this enjoyable and memorable event and you will be entitled to take home attractive Tarian Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia merchandise and goodie bags! 

Tarian Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia will be held at Dataran Putrajaya, Persiaran Perdana Precint 3, Putrajaya on 2 December 2012.


To register, just click here: https://www.facebook.com/CutiCuti1Malaysia/app_433606416687241
-Cuti-cuti 1Malaysia facebook.

Legoland Malaysia gets a Christmas tree-t


In-tree-s ting display: The first Lego Christmas tree in Asia standing tall with 260 ornaments and more than 100 LED candles in Legoland Malaysia theme park, Nusajaya.

NUSAJAYA: Visitors to Legoland Malaysia theme park will be welcomed by the first Lego-made Christmas tree in Asia.

The 9m tree, including ornaments, was made entirely out of 427,695 Duplo Lego bricks and weighs 6,057kg.

The theme park's installation leader Libor Udzral said a crew of 20 put together the tree model, which was about three storeys tall, in the Czech Republic before the parts were shipped to Malaysia and assembled here.

“The tree is designed to withstand the wind, heat and rain because there is actually a steel frame in the middle supporting the tree,” he said during the unveiling of the tree here yesterday.

Udzral added that the tree was decorated with 260 ornaments such as snowflakes, pretzels, candy canes, bells and snowmen as well as more than 100 LED candles, also made from Lego.

“The Christmas tree here is the third one after similar ones at Legoland in California and Florida and it is also the tallest one among them,” he said, adding there will be a tree-lighting ceremony tomorrow evening.

In conjunction with the festive period, the theme park's operating hours would be extended to 8pm so that visitors have a chance to take photos with the tree when it is lit up.
-thestar online.
http://www.legoland.com.my/

The Star launches book on culinary delights in Klang Valley

Come dine with us: Dr Ng taking a call card from food stall owner Panir Selvam during the launch of Food Trail in Kuala Lumpur. With them are Wong (left) and Cheong.

KUALA LUMPUR: Foodies will be able to scout around for the tastiest of dishes, now that Food Trail has been launched, a new book by The Star.

The book is a compilation of articles written by StarMetro journalist Sam Cheong under the same name and which was featured in its central edition every Thursday.

The Star executive director and group chief editor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai said Cheong had “explored every nook and corner” to find the most delectable dishes in town and had put together a trail for people who loved good food.
“He has made access to these places even simpler by providing GPS coordinates,” he said during the launch at the Malaysia Tourism Information Centre here yesterday.

The Star media group, he added, is passionate about food and would go the extra mile in promoting it via its newspaper, Flavours magazine, Kuali portal and LiTV on Astro Channel 728. The 160-page, full-colour book contains some of the best halal and non-halal fares in the Klang Valley.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, who launched the book, said food was an important tourism product in drawing more visitors to the country.

“We have positioned Malaysian food as an important structure of our tourism by having food promotions three months in a year from October to December,” she said. She hoped that Malaysia would become a household name for, among others, food, shopping, exhibitions and meetings on the global platform.

Later, during a press conference, Dr Ng said the ministry encouraged district and state authorities to create their own “food trail” directories. “This will enhance our domestic tourism's Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia programme as locals will know the best places to eat,” she said.

Dr Ng also urged the councils to set up their own tourism committees to help promote and develop their respective areas. Food Trail is available at all major bookstores in Malaysia at RM25 a copy.
-thestar online.

Tourism ministry targeting the big spenders

KUALA LUMPUR: The Tourism Ministry is setting its sights on high yield travellers or big spenders who will stay longer in the country.

Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said although Asian countries were still important, Malaysia is now targeting emerging markets such as Russia, South America, North America, India and Brazil. “They (travellers) may not come in big numbers but they are big spenders and would stay longer in the country,” she said after launching the Food Trail book by StarMetro journalist Sam Cheong.

On another matter, Dr Ng hoped that locals will practise the “Malaysian way” of greeting tourists. “We as a nation should come together to place our right hand on our collarbone and gently bow to greet them,” she said.

At another press conference, Dr Ng said some 13,000 Malaysians nationwide are expected to take part in the “Tarian Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Tourism Carnival 2012” on Sunday. She said the event was in line with Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia in encouraging domestic tourism which contributed RM20bil to the economy last year.

The event will be launched by the prime minister's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor at Dataran Putrajaya. Sabah and Sarawak will host the Tarian Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia on Dec 9 and 16 in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching respectively.
-thestar online.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Yuvan Live @ KLIMF 2012


Youth icon of the global Tamil music industry, Yuvan Shankar Raja will be performing live for the first time on Malaysian shores on Saturday, 15 December 2012 at the Bukit Jalil Stadium, Kuala Lumpur. An acclaimed music composer, song writer and singer, 33-year-old Yuvan has to his credit 900 songs and music featured in 100 Indian movies!
Yuvan’s concert will be the highlight of the inaugural  Kuala Lumpur International Indian Music Festival (KLIMF) 2012 featuring top 20 Indian singers backed by a full orchestra of 30 members.
Yuvan’s unique selling point is that he is not just a typical Indian Singer but very well known as an extraordinary entertainer. To whet the appetite of all concert-goers, a lot of dare devil stunts and high technology equipment will be part of Yuvan Live @KLIMF 2012, on par with international standards.
Kuala Lumpur International Indian Music Festival (KLIMF)  2012 is a marathon festival starting from 12 noon to 12 midnight with 15 International acts from Singapore (Shabir, Lady Kash & Krissy), India (Blaaze), Sri Lanka (Iraj & ADK), Canada (Ruby & Chikaadee), United Kingdom (Charles & Arjun and MC Sai), Germany (Kadhal Virus) and Holland (Suresh D Wun) with Malaysian artistes  performing from 12 noon till 8 pm. Yuvan’s concert will take centre-stage from 8pm onwards for a guaranteed spell-binding 4 hours!
Don’t miss out, be part of this first inaugural Yuvan Live @ KLIMF 2012 here in Malaysia!

MAHTEC exports hospitality training programme to Laos


The Malaysian Association of Hotels Training and Education Center (MAHTEC) will take its training and educational expertise to Vientiane, Laos.

In collaboration with the Lao Hotel & Restaurant Association and its training partner, V Serve, MAHTEC will offer the Bartender Management Certificate Programme to employees in the hospitality industry. The programme will begin in mid-December with a maximum of 25 students.

“This is the first time MAHTEC is offering its training abroad, and there are plans in 2013 to also offer diploma programmes in hospitality management to Lao Hotel & Restaurant Association and to other hotel associations within ASEAN,” said Reginald Pereira, CEO, MAHTEC. He added that this was to upgrade the skills of the region’s hospitality industry and to help reduce the sector’s shortage of skilled workers.

Meanwhile, MAHTEC recently signed an MoU with NetAcademy in Kuala Lumpur to offer the Applied Bachelor of Hospitality Management Programme to industry employees in Malaysia who want to obtain an internationally recognised qualification from the University of Ballarat, Australia. NetAcademy is the university’s global e-learning partner.

It is MAHTEC’s first degree programme, commencing in March 2013 with approximately 25 students, said Pereira. It uses a blended learning methodology, combining face-to-face workshops and online learning.

Initiatives to further improve KL as shopping paradise

photo: Cuti-cuti 1Malaysia facebook

KUALA LUMPUR: Improving public transportation and “shoppers’ experience” here will be a priority as the Government attempts to outdo three other cities named as premier shopping destinations.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, who said this, added that Kuala Lumpur had done well to be placed fourth in CNN’s “World’s 10 best shopping cities” survey. She said the consensus was that Kuala Lumpur could do better if certain short-comings were addressed.
“According to CNN’s survey, KL was very strong in terms of providing a variety of brands to shoppers at good prices. In fact, we scored 10 out of 10 in terms of value. “We were the only city in the top 10 to achieve that score,” Dr Ng told a press conference here.
Kuala Lumpur achieved a total score of 30 out of a maximum 40 in CNN’s list which was evaluated according to four categories – getting around, value, variety and shoppers’ experience. The top three cities in the global news network’s survey were New York, Tokyo and London.
She said among the Government’s initiatives to improve connectivity in the city’s shopping districts was constructing air-conditioned pedestrian walkways that linked malls. “We are building more walkways to add to the existing ones to extend the connectivity radius,” said Dr Ng, adding that the city’s notorious taxi service was also being given “extra attention”.
On improving shopper’s experience, Dr Ng said she wanted to see the local performing arts scene improved or better promoted to compete with the other cities. “New York has Broadway, but we do not have much to offer in this field,’’ said Dr Ng, who later launched the Bukit Bintang-KLCC (BBKLCC) year-end celebrations at Suria KLCC shopping mall.
-thestar online.
http://www.bbklccmalaysia.com/

Monday, November 26, 2012

Malaysia Airlines Partners American Express and Maybank to Launch the First Airline Business Travel Account in Malaysia


Kuala Lumpur, 26 November 2012 : Malaysia Airlines has partnered American Express and Maybank to offer the MAS American Express® Business Travel Account (BTA)a unique business travel payment solution in Malaysia which helps corporations achieve maximum control over business travel expenses and hence maximize cost efficiency. The BTA enables companies to gain enhanced travel data and insights from their travel management companies, hence helping them streamline and expedite the reconciliation of their travel expenses and manage costs – all through a single company account.
As a globally proven solution, the BTA offers companies a consolidated view of their travel expenditure providing more visibility of their overall travel spend with detailed information such as traveller name, sector information and ticket numbers. This enables companies to enjoy efficient cash flow management as well as policy compliance.
Commenting on this new initiative Malaysia Airlines’ Head for Sales & Distribution, Duncan Bureau said, “This is another milestone for Malaysia Airlines’ to be the first to introduce a co-branded payment solution in Malaysia to reward our corporate customers. Companies that sign up for the MAS American Express BTA will be assigned an Account Manager, and will enjoy substantial savings through discounts for all business-related travel on Malaysia Airlines. We will also offer exclusive perks like free flights, complimentary upgrades, priority seat confirmation and fast track options for eligible staff to benefit from our Enrich Frequent Flyer programme. Essentially, the more they fly with Malaysia Airlines, the more savings and benefits the company will get in addition to easier and enhanced tracking of their air travel spend through BTA.”
Maybank Executive Vice President and Head of Cards and Unsecured Lending, Victor Kaw, disclosed that the MAS American Express BTA is one of many advancements of the American Express Corporate Card program that Maybank advocates in Malaysia.  “This innovative and streamlined cost management facility is another benefit that corporations can enjoy in addition to the suite of corporate payment solutions available to them,” he said, “In partnership with Malaysia Airlines and American Express, this is an enhancement of BTA that delivers added value to our corporate clients.”  
“Transparency and control are two most important requirements when it comes to efficient travel expense and costs management,” said Ashutosh Agrawal, Vice President, Head of Commercial Card, Asia Pacific, Global Network Services, American Express. “As a worldwide leader in providing travel services and expense management solutions for Corporations, and with our proven track record, American Express is happy to partner with Maybank and Malaysia Airlines to offer the Business Travel Account to companies in Malaysia and assist them in improving the efficiency of their business operations, especially in an environment with an increasing need for cost control.”
Major product features of the MAS American Express® Business Travel Account:
  • One single account that reflects a company’s entire travel expenditure and requires only one single payment
  • Greater flexibility on a company’s cash flow as it provides up to 55 days’ credit period between transaction date and payment date
  • Reduces paperwork and administrative hassles – including cumbersome reimbursement and cash-advances for employees’ travel
  • Provides detailed data in an electronic data file, enabling companies to upload this data directly into their back office and expense management systems
  • Automatically matches line by line travel expenses with enhanced travel data from their selected Travel Management Company, providing detailed insight into their spend
  • Comes with a suite of six standard reports which highlight airline and route usage, as well as spend comparisons, to enhance airline negotiations and the compliance monitoring
The Malaysia Airlines American Express BTA is now available to all new and existing American Express corporate customers.
More information available online at http://www.americanexpress.com.my/bta or Maybank Corporate Customer Service at toll free line 1800889559
-Malaysia Airlines.

ATF 2013 sees strong booth take-up


The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) TRAVEX 2013, which will take place in Vientiane's Lao International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre from January 22-24, boasts the highest number of corporate booths achieved by the event thus far, while more than half of buyers attending are new.

Into its 32nd edition, the ATF TRAVEX 2013, will welcome over 1,000 exhibitors and 460 booths, with new exhibitors comprising 35 per cent. The exhibition will feature 75 corporate booths. Host country Laos is fielding its largest-ever contingent at ATF.

Saly Phimpinith, director-general of tourism marketing department in the Laos’ Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, said: “Laos is constantly improving its service standards in the tourism industry. We have begun to classify hotels and guesthouses and are actively promoting community-based tourism in order to improve the standard of living in remote areas. We are happy to give ATF TRAVEX delegates a glimpse into the beauty of Laos through the pre-show city tours and post-show tours.”

ATF 2013 attracted close to 1,100 buyer registrations, out of which only 380 quality buyers will be hosted. More than 50 non-hosted buyers will also be participating. The forum is seeing buyers from new countries such as Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Ireland, Israel, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka and Taiwan.

International media registrations have also reached the 170 mark.
-TTG Asia.

CC1M on 2 Wheels Big Bike Rally 2012 "Southern Expedition"


Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia on 2 Wheels Big Bike Rally 2012 "Southern Expedition" was launched on 25th November 2012 by YBhg Dato' Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Director General of Tourism Malaysia to flag off the expedition which this year rallied up 50 big bikers and a supporting entourage of more than 30 participants travelling through 4 states, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor over a period of 7 days.

They will enjoy a variety of attractions including great foods, interesting destinations and staying a beautiful hotels and resorts. They will also be traveling on a ferry to visit Pulau Kukup. Some of the places of interest include Port Dickson, the city of Melaka, Tanjung Piai (known as the Southern Most Tip Of Mainland Asia), Pulau Kukup, Johor Bharu, Kota Tinggi, Pulau Sibu, Air Hitam and Gunung Ledang.


Big bikers for this expedition included expats and bikers from neighbouring countries as well. The expedition promises yet another exciting travel opportunity for both participants and tourism in Malaysia as it will once again be filmed by RTM to be shown as a travel program after the event.




-Cuti-cuti 1Malaysia facebook.

Cruise packages popular option for many families from Perak


Chosen getaway: Cruise tours have become a popular choice for families during the year-end holidays.Chosen getaway: Cruise tours have become a popular choice for families during the year-end holidays.
Enjoying the ocean breeze while sailing onboard a cruise liner is the preferred vacation choice for many families from Perak during the school holidays.
Keris Travel & Tour Sdn Bhd director Shireen Yeoh said all cruise packages until December had been fully booked, adding that sales of cruises had increased by 10% during the year-end holidays, this year, compared to the same period last year. “Taking a cruise is considered a leisure trip and it is suitable for both young and old,” she said, adding that the most popular destinations were Penang, and Phuket and Krabi in Thailand.
According to Yeoh, regional cruise tours were popular among middle range income earners because of their affordability. “Costing about RM1,000 onwards for a four-day, three-night cruise, travellers get to enjoy meals and onboard facilities such as the swimming pool and karaoke lounges while certain packages allow them to shop and go sightseeing on land,” she said.
Concurring with Yeoh, a sales executive of another tour agency on Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil, said the demand for cruises had increased by almost 20% compared to last year.
Good business: Yeoh (left) and Ng perusing flyers on cruise tours.Good business: Yeoh (left) and Ng perusing flyers on cruise tours.
The sales executive, who only wished to be known as Jenny, said cruises for November and December had all been fully booked even before the end of the school term. “Many of our customers feel that cruises are relaxing and being on a ship gives them the opportunity to escape life’s daily stress,” she added.
Other than cruises, Jenny said many holidaymakers also liked travelling to East Asian countries such as Taiwan and Hong Kong as there were many shopping centres and places of interest suitable for the entire family.
U’ Vacation Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd managing director Law Weng Sum said younger family members were also deciding factors of where families spend their holidays. “Some children are influenced by the Taiwanese or Hong Kong drama series that they watch and will tell their parents they want to go there.
“And many parents actually do agree to take their children to these destinations,” he said.
Despite an overall positive market environment, Law said business this school holidays has not been as brisk as they had hoped for. Law said perhaps some people chose not to travel due to the uncertainty of when the next general election would be.
On the other hand, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents vice-chairman Ng Wi Soo said that it was unlikely for families to sacrifice their holidays just to wait for the elections. “Nothing will hold them back if they already have the intention to travel. “I think the country’s precarious state of economy is a more valid factor,” he said.
Tour agencies, he said, should come up with more attractively priced travel packages to attract potential customers in order to remain competitive. “For instance, they should expand their network with more airline companies and strive to get a lower rate on airfares but to be able to do that, they first need to establish a positive image and a good reputation,” he added.
-thestar online.

AMEX forecasts slower hotel and airfare rate hikes in 2013

Global economic uncertainty and the emergence of LCCs are likely to result in muted airfare and hotel rate increases in the coming year across Asia-Pacific (APAC), predicts American Express Global Business Travel.


The TMC’s Global Business Travel Forecast 2013 anticipates that shorthaul economy airfares in APAC are expected to grow between minus one and four per cent versus one and five per cent in 2012. Business shorthaul fares, on the other hand, are forecast to rise zero to four per cent compared to two to six per cent the previous year.

The growth in economy intra-APAC fares will slow to minus one to four per cent from one to five per cent in 2012, while business intra-APAC fares will increase by a paltry zero to four per cent, compared to five to 10 per cent last year.

According to Carl Jones, head of American Express Advisory Services for Asia-Pacific, the dip in airfare rises in 2013 can be partly accredited to the increasing competition from LCCs sprouting across the region, which has compelled flag carriers to keep their business and economy fare rises low to compete in the leisure segment.

“This is naturally a great boon for businesses, which are now keeping a closer watch over their travel expenses owing to the poorer global economic conditions.”

He added that airfares in China in 2013 would likely be relatively flat due to the slowdown in GDP growth, as well as government-imposed restrictions. India, which he termed as a “unique aviation market”, is predicted to see airfare hikes as high as eight per cent.

Meanwhile, hoteliers are expected to suppress rate rises next year in an effort to claw more corporate business. Mid-range hotel rates in APAC are forecast to rise by just zero to four per cent in 2013, relative to six to 10 per cent in 2012. Upper-class hotels are expected to up rates by two to seven per cent versus six to 10 per cent a year ago.
-TTG Asia.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Kuala Lumpur’s First Full-Scale Outlet Project- “Mitsui Outlet Park Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)” Decided to be Developed The First Phase to be Opened in the Winter of 2014



We are delighted to announce that Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd. has decided to begin developing “(tentative name) Mitsui Outlet Park Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA),” Kuala Lumpur’s first outlet project, in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, and today, we have concluded a basic agreement with Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (hereafter referred to as “MAHB”), the land leaseholder of and the airport operator of 39 airports in Malaysia including KLIA. We are expected to begin the first-phase construction in the summer of 2013 and open the first-phase business in the winter of 2014. MAHB is listed in Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange and its major stocks are owned by a government-managed fund.

This development has been determined by MAHB’s request-for-proposal bidding method in which the construction of outlet establishment was assumed and leading commercial establishment developers around the world bid for the development, and we bid for it and were determined to be the developer upon winning the bid. Regarding this project, MAHB, the landholder, and we collectively establish a project promoting company to promote the plan. We assume the investment ratio will be 70% by us and 30% by MAHB. The project promoting company will lease the land from MAHB for 30 years, construct buildings, and lease out to tenants.

This property locates within the premise of Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which is about 60 km south from the urban area of Kuala Lumpur and takes about 40 minutes by car. It is faced toward the main road that connects the airport and the urban area and is a location excellent for accessing not only from the broad urban area of Kuala Lumpur but also from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which is used by about 38 million people annually. Kuala Lumpur International Airport is currently conducting the construction of the second airport, and after the open of the second airport in May, 2013, it is expected that about 45 million people will use the both airport annually which is expected to open in May, 2013. It is expected that about 45 million passenger will use the airport when the the development is open for commercial operations in the winter of 2014. This property is in the KLIA Aeropolis Plan, which is expected to be developed in the future by MAHB, and offices, commercial establishments, a convention center, logistics facilities, a theme park, golf courses, etc., are expected to be clustered around the property. MAHB uses this property development as a pace setter, and they will sequentially promote development plans in the future.

By using the vast extent of land of approximately 180,000 m2, we are planning to have approximately 46,300 m2 of overall shop areas and about 240 shops in the final phase. This will be the largest class of establishment as compared to our establishments in Japan. Regarding the tenants, we are assuming the brands in Europe and the United States, Asia, and Japan that comprise a wide variety of business categories centered on luxurious brands, casual brands, specialty boutiques, etc. We also consider attracting restaurants in which about 25 million tourists who visit Malaysia annually can enjoy, attracting the outbound needs of Japanese companies, and introducing entertainment aspects.

This project is our first outlet establishment in Southeast Asia.The number of population, wealthy people in Malaysia are expected grow as well as personal spending, we are keen to acquire more opportunities in Malaysia. We will promote development tailored to the local business practices while maximizing the experience and knowledge we have acquired in the development of commercial establishments, such as Mitsui Outlet Park, tenant leasing, and operations.

Our group regards the overseas projects as a growing field and has developed and managed an outlet mall in Ningbo, China, deployed housing projects in Tianjin Eco-City, as well as Shanghai New Town “Hao shi huang ma yuan (Hao shi huang ma yuan).” With a focus on a business of houses built for sale in which the demand is expected to expand due to economic growth and the development of urbanization, as well as a business of commercial establishments in which the growth of personal spending can be attracted, we set further engagement in business deployment in Southeast Asia in the future as one pillar of our growth strategy. We have drawn up an investment of 500 billion yen in Europe and the United States, as well as Asia by fiscal 2017 in Innovation 2017 (our group’s medium- to long-term business plan in the fiscal 2012 – 2017).

We at Mitsui Fudosan are committed to social and economic development as well as global environmental preservation under the principles of harmony, coexistence and inclusive cooperation represented by our “ & ” corporate logo. Under the principles of the “ & ” logo, “ & ” represents our group vision. “ & ” symbolizes our recognition that urban development is interlinked with the planet and our aim of a society that enriches both people and the planet.

*The (" &") logo represents an inclusive approach toward harmonious coexistence that transcends conflicting ideals in the process of creating new value. This contrasts with the notion of "or," in which society must often choose between perceived opposing perspectives, such as "civilization or nature," "economy or culture," "work or study." The logo was adopted in April 1991.


Plan Outline
LocationOn a premise of Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia
Business FormFactory outlet
First-Phase Plan OutlineShop AreaApproximately 19,800 m2
Number of ShopsAbout 100
ScheduleGroundbreaking in the summer of 2013 and opening in the winter of 2014
Eventual Overall Plan Outline (Including the First-Phase outline)Shop AreaApproximately 46,300 m2
Number of ShopsAbout240
ScheduleThe schedule after the Second Phase not yet determined

-Mitsui Fudosan.

AirAsia offers low fare deals to celebrate 11th anniversary

PETALING JAYA: AirAsia is celebrating it's 11th anniversary by offering fares as low as 11 cents, exclusive of airport taxes and fees.

The “Birthday Bash” promotion that begins Monday, will feature low all-in rates for various domestic and regional destinations. Flights from Kuala Lumpur to Penang, Langkawi, Terengganu, Kota Bharu and Alor Setar, as well as Kota Kinabalu to Tawau, Sandakan and Miri start at RM26.11 one-way.
All-in, one-way travel fares to Singapore, Phnom Penh, Hat Yai, Krabi, and Surat Thani begin at RM52.11, flights to Jakarta, Solo, Surabaya and Yangon are up for grabs from as low as RM62.11, while fares to Jakarta, Solo, Surabaya and Yangon start at RM77.11.
In conjunction with the anniversary celebrations, AirAsia X, the long-haul affiliate of the AirAsia group is also offering discounts today for travel next year. Prices for flights to China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan start at RM249, while fares to Australia and Nepal will begin at RM299. AirAsia Berhad CEO Aireen Omar said that the airline hoped to continue to strengthen its route network and connectivity that currently spans over 85 destinations, across 24 countries.
Online booking for travel with AirAsia is available from Nov 26 (today) to Dec 2 via the AirAsia website (www.airasia.com), for travel period between Dec 3 2012 and March 31 2013.
For AirAsia X flights, the promotion begins Monday till Dec 2 for travel between June 1 and Dec 31 2013 (excluding Japan). Bookings for the Kuala Lumpur Japan (Tokyo, Osaka) route will be available online from Nov 28 to Dec 2, 2012 for travel between June 1 and Nov 27, 2013.
Travellers are also invited to book hotel stays at promotional rates from as low as RM8 per night, in Singapore, Bangkok, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Bali and more with AirAsiaGo (online booking is available at www.AirAsiaGo.com). The promotion period is from Nov 26 to Dec 2 2012, for travel period between Dec 3 2012 and March 31 2013.
-thestar online.