Friday, 31 May 2013

Traders Hotel Puteri Harbour debuts in Johor

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is set to launch Traders Hotel Puteri Harbour on June 1, the third property under the Traders Hotel brand in Malaysia.
The 283-room Traders Hotel Puteri Harbour is a 20-minute drive from downtown Singapore and within hours from Kuala Lumpur via the North-South Highway.
Part of the Little Red Cube development, the hotel provides guests quick access to the Legoland Malaysia, the indoor Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park featuring Sanrio Hello Kitty Town and the Little Big Club, as well as LAT’s Place.
Rooms and suites range from 33-96m2, and guests who stay on the Traders Club floor will enjoy a private lounge with breakfast, refreshments and evening cocktails; personalised check-in and check-out; meeting areas and a Club concierge.
Other amenities include free Internet access throughout the hotel, a rooftop infinity pool, a health club with massage services, a landscaped rooftop garden, a business centre and a free shuttle service to Legoland Malaysia. F&B options include all-day dining at the Harbour Café restaurant, rooftop SkyBar, the Lobby Lounge and takeaway outlet, On-the-Go.
Meeting planners can make use of the 515m2 Iskandar Ballroom and its reception area, which accommodates up to 600 pax, or any of the hotel’s five other meeting halls offering a bird’s-eye view of the hotel surroundings.
-TTG Asia.

Malaysia Through The Eyes Of The Artist - Art Competition

Langkawi International Laksa Carnival (LILAC 2013)


AIA K-POP Live in KL (27th June 2013)

The first ever life insurer to sponsor a K-POP concert in the country, AIA Bhd. feels this is the perfect way to connect with young people from all walks of life and bring them together to share in this exciting and memorable experience with Asia’s favourite modern pop stars.
With a line-up of multi-award winning K-POP groups playing their infectious brand of pop music, AIA K-POP 2013 is set to be one of the most electrifying concerts KL has seen this year.
The concert will feature dynamic boy band Beast, explosive girl group 4Minute and talented songstress/ dancer G.NA.
BEAST is a six member South Korean boy group consisting of Doo-joon, Hyunseung, Junhyung, Yoseob, Gikwang, and Dongwoon. Since the group’s debut in 2009, BEAST has released one Korean full-length album, six Korean mini-albums, one Japanese full-length album and various singles. They have achieved significant commercial and critical accolades. Their new song Beautiful Night won Triple Crown on one of the most popular music shows in Korea, further proving their popularity in the region. The song also gained the #1 spot on many music charts.
4Minute is a five-member South Korean girl group comprising Ji-hyun, Ga-yoon, Ji-yoon, Hyun-a and So-hyun. 4Minute debuted in 2009 with the single Hot Issue. They have since released one Korean full-length album, three Korean mini-albums, one Japanese full-length album, six Japanese singles and various Korean singles. The girl group has held successful concerts across the world, including Japan, Australia, France and the United States. Their latest album Name Is 4minute was released on April 2013 and it has since captivated the hearts of many and placed 4Minute on the top charts for weeks.
G.NA, a Korean-Canadian singer, made her debut in 2010 and has since released one Korean full-length studio album, one international digital album, four Korean mini-albums, and various singles. A woman of many talents, G.NA has also acted in several Korean dramas, including Salamander Guru and The Shadows and Welcome to the Show. In addition, she has hosted and starred in TV programmes such as The M Wave, Doctor’s Penalty and Romantic & Idol: Season 2. G.NA released her fourth mini-album Beautiful Kisses early this year. With her new song Oops, G.NA has clinched the ‘K-Chart’ #1 spot on one of Korea’s most popular music shows.
The concert, themed Be real. Love it. Live it, is a private event sponsored by AIA. However, over 2,000 premium tickets will be made available to the public via the concert’s promoter – Parallel Media Group. The tickets will be specially priced between RM200 to RM400 each and they will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis at all TicketCharge authorized outlets/TicketCharge office over a 5-day priority booking beginning 20 May 2013. More details on priority booking can be found on the official AIA K-POP site. Tickets will be priced between RM250-RM450 after the priority booking period ends. All ticket prices exclude handling fees.
Visit the official AIA K-POP site at for more details and updates on the latest concert news, photos and videos of your favourite K-POP artistes. You can also stand a chance to be one of the lucky winners to walk away with concert tickets and exclusive AIA-K-POP merchandize!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

MAS publishes fuel surcharge for Singapore-outbound flights

Starting June 1, Malaysia Airlines' (MAS) published fares for travel originating from Singapore will include fuel surcharge. 
An MAS media statement said: “As fuel cost is part of the operating cost of the airline, it makes sense and provides convenience to customers and trade partners to have fuel surcharge included in the published fare.”
Albert Ho, executive director of Citystate Travel and chairman, air transport, National Association of Travel Agents Singapore, said the practice is not common among airlines. “Majority of airlines' fares are quoted separately from the fuel surcharges. The few whose fares are inclusive of fuel surcharges include Emirates and Korean Air.”
However, hailing this as a commendable move, he added: “It is better to be more transparent about the true cost of an air ticket as travellers today are very discerning and expect airlines to be more open on its pricing strategy.”
While customers may feel “short-changed” when fuel surcharges are added to the final price and find themselves paying up to 30 per cent more than the original airfare, Ho said travel consultants also benefited as they “have less to explain”.
Jane Chang, marketing and communications manager, Chan Brothers Travel, pointed out that “the impact on the industry is still minimal and largely reliant on adoption levels by other airlines” as the practice was still uncommon among airlines.
MAS intends to introduce such fuel surcharges to its published fares progressively across its worldwide network, having already done so for flights originating from New Zealand (2006), Sri Lanka (2011) and India (2013).
Separately, MAS will increase the frequency of its Kuala Lumpur-Mumbai flights to 12 times weekly, beginning June 3, due to increased market demand. The new daytime service departs every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 09.20, reaching Mumbai at 11.45. Flights leave Mumbai at 12.40 to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 20.20.
-TTG Asia.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Garuda’s new Penang-Medan route to take flight from Saturday

GEORGE TOWN: Garuda Indonesia will introduce its Penang-Medan route from Saturday as part of efforts to improve connectivity between the two cities.
Garuda Indonesia (Asia Pacific) vice-president Nicodemus Lampe said that Garuda Indonesia will serve the route twice a day, using the Bombardier CRJ1000 Next Gen aircraft. It has a seating capacity of 96, comprising 12 in exclusive class and 84 in economy class.
”Besides being part of the airline’s network expansion program, the opening of the new route, is part of Garuda Indonesia’s efforts to improve its services to the customers by offering more routes,” said Nicodemus.
As part of its expansion in both the domestic and international sectors, on May 3, 2013, Garuda also launched Medan as its fourth air hub after Jakarta, Denpasar and Makassar. ”Prior to that, since April 15, Garuda has begun flying new routes, namely from Medan to Batam, Medan to Padang and Medan to Palembang.”
Currently Garuda Indonesia serves the Indonesia to Malaysia route by flying from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur twice a day.
With positive growth in the international sector, Garuda also plans to open new international routes, such as Jakarta to London, Surabaya to Singapore, Denpasar to Bangkok, Denpasar to Brisbane and Denpasar to Kuala Lumpur.
”Garuda Indonesia is also expecting the arrival of 24 new additions of four Boeing 777-300ER, three Airbus A330, 10 Boeing 737-800NG and seven Bombardier CRJ1000 Next Gen. Through its Quantum Leap programme, Garuda will operate a total of 194 aircraft by 2015.
-thestar online.

90,000 visitors expected at MATTA Fair

Some 90,000 visitors are expected to flock to the MATTA Fair at Level 4 Penang Times Square in Penang from July 5-7.

MATTA Fair organising chairman Jeffri Sulaiman said yesterday that there would be 190 booths available for exhibitors. “Visitors can expect to find attractive and value for money airline tickets and tour packages,” he said.
He said the fair this time would be different than the previous fairs as it would be wholly managed by Micem Sdn Bhd, which have years of experience in organising the tremendously successful MATTA Fairs in Kuala Lumpur.
“The expertise of this team will be used to market the Penang MATTA Fair and they are confident that all 190 booths would be taken up by travel agents, tour operators, airlines, hotels, resorts and foreign National Tourism Organisations,” he added.
State Tourism Development and Culture Committee chairman Danny Law and MATTA Penang chapter chairman Johari Shafee also attended the press conference.
-thestar online.

Last Minute Deals on Malaysia Airlines Nationwide Sales Campaign

Subang, 28 May 2013: In conjunction with the upcoming Gawai and Kaammatan harvest festivals, Malaysia Airlines will be extending its domestic promotion on the Nationwide Sales Campaign that started from 6 May 2013 – 24 May 2013, to now until 10 June 2013.
Malaysia Airlines Regional Senior Vice President Malaysia, Muzammil Mohamad said, “We are delighted to offer our customers last minute deals in conjunction with these festivities”. “With flexible travelling dates from 27 May 2013 to 31 March 2014, we encourage customers to take advantage of these offers and plan ahead for their holidays and balik kampung trips”.
“This is also a good opportunity for customers to grab these value deals and at the same time enjoy convenience and comfort travel on Malaysia Airlines,” he said.
Customers can travel on Business or Economy Class from Kuala Lumpur to Alor Setar, Penang, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan, Kota Bharu, Johor Bharu and Langkawi from as low as RM599 and RM150 all-in return respectively. Economy Class travels from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching starts from RM160 all-in return and Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu, Miri and Sibu start from RM200 all-in return.
Customers can also book their flights from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau from RM280 all-inclusive return, whilst Kuala Lumpur to Labuan, Sandakan, and Bintulu start from RM300 all-inclusive return, both on Economy Class.
Business class fares from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Miri, Sibu, Tawau, Labuan, Sandakan, and Bintulu start from RM1099 all-inclusive return. Other routes include Kuching to Kota Kinabalu, Miri, Bintulu, Sibu and Kota Kinabalu to Tawau, Labuan and Sandakan which start from RM599 all-in return on Business Class and RM200 all-in return Economy Class.
Besides the special offer, guests travelling on Malaysia Airlines will also experience enhanced services.
The airline is allowing cabin baggage in Business and Economy Class of up to a maximum of 7kg instead of 5kg. Guests on Business Class are permitted to carry two pieces of cabin baggage of a 7kg each maximum weight, whilst Economy Class passengers will be allowed to carry only one cabin bag. Measurements of each baggage should not exceed 56cm height, 36 cm in length and 23cm width.
Customers can avail these fares at, or visit the nearest Malaysia Airlines’ appointed agents, ticket office or call Malaysia Airlines’ call centre at 1-800-88-3000.
-Malaysia Airlines.

AEROMEET 2013 Sets To Boost Tourist Arrivals From Americas, Europe & Oceania

PUTRAJAYA, 24 May 2013A group of 67 outbound travel agents and 23 media representatives from various parts of Americas, Europe and Oceania have arrived in the country to attend AEROMEET 2013, a special programme organised by Tourism Malaysia.
The 8-day event, beginning today, is a travel trade meet organised for the Americas, Europe and Oceania (AERO) markets to introduce Malaysia’s tourism products and attractions. It aims to reinforce Malaysia’s tourism promotions in these markets, besides establishing a stronger tie with its foreign travel trade partners.
“The event is actually an enhancement of last year’s EUROMEET 2012 which focused only on the European market. In line with the celebration of Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) in 2014, we aim to boost tourist arrivals from Americas, Europe and Oceania markets in order to achieve our target of 28 million tourists next year,” said the Director General of Tourism Malaysia Dato’ Mirza Mohammad Taiyab.
AEROMEET 2013 is comprised of tours and product updates, a travel mart and a travel seminar. The participants, from the USA, Canada, Russia & CIS, Italy, UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Scandinavia & Baltic, Turkey, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, are scheduled to visit various tourist spots in the country.
Their tours include the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, the Royal Selangor Pewter, KLCC, and Batu Caves. They are also scheduled to attend Malaysia’s cultural extravaganza, Colours of 1Malaysia, on 25 May before proceeding to their pre-tours to Taman Negara, Terengganu or Sarawak.
The main highlight of AEROMEET 2013 will take place on 29 May in Langkawi, where the Chairman of Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) Tan Sri Khalid Ramli is scheduled to officially open the event and a travel seminar.
In the evening, Tourism Malaysia will be hosting a welcome dinner for all the participants at the Westin Langkawi Beach & Spa Resort. Highlight of the night include group presentations from the participants on their experience during the pre-tour.  
 At the seminar, the participants will get to know more about Visit Malaysia Year 2014 through a presentation by the VMY Secretariat while representative from Nature Specialist will share with them Malaysia’s eco-tourism. It will be followed by a travel mart and business networking session between AERO travel fraternity and Malaysian travel trade members.
A total of 75 Malaysian sellers, comprising state tourism authorities, inbound tour operators, hotels and airline, will be participating in the travel mart to discuss the latest tourism products and services in the country with AERO buyers and develop attractive tour packages to Malaysia.
Among those who lend their support to this programme are the Sarawak Tourism Board, Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), The Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur, Mutiara Taman Negara, Tanjong Jara Resort, Grand Margherita Hotel, Air Asia X, Berjaya Hotels & Resorts, and Westin Hotel.
With the cooperation from members of the travel trade industry, Tourism Malaysia hopes to make AEROMEET an annual promotional event to complement other promotional efforts.
In 2012, Malaysia recorded a total of 361,253 tourists from Americas, which was an increase of 6.3% compared to 2011. For the same period, tourist arrivals from Europe were 1,130,303 (a hike of 2%) while Oceania arrivals were 507,948 (a decrease of 9%).
-Tourism Malaysia.

Oneworld enters conventions market, buyers mixed about alliances' offers

OneWorld has joined other global air alliances in competing for large convention groups, although data shows international meetings are actually getting smaller. 
Like Star Alliance Conventions Plus, Oneworld Events, launched at IMEX last week, offers a “one-stop solution” to planners with a meeting of minimum 500 pax travelling from at least two regions.
The solution comprises discounted flights on its member airlines, an easy-to-use online booking system for attendees, online real-time management reports 24/7 for planners and a promotional toolkit to build attendee awareness, among others. Attendees earn miles as usual, while planners earn credits for travel on participating Oneworld airlines.
Jose Maria Alvarado, Oneworld Alliance’s director-sales, said Oneworld Events was superior to the others because “we are easier to use and faster to market”.
He said timing and technology made it feasible to launch this solution now. “ICCA data shows 3.5 million delegates attend these kinds of conferences and events around the world every year, spending around US$1.5 billion on air travel,” he said.
But a check with ICCA also shows that 75 per cent of international meetings are attended by fewer than 500 pax, with the average size hovering between 230 pax and 256 pax from 2003 to 2012.
This explains why Star Alliance and Skyteam also offer solutions aimed at small meetings (e.g., Star’s Meetings Plus targets events with minimum 50 international passengers from at least three countries).
Asked if Oneworld Events would lose out because of this, Michael Blunt, Oneworld’s vice president corporate communications, said: “Most of our member airlines will continue to offer their own MICE products, and our feeling is that these individual airline offerings are better suited to this end of the market, while our new Oneworld Events product is ideal for the large-scale conference or event.
“Our 500 delegates number is a guideline only, rather than a firm cut-off limit. We will of course look at exceptions so long as many hundred of international delegates are expected to attend.”
Blunt insisted there is “a big market for big conventions and events in many parts of the world”. “In the past few months, Oneworld has been approached by organisers arranging conferences for 1,000 to 5,000 delegates in venues ranging from Buenos Aires, Singapore and Vienna,” he said.
Kitty Wong, president, K&A International, Taiwan, remains sceptical about the effectiveness of alliances’ MICE solutions. “It’s hard to force all the airline members in the alliance to offer the same deal, i.e., the best market price or 50 per cent off the tariff, especially when the meeting is smaller than 500 pax and the reality is, most meetings are.” Wong said she was talking to two airlines directly for her bigger conventions of more than 3,000 pax to be held in the next few years and even then, “although I know the key guys, I’m not sure if I can get a better deal”.

Sumate Sudasna, head of CDM Thailand, agreed the fares were “hardly attractive compared to market prices”, but added that the solution could work if it made the event host’s life easier.
-TTG Asia.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Lost World Lupe's Adventure - Perak's 1st Roller Coaster

-Lost World Of Tambun.

Tourism Malaysia Johor to promote cycling holiday packages

Organisers and the sponsors of the CC1M 2nd OJCT Pocong Nite Ride at a media conference in Bandar Tiram. Pic by Rashvin Bedi

JOHOR BARU: Tourism Malaysia Johor is aware of the huge potential in cycling for tourism and aims to make the state a destination for cyclists from all around the world.

Its director, Edzuar Zar Ayob Azari, said that cycling can contribute to the development of green tourism, which is being mooted by the government.
"We want to promote cycling as a tourist activity. "It has enormous potential. We would like to attract people from China and the Middle East to Johor," he said at the CC1M 2nd OJCT Pocong Nite Ride@ Bandar Tiram Carnival 2013 media conference.

He said that any cycling holiday packages would incorporate homestays and nature activities. Edzuar said that there were 176 cycling tourism packages in the country, with 85 local tourism agencies involved.

Among the packages were the Discover Putrajaya Cycling Packages, Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Bike Ride Kuching, Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Bike Ride Melaka and Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Bike Ride George Town. Edzuar said that cycling-related tourism activities will also create job opportunities.

The Pocong Nite Ride is organised by the Orang Johor Cycling Team (OJCT) and is sponsored by Johor Land Bhd. OJCT chairman Arshata Ali said they were targeting about 1,500 participants for this year's event.

The rides will take place on June 8 and 9 and will begin at Bandar Tiram, which is about 20km from Johor Baru. There are three categories this year, namely the 45km mountain bike ride (night), the 107km road bike ride and the 8km fixie category.

Registration is open to anyone above 13 years old. For details, log on to
-nst online.

RM1m shopping spree for KLIA contest winner

(From left) Faizah Khairuddin, Ramlah Muda, Yusof Mohamad, Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah and Datuk Azmi Murad at the prize-giving ceremony of the Indulge Till You Fly 2012/2013 campaign. Pic by Surianie Mohd Hanif

SEPANG: Going on a shopping spree with RM1 million is beyond one's wildest dream for most people. But it became a reality for Yusof Mohamad, 55, when he became the grand prize winner of Malaysia Airports' Indulge Till you Fly (ITUF) 2012/ 2013 campaign.

Yusof threw caution to the wind as he spent lavishly at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) after being declared the winner at a prize presentation ceremony at KLIA recently. Malaysia Airports also announced the final group of six Indulger prize winners in the monthly draw of its ITUF campaign.

The grand prize was presented by Malaysia Airports chairman Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, while Indulger prize winners received their prizes from senior general manager of operation services for Malaysia Airports Datuk Azmi Murad and senior general manager of commercial services for Malaysia Airports Faizah Khairuddin.

"The Indulge Till you Fly campaign is an annual event aimed at giving travellers and visitors options and opportunities to indulge themselves and be rewarded handsomely. It underpins our strategic move to raise awareness that airports are lifestyle destinations with lots to offer, sometimes, more so than downtown malls," said Faizah.

"This year's ITUF, offering its RM1 million shopping spree, is our biggest reward yet for a traveller to or from Malaysia," she said .
The campaign was held from July 19 last year to Feb 28 this year, at all the international airports in Malaysia, namely KLIA / LCCT-KLIA, Penang International Airport , Langkawi International Airport, Kuching International Airport and Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

"Taking last year's campaign as a benchmark, we recorded a 57 per cent increase in the number of entries received, 134 per cent increase in total sales and a 50 per cent increase in average spending per passenger," said Faizah .
To take part in the campaign, travellers had to spend a minimum of RM250 at any participating F&B or retail outlet at the five international airports which also entitled them to shopping vouchers worth RM10.

Those eligible used the Indulge and Win e-kiosks to take part in the contest and redeemed their on-the-spot shopping vouchers by scanning the receipts of their purchases and passport details and answering campaign-related questions.
Monthly, six Indulger prize winners were given RM10,000 each in shopping vouchers. The grand prize winner and the monthly winners were selected randomly by an off-site computer.

As the grand prize winner, Yusof was flown into KLIA on business class, given a two-night stay in a 5-star hotel courtesy of MasterCard International and provided the services of a personal shopper. Yusof took his wife Ramlah Muda, 54, on a two-day grand shopping spree where they bought bags, jewellery, computers, gold and watches, among others, on May 8 and 9.
-nst online.

Sutra Technology unveils new online reservation system

Sutra Technology has rolled out its new online reservation system on the trade marketplace, which it says will "especially benefit small and medium-sized" travel agencies.
The new system costs more than RM1 million (US$331,290) to develop and will support the day-to-day operations of Sutra’s subsidiary, Sri Sutra Travel, a B2B and B2C travel service provider. Products sold in the system include air tickets, accommodation, tours and transfers worldwide.
Sutra’s group managing director, Sutra Utama, Syed Mohd Razif Al Yahya, said: “It was completed early this year and we are now marketing the online reservation system to the travel industry in Malaysia.
“For an annual subscription fee, travel agency owners will have access to more than 200,000 products in our travel solution system and they can take advantage of our dynamic, competitive rates and earn commissions on online B2B and B2C sales.
“Our system will especially benefit small and medium-sized agencies as they will be able to access the same competitive rates that Sri Sutra Travel enjoys,” he added. “By this year end, we hope to market the reservation system globally.”
The platform also allows multiple payment modes. Customers may also perform cancellations, amendments or send special requests to suppliers via the system.
-TTG Asia.

Malaysian holiday interest in China, South Korea slides

Travel demand for China and South Korea, two traditionally popular destinations for the Malaysian school holiday period that begins today, has fared poorly this year, according to outbound tour operators.
Malaysian Harmony Tours & Travel CEO, Cooper Huang, has seen a 30 per cent year-on-year drop for China, with some clients who had booked packages before the H7N9 avian flu reports changing destinations. Bookings for South Korea were also down by 20 per cent due to tensions between North and South Korea. On the other hand, tours to Europe grew 30 per cent as airlines dangled competitive fares.
Likewise, Abdul Rahman Mohamed, deputy general manager, channel management, Mayflower Acme Tours, said outbound travel to China and South Korea had fallen 20 per cent.
“We’ve had cancellations or deferments for China. With South Korea, I think the hype is over. Malaysians are no longer romanticising about South Korea. I think this is the main reason, rather than tensions between North and South Korea.”
Sedunia Travel Services’ business development manager, Gary Oh, also saw slow pick up for the two countries, but noted increased demand for neighbouring destinations such as Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.
However, Malacca-based Bel Travel & Tours managing director, Goh Hock Gin, said the H7N9 bird flu reports in the media had not affected demand and noted that growth in bookings for Greater China tour packages had climbed by 10 per cent year-on-year on promotional airfares. Bookings for customised tours, especially from repeat travellers, were also rising.
Furthermore, demand to South Korea increased “easily by 20 per cent”. Goh attributed strong sales of 4D/3N family packages to AirAsia X's affordable airfares, saying North-South Korean tensions had not affected his sales.
-TTG Asia.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Harian Metro Mountain Bike Grand Prix CC1M 2013

-Malaysia Truly Asia facebook.

Malaysian incentive specialists mired in price war

Intense competition for Indian incentives to Malaysia has resulted in a price war among local inbound event specialists, with some reporting weaker bookings and thinner margins.
Luxury Tours Malaysia senior manager, Arokia Das, told TTGmice that "unhealthy competition" and price undercutting had caused a 30 per cent year-on-year dip in business. He said: "A three-night ground package in Kuala Lumpur inclusive of twin-share accommodation in a four-star local hotel used to cost about RM800 (US$265.70) per night three years ago. Now it costs about RM600 to RM650. With inflation, prices should go up, not down."
He added that the price sensitive nature of Indian incentive clients fan the flames of the ongoing price war.
A Aruldass, managing director of Tourland Travel, one of Malaysia’s largest Indian inbound operators, said: "Sometimes we have no choice but to operate at nett cost in order to sustain the business. With (industry) liberalisation and (the entry of) more foreign players opening inbound agencies in Malaysia, the price war will get more acute over time."
According to Aruldass, foreign competitors are able to operate at lower costs as they have small operations in Malaysia, while their headquarters are in their country of origin, allowing them to save on exchange rate losses when clients pay for some of their services back home.
Meanwhile, to counter the weaker business in Malaysia, Tourland Travel has diversified into new markets in Asia and the Middle-East, starting with a specialisation in leisure segments before moving into MICE.
Asian Famous Tours & Travel chief operating officer, Pradeep Kumar, believes that competition from new players is inevitable and calls for fellow business event specialists to work together.
He said: "It is not fair to blame (the new players) for the price wars. (Specialists) should come together and agree on minimum rates. They should hold their rates and maintain service standards in order to compete with other destinations on service and value. Otherwise, Malaysia will lose out as an attractive MICE and leisure destination."
-TTG Asia.

MH Anugerah - Malaysia Airlines Rewards Deserving Employees and Partners

Subang, May 2013: Malaysia Airlines aims to deliver 5-Star quality service across its touch points at all times. In recognition of these excellent services, Malaysia Airlines recently gave out 92 awards to its outstanding employees during the MH Anugerah ceremony at the Malaysia Airlines Academy in Kelana Jaya. The MH Anugerah is an annual awards ceremony which is organised to appreciate the various contributions and outstanding performances by the Malaysia Airlines employees.

This award ceremony themed “Unity in Colours” saw the employees of the national carrier come in full force to celebrate the achievements of their fellow colleagues throughout 2012.  Employees gathered as early as 7am at the Malaysia Airlines Academy in Kelana Jaya in various colours. Some were in purple while some others in pink. The colour coding was divided according to the various divisions within the company. It was indeed a case of unity in diversity, as clichĂ© as it sounds.

The awards given out at MH Anugerah were divided into 4 different categories namely the MH Silver, MH Gold, MH Platinum CEO’s Award and MH Gold Partners. There was also a special ‘Best MH Staff of the Year’ award.

The MH Anugerah started with a vibrant and entertaining performance by the MASenidaya group and the MH Dream Dancers. Themed 1Malaysia, dancers in strides of yellow, pink, green and orange danced to melodious tunes dressed in the various traditional costumes of Malaysia. The masters of ceremony for the day, Ruzian and Norlizan were then introduced as they took the stage with style.

To begin, Chairman of Malaysia Airlines, Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof delivered his short but sweet speech. Tan Sri stressed on the importance of rewarding a team or an individual that works hard and that the management of Malaysia Airlines is all for recognizing talents that contribute positively with promptness.

With that, the screen was lowered to start the awards ceremony. First in-line was the MHSilver Awards - a category whereby recognitions were extended to individual staff in the system who made a difference.

The MH Silver Awards were presented to its proud winners by Firefly CEO, Ignatius Ong, MASKargo CEO, Mohd Yunus, MASwings CEO, Capt.Dato' Nawawi, MAS Engineering CEO, Azahari Dahlan and the Director of Human Resources, Zahrah Zaid.

To encourage the practice of teamwork, the MH Gold Awards were introduced. The MH Gold Awards recognises teams and divisions within Malaysia Airlines that has exhibited team work beyond expectation to solve business problems and emerge successful. It was presented to the proud winning teams by director of Corporate Services, Shukri Husin and Director of Operations, Capt Izham Ismail.

The success of a company does not merely depend on its staff alone. Business partners and vendors play a vital role in ensuring supplies are delivered on time to meet the market's demand. To honour them, the MH Gold Partners awards were presented by Director of Customer Services, Dato’ Mohd Salleh Ahmad Tabrani to dedicated business partners and vendors. Some notable vendors and partners on the list were the Jabatan Immigresen Malaysia, Malaysia Airports, Polis DiRaja Malaysia, New Kansai International Airport, Thai Airways and Google Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

The event was then followed by the presentation of the MH Platinum award. This is a special award whereby the winners were specially chosen by the Group Chief Executive Officer, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya. This award went to several departments and also to some commendable individuals. The Group CEO personally monitored the workings of certain projects and decided to award this prestigious MH Platinum award to deserving candidates.

As expected, the highlight of the day was the MH Best Staff of the Year award. The drum rolls seemed forever when the announcement was made. Finally it was revealed that Richard Chong, an Executive in the Customer Services Division has grabbed this supremely prestigious award. To win the best staff award at Malaysia Airlines means he had stood out against 19,500 staff worldwide and that is indeed a very big deal. It was also noted that Richard did not have even one day of medical leave in 2012 and has received more than 8 complimentary letters from the airlines’ customers. Richard has been Malaysia Airlines for the past 23 years.

Richard or fondly known as Ritchie said, "I love my job. I look forward to it daily. Meeting people from all walks of life and being able to serve and help them gives me a very big sense of satisfaction. Working in Malaysia Airlines also helps me invent new ways of doing things from time to time. Our bosses here empower us to do what is best for the company, as long as it works. They are willing to let us explore our ideas and are always open to new ways of working. My success today has got a lot to do with how I was trained by very qualified Malaysia Airlines staff previously. All in all, this is a great organisation to be in, one of the few places where work too can be fun" he added with a smile.

The day was culminated with a pleasant surprise by the Management Committee members. The crowd were up and roaring when one by one of the Management Committee members appeared on stage in various uniforms such as the cabin crew, tech crew and even the baggage handlers’ uniforms which was donned by Ahmad Jauhari himself. The event ended with many of the staff joining the Management Committee members on the dance floor.

Malaysia Airlines, Director of Human Resources, Zahrah Zaid said, "MH Anugerah is an event to honour and appreciate our staff for delivering excellent customer service throughout 2012. It is also a motivation and encouragement exercise for them to do better each year. In Malaysia Airlines, we pay much importance to the work-life-balance of our staff. We work hard and we play harder. If you're looking for a perfect place to work in, look no more, join us today" she added.

Malaysia Airlines will host a walk-in interview to select its cabin crew in the month of May and June of 2013. If you're interested to work for this renowned organisation please visit to get more details on the recruitment exercise.
-Malaysia Airlines.

A million visitors expected for Malacca River Fest

MALACCA: A million visitors from all over the country and abroad are expected to enjoy the thrills and join the fun-filled Malacca River Festival that starts here on June 1.

The month-long festival, introduced in 2007, has proven to be one of Malacca’s main annual events with the number of visitors growing each year, said Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron.

“We have all the reasons to expect a huge turnout, further boosted by the rebranding of the event, known previously as Pesta Sungai Melaka,” he said after opening the International Scout Jamboree in Tehel near here yesterday.

“The festival is a crowd-puller as, beside the aesthetics of the rehabilitated Malacca River, there will be various activities organised by both government agencies and the private sector throughout the festival,” he said. Idris added that this year’s festival would also showcase a river procession of decorated boats and fireworks.

On another development, the Chief Minister said the Malacca and Sumatra governments had agreed to have a new gateway here that would allow easy daily travel between the two territories. Under the proposal, Indonesians would be able to travel here by sea to work and return home after their working hours.

“Indonesians can come to work in Malacca and return home, like Malaysians from Johor working in Singapore,” he said.
-thestar online.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Nyonya & The Gang @ Istana Budaya (14~20 June 2013)

Nyonya & The Gang adalah sebuah persembahan teater yang menggabungkan dua cerita dalam satu persembahan. Naskhah Nyonya ditulis oleh Wisran Hadi akan diarahkan oleh Dekan Fakulti Teater ASWARA, Rosminah Mohd Tahir. Manakala, The Gang adalah sebuah karya baru yang ditulis dan diarahkan oleh Siti Rohayah Attan.


Skrip Nyonya mengisahkan tentang seorang wanita kaya yang hanya dipanggil sebagai Nyonya yang harus `berperang’ dengan Tuan iaitu seorang pedagang barang antik yang mempunyai pelbagai muslihat. Tuan berkali-kali ke rumah Nyonya. Tujuan asalnya hanya duduk di perkarangan rumah Nyonya, tetapi setelah ditegur oleh Nyonya, dia telah membeli satu meter persegi di perkarangan itu supaya dia dapat berdiri di situ. Ini bererti Nyonya tidak mempunyai hak untuk mengusir dia.

Setelah membeli ruang di perkarangan itu, Tuan terus datang dan mahu membeli marmar rumah Nyonya pula. Kemudian, mahu membeli set ruang tamu, diikuti set meja makan dan akhirnya mahu membeli tempat tidur Nyonya.

Pelbagai cara dan muslihat digunakan untuk mendekati Nyonya apatah lagi mengetahui suami Nyonya yang tua sedang terlantar di rumah sakit akibat kanser lidah. Muslihat terakhir Tuan adalah dengan menyatakan lutut Nyonya akan membengkak dan berdarah sekiranya Nyonya terus berdiri, lalu dia mahu Nyonya duduk dan berbaring bersamanya di atas katil.

Dalam masa yang sama Nyonya asyik didatangani 3 Keponakan (Anak Saudara Perempuan) kepada suaminya yang menuntut harta. Mereka menggunakan pelbagai helah untuk mendapatkan harta tersebut.

Naskhah ini jika dilihat secara kasar merupakan antara karya yang bersifat humor dan emosi kerana penampilan watak-wataknya yang menggunakan dialog berjenaka. Namun, apabila mentafsirkannya secara tersirat ia adalah sebuah karya sastera yang kaya dengan metafora, simbol dan personafikasi yang mampu membuat khalayak berfikir ssecara professional.


THE GANG adalah satu kumpulan karyawan seni yang mempromosi gaya hidup sihat melalui kegiatan seni. Mereka terdiri daripada pelbagai peringkat usia yang mampu menari, berlakon dan menyanyi. Mereka mengetengahkan konsep lakonan, tarian dan nyanyian dalam usaha berkempen, memberi teguran dan mempromosikan produk yang memberi faedah kepada masyarakat.

Contohnya, mereka menegur cara hidup rakyat Malaysia yang tidak sihat dari segi pemakanan sehingga menjadi obes dan tidak mempunyai perancangan untuk mengurangkan berat badan. Di samping itu, sikap tidak mahu mengeluarkan sebahagian wang untuk membeli produk kesihatan (supplements) juga ditegur, sebaliknya lebih menyukai kepada perkara-perkara yang tidak sihat dalam hidup seperti ke disko, makan lewat malam dan mengamalkan sex bebas.

Dalam masa yang sama, The Gang juga menasihatkan kaum wanita dan mereka yang sukakan kecantikan supaya tidak terpengaruh dengan produk yang membahayakan hanya kerana mahu menjadi cantik. Sebaliknya, mereka dinasihatkan memilih produk yang diakui keberkesanannya dan tidak mendatangkan kesan negatif.

Konsep persembahan secara muzikal ini menampilkan lima lagu yang dicipta oleh Datuk Suhaimi Mohd Zaid manakala liriknya oleh Siti Rohayah Attan. Mereka akan tampil dalam pelbagai gaya iaitu retro, bersukan dan santai.

Malaysia a favourite of Muslim travellers

Ideal destination: Muslim tourists walking and shopping along Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.Ideal destination: Muslim tourists walking and shopping along Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
BERLIN: Malaysia has been named, along with Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as one of the preferred destinations for Muslim travellers, according to a survey.
The survey, conducted by DinarStandard, the leading survey institute for Muslim travel market, was presented during the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) here, the world's largest travel and tourism show by organiser Messe Berlin. By the year 2020, growth in travel by Muslims is expected to touch 4.8%, significantly higher than the global figure of only 3.8%, the survey revealed.
“Indeed, Muslims will account for some 14% of all international trips,” the survey conducted by Reem El Shafaki, a senior associate of DinarStandard, stated.
The travel packages for Malaysia and other destinations offering halal food, cooking and prayer rooms, find approval with Muslim travellers, according to the survey.
The DinarStandard survey which examines the travel habits polled close to 1,000 Muslims around the world with half of the respondents from Asia, 22% from the Middle East and North Africa and 15% from the Americas.
Asked what was most important for them at their holiday destination, 67% responded that halal food and cooking were, while 53% said the second most important factor was the overall price of the trip. For close to 50%, a Muslim-friendly atmosphere was among the most important holiday aspects.
According to El Shafaki, tour operators who want to be part of this anticipated boom of the future must make sure certain conditions like halal food and cooking as well as prayer rooms, are fulfilled.
The ITB Berlin 2013 attracted a total of 10,086 exhibitors from 188 countries who showcased their products and services to 170,000 visitors, including 110,000 trade visitors.
Describing Malaysia as a “fascinating tourism destination”, Raimund Hosch, the chief executive of Messe Berlin and a leading German expert on international tourism, said that Malaysia could attract greater tourist arrivals in the future.
Hosch said that Malaysia built up a “very modern infrastructure along with cultural diversity, good sports and medical facilities, besides being an important Asean member country”.
“Given its growing interaction with the global industry and business, Malaysia can also be an interesting destination for the business traveller,” he added.
Malaysia is part of the strong growth tourism sector of the Asia-Pacific region, despite the economic and financial crunch in major markets in Europe and the United States.
-thestar online.

MAS adds daytime service to Mumbai

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines is increasing the frequency of its Kuala Lumpur-Mumbai flights to 12 times weekly from next month. MAS commercial director Dr Hugh Dunleavy said an additional service would be added to the current daytime schedule that was introduced last September.
Starting June 3, daytime services from Kuala Lumpur to Mumbai on flight MH174 depart every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, with Monday being the new day in the schedule.
The MH174 flight departs Kuala Lumpur at 9.20am and arrives at its destination at 11.45am, and returns as flight MH175 the same day, departing Mumbai at 12.40pm and touching down in Kuala Lumpur at 8.20pm.
Dunleavy said the daytime frequencies had also improved MAS' connectivity to and from Australia, New Zealand and other points in Asean nations. “We are deploying our newest B738 aircraft on this route to bring the comfort level of guests to a higher level,” said Dunleavy in statement yesterday.
Passengers are encouraged to book their flights via, MAS ticketing offices, MHbuddy on Facebook, call 1-300-88-3000 or visit appointed travel agents.
-thestar online.