Thursday, 31 October 2013

Putrajaya International Islamic Arts And Culture Festival (PIIACUF) 2013

Langkawi Buskers Fest 2013 - Wave Of The Street Sound


Visit Malaysia Year tour packages rolled out in the UK

Tourism Malaysia has unveiled a series of Visit Malaysia Year 2014 tour packages under the tagline Come Get the Malaysian Experience, which it is teaming up with outbound tour operators in the UK to promote.

Starting at 660 pounds (US$1,079) per person, packages are between seven and 12 nights long. They feature four main destinations of Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Penang, Pangkor Laut, and the collective destinaton of Sabah and Sarawak, with tours built along four experiential themes – heritage and culture, luxury, wellness and spa, and islands and beaches.

Tourism Malaysia’s director-general, Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, said: “We collaborated with Malaysian airlines, hotels in Malaysia and local inbound tour operators to produce these new packages, targeted at travellers looking to visit Asia next year.”

“We have also identified 50 mega events to draw international tourists and they include the 1Malaysia Year End Sale 2014; Formula One Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix; Colours of 1Malaysia and 1Malaysia International Tourism Night Floral Parade themed Magic of the Night,” he elaborated.

“We are also in discussions with airlines to connect Malaysia from other airports in the UK such as Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as Dublin.”

Through the Visit Malaysia Year campaign, Tourism Malaysia hopes to attract 475,000 UK tourists next year, up from 402,207 in 2012.
-TTG Asia.

Tourism Malaysia Office In Turkey A Valuable Investment - Nazri

ISTANBUL, Oct 31 (Bernama) -- The re-opening of Malaysia's tourism promotion office here has been described by Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz as a valuable investment.

He said it also reflected the importance of the Turkish market to Malaysia. "We're happy to be back on Turkish soil to leverage on both our governments' long-standing relationship and positive outlook of tourism in this part of the world," he said at a gathering attended by members of the Turkish travel trade fraternity here.

A Tourism Malaysia office was opened here in 2002 but was closed in 2009. It was re-opened in 2011 and headed by its director, Bahruddin Sulaiman. The minister is on a mission to promote Visit Malaysia Year 2014 in Turkey, Romania and London until Nov 5.

With Malaysia expecting some 28 million visitors next year, Mohamed Nazri told his audience: "I'm hoping that you and your tour groups will become part of these 28 million tourists we're eager to welcome next year." Those who attended the event were treated to an array of authentic Malaysian cuisine and a spectacular cultural show.

Malaysia welcomed 9,909 tourists from Turkey last year and expects to receive 10,300 this year and 11,000 in 2014. A Muslim country with multi-cultural population and diverse attractions, he said Malaysia should appeal to Turkish visitors.

The minister alluded to an agreement between Malaysia and Turkey in 2011 to drop all visa requirements, a move that would favour and facilitate travel between the two countries. Besides natural attractions, Mohamed Nazri also took the opportunity to tout Malaysia's superb shopping experience as attested by a survey covering other international shopping havens.

"Apart from being the fourth best shopping city in the world after New York, Tokyo and London in a CNN global news network survey, Kuala Lumpur is also ranked the second best shopping destination in Asia-Pacific in a Globe Shoppers index survey," he said.

Nazri also noted that Malaysia was a value-for-money holiday destination as it cost less to have a luxurious holiday.


Firefly Eyes 15-20 Per Cent Increase In Passengers This Year

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 (Bernama) -- Community airline, Firefly Sdn Bhd, aims to increase its passengers by 15 to 20 per cent this year from 1.7 million last year, said its Chief Executive Officer, Ignatius Ong.

He said to-date, the airline load passenger load has increased due to the branding initiative and the competitive and reasonable flight tickets.

"There are more billboards and frequency of flights on existing routes has increased the number of passengers. Firefly has 11 flights a day and these give passengers more options," he told reporters on the sidelines of the launch of the airline's in-flight magazine here Thursday.

The magazine, called Fireflyz@Firefly, will be available from next month and is expected to attract a readership of 200,000 per issue. It will be available on board its ATR 72-500 and ATR 72-600 aircraft. The airline is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines.


Mutiara Taman Negara revamps, turns attention on incentives

Pahang's Mutiara Taman Negara resort has expanded its customer mix to include small-sized incentive groups following the completion of its RM6 million (US$1.91 million) refurbishment in mid-2013.

General manager Nathan Vaithi said incentive groups would enable the resort to increase its yield. He noted that leisure guests tended to spend three days and two nights at the resort on half-board arrangements, while incentive groups stayed an average of four days and three nights with full-board requirements.

The Malaysian resort will target domestic companies and incentive groups from Singapore and Europe.

Besides spotting refreshed public spaces and guest rooms, the 23-year-old Malaysian resort has also equipped itself with a revamped website that provides details on its meeting and banquet facilities and guests activities, among other things.
-TTG Asia.

Tourism Malaysia Showcases Malaysian Culture And Cuisine In Dubai

DUBAI, 31 Oct 2013: Tourism Malaysia is organising the Malaysia Food & Cultural Week at the Shangri-La Hotel here beginning 1 to 7, November. The week-long event is set to introduce and promote Malaysia through the country’s rich and multifarious cultures and equally diverse cuisines.

The cultural fiesta will feature an exciting array of cultural performances and traditional music of multi-ethnic Malaysia by versatile and skilled artistes. Visitors will also have an opportunity to savour delicious and popular Malaysian cuisine in typical hawker fare.

Malaysia is currently preparing to usher in the country’s grandest tourism celebration, the Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014. The Food & Cultural Week is in tandem with the country’s aim of raising awareness of VMY 2014 and boosting its arrivals and receipts to 28 million and RM76 billion (USD24.5 billion) respectively next year.     

Prior to the Malaysia Food & Cultural Week, a Gala Evening was held last night at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Dubai, jointly organised by Tourism Malaysia and the country’s national carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS). UAE’s Minister of Environment and Water, Dr. Rashid Ahmed Fahad was the Guest of Honour.

Malaysia’s Ambassador to UAE, H.E Dato Ahmad Anwar Adnan and Consul General of Malaysia H.E. Dato’ Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin were also present. Tourism Malaysia was represented by its Deputy Director General (Planning) Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin while MAS Group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya represented the airline.

In his speech, Dato’ Haji Azizan encouraged members of the travel trade fraternity to bring their friends and business associates to the Malaysia Food & Cultural Week. “For some people, coming to our food and cultural promotion is their first step towards knowing Malaysia. Besides, delicious food always works like a charm to ensure repeat visits to a destination,” said Dato’ Haji Azizan.

“I certainly hope that this event will stimulate more interest among people in Dubai to travel to Malaysia soon, especially for those who have never set foot on our shores,” Dato’ Haji Azizan added.

Besides thanking the travel trade fraternity and media for their strong support and assistance in promoting Malaysia as a top-of-mind holiday destination in Dubai and UAE, the dinner was also to celebrate the resumption of  MAS flights to Dubai from Kuala Lumpur.

Effective 5 August 2013, MAS has reinstated its daily flights to Dubai, after suspending the service in January 2012. The resumption of MAS flights to Dubai is expected to strengthen the profile of the airline among the 130 airlines that are currently operating in Dubai.       

The Kuala Lumpur-Dubai return sector on Boeing 777-200 aircraft will fly daily on MH162 and MH163. The return service is set to offer a total capacity of 282 seats in each flight, which is equivalent to 3,948 seats weekly. Since 6 August, flight MH163 departs Dubai daily at 4.10 am, arriving Kuala Lumpur at 3.25 pm. The return flight MH162 departs Kuala Lumpur daily at 11.30 pm, arriving Dubai at 2.20 am the following day.

The national carrier is offering attractive promotional fares starting from only AED1,765 for an all-inclusive economy class return travel. On the same note, business class starts from AED7,265 for an all-inclusive return journey.

The return of MAS service to Dubai is set to boost Malaysia’s tourism industry. Indeed, Malaysia has been enjoying a steady growth in both its arrivals and receipts. Last year, the country received 25 million tourists with RM60.6 billion in receipts, making it the tenth most visited country in the world, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Malaysia was ranked 13th in terms of global tourism receipts.

Other promotional efforts in UAE include the 56th Malaysia National Day Evening on 27 October at Dusit Thani Hotel Abu Dhabi hosted by the Malaysia Ambassador to UAE, H.E Dato Haji Ahmad Anwar Adnan as well as a fashion show on 28 October at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Abu Dhabi, showcasing Suhara Omar’s jewellery art collection and Tom Abang Saufi’s batik collection.

In 2012, a total of 18,233 tourists from the UAE visited Malaysia, while the first half of 2013 recorded 7,804 tourists from this market. Malaysia also welcomed 370,535 West Asian tourists to the country in 2012, which was an increase of 3.2% compared to the previous year.

-Tourism Malaysia.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Malaysia in Lonely Planet's Top 10 list

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has been named as one of the Top 10 travel destinations for 2014 by Lonely Planet.
Malaysia, the only Asian country to have made the list in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 – Top 10, was ranked 10th, due to our country “rolling out an array of new attractions”.
“The headline-grabbers are the largest bird park in South-East Asia in Malacca (with 6,000 birds featuring 400 species), and Legoland Malaysia and Hello Kitty Land in Nusajaya, which are packing in both locals and Singaporeans flocking across the Causeway.
“Amazing experiences await in Malaysian Borneo, from exploring off-the-beaten-track Kudat to indulging at the luxurious Gaya Island Resort on Pulau Gaya,” said Lonely Planet.
The publication added that the new low cost terminal, KLIA2, was another major factor in attracting more visitors.
Lonely Planet also cited “cycle tourism” as a highlight for active travellers who can see Malaysia through guided tours and mapped out cycling routes.
The list named Brazil as the top country to visit in 2014 as they will be hosting the FIFA World Cup in June and July. In second place is Antarctica, followed by Scotland, Sweden, Malawi, Mexico, Seychelles, Belgium and Macedonia.
-thestar online.

Nazri Urges Students Abroad To Play Ambassador Role

ISTANBUL, Oct 30 (Bernama) -- Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz hopes students abroad can play an important role in promoting the country during Visit Malaysia Year 2014 (VMY 2014).

He said as Malaysian "ambassadors', they should be more active in promoting the country's tourism products and attractions. "This is our have to persuade your friends to visit Malaysia next year. We must propagate that visiting Malaysia is cheap with the best hospitality," he told about 40 Malaysian students here during a dialogue session Tuesday night.

He is currently on a mission to promote VMY2014 in Turkey, Romania and London until Nov 5.

Nazri said Malaysia received 9,909 tourists from Turkey last year and would be expecting 10,300 this year and 11,000 in 2014. There are currently seven flights a week from Istanbul to Kuala Lumpur with four flights by Turkish Airways and three by Malaysia Airlines (MAS). "I am confident we will get more Turkish tourists to visit Malaysia next year," he added.

Nazri said Malaysia received 25.03 million tourists with tourism revenue totalling RM60.6 billion last year and would be expecting some 28 million tourists in 2014.

He said apart from Kuala Lumpur being the fourth best shopping city in the world after New York, Tokyo and London in a CNN global news survey, Malaysia was ranked 10th as the most popular tourism destination in the world, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and ranked 14th in international tourism receipts of RM60.6 billion.

"Istanbul is the 7th most popular city in the world. In terms of history and architecture here, we are behind them but we (Malaysia) have more unique features that can attract tourists from Turkey and other countries to visit our country. "That is why, together, we should promote Malaysia more aggressively to ensure our targets are met," Nazri said.


Tourism Malaysia Reopens Its Istanbul Office In Light Of VISIT MALAYSIA YEAR 2014

PUTRAJAYA, 30 OCTOBER, 2013 – Minister of Tourism and Culture, Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, officiated the re-opening of Tourism Malaysia’s office in Istanbul today. He is on a nine-day working visit to Istanbul and Bucharest before attending the World Travel Market 2013 on 4 November in London.
Dato’ Seri Nazri officiated the re-opening of Tourism Malaysia’s Istanbul office at the Harmanci Giz Plaza, this morning, before attending the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 (VMY) Evening to promote the VMY 2014 campaign to Turkish tour operators and media.
“The Istanbul office, last operational in 2009, will oversee the Turkish, Armenian, Romanian, Azerbaijani, and Bulgarian tourist markets to Malaysia,” he said. 
He said the move is expected to increase tourist arrivals from Turkey, by tapping into the growing outbound market, which showed a 3% growth last year, with a forecasted 40 million departures by 2017.
“This year, Tourism Malaysia estimates that a total of 10,300 Turkish tourists will be visiting Malaysia, an increase from last year’s figures of 9,909. The figure is expected to increase to 11,000 tourists next year, during the VMY 2014 campaign,” he added.
Currently, there are no visa requirements between Turkey and Malaysia, and air accessibility has improved with 7,238 weekly flights servicing the Istanbul – Kuala Lumpur route, through direct and indirect flights on Turkish Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, KLM, Air France and Qatar Airways. 
Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri continues his working visit to Bucharest, Romania where he will meet with Embassy officials, tour operators, as well as pay a courtesy call on the Romanian Tourism Minister, Elena Udrea, before arriving in London on 2 November for the World Travel Market 2013.
-Tourism Malaysia.

Cultural Tour Programme To Involve Foreign Tourists In 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 (Bernama) -- In conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2014, the National Culture and Arts Department plans to involve foreign tourists in its Cultural Tour (Jelajah Seni Budaya) programme to promote the culture and arts of Malaysia's rural communities.

Its director-general Datuk Norliza Rofli said through the programme, the participating tourists would be able to experience the local homestay and culture, and learn about the daily lives of the village communities.

She said discussions would be held with Toursim Malaysia in drawing up an interesting programme.

"The department is always looking for new ideas that can be implemented in promoting local arts and culture to attract more foreign tourists to this country," she said after flagging off the participants of the Cultural Tour for Non-Governmental Organisations at the Sungai Buloh R&R area, near here, Wednesday.

The five-day tour programme, the third in the series, involves 90 participants from Kedah, Perak, Selangor and Johor, and 60 superbike riders who travel in a convoy.

The programme includes workshops and seminars on culture with the local communities, cultural performances and community service activities, as well as the distribution of pamphlets on culture and arts at the R&Rs, petrol stations and shopping complexes.

The previous tour programmes had taken participants to the East Coast and northern part of the peninsula.


A shopping destination besides adventure-tourism

Kota Kinabalu: Tourism Malaysia aims to leverage on the State's position as a tourist shopping haven, capturing a slice of the billion-ringgit segment that made over RM18 billion for the country in 2012.
Tourism Malaysia's Head of Shopping Malaysia Secretariat, Ramzi Abu Yazid (pic), believes that Sabah is fast developing its retail segment in spite of being well-promoted as a nature-adventure destination.
"I believe Sabah will catch up as more and more tourists are spending more while visiting the country," he said during the agency's Duty Free Seminar, here, Tuesday.
Shopping Malaysia Secretariat is the planner and organiser of national shopping campaigns, namely 1Malaysia Grand Prix Sale, 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival and 1Malaysia Year-End sale which are held over 240 days each year. Based on a Tourism Malaysia study, Ramzi noted the average tourist spending has grown from RM584.32 in 2007 to RM742.66 in 2012 per person.
And out of the total, about 30 per cent is used for shopping, he said.
Ramzi also said Malaysia Airlines' decision to restart its Narita-Kota Kinabalu flights on Monday (Oct. 28) would tremendously transform Sabah as a shopping hub ahead of the Visit Malaysia Year 2014.
Its Sabah Director Sani Sham Ahmad also said it was difficult to promote Sabah as a shopping destination, without including tourist spots into travel packages. "This includes packages for shopping and visits to places like Mount Kinabalu, islands and cultures," he said.
Its latest promotion which has captured over RM200,000 to date, "Oh My Shopping! Holiday Packages" also needs to include Labuan. "That is one of the creative methods, as people don't fly to KK for shopping," said Sani. Tourism Malaysia aims to retain a 30 per cent tourist expenditure on shopping throughout the Visit Malaysia Year 2014.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government identified 6,090 goods that are duty free under the 2012 amended Customs Duties Order.
Customs Department Senior Assistant Director Salleh Samsuri said only 328 items have been recognised as tourism related products as identified by the Ministry of Finance's 9,425 lines of goods. These items are divided into three main categories ranging from clothing, suitcases, briefcases, priceless and imitation jewellery, toys and small scale models for recreational use, he said. "The list of items are in line with the world customs order.
It is normally on non-commercial purposes. Previously goods liable to import duty on or with any person entering the federation or in the baggage of such a customs duty at a flat rate of 30 per cent ad valorem shall be levied on and paid by the importer," he said during his presentation during the Duty Free Seminar programme organised by Tourism Malaysia.
He said exemptions had been formulated during the 2011 Budget in an effort to turn the country into a tourism hub, shopping haven and to push local industries.
A Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry officer reminded retail companies they must put up 70 per cent of their items during cheap sales promotions.
Senior Principal Assistant Director, Hamzah Mahadi, said while three cheap sales have been pre-determined by regulators, such as Mega Sale Malaysia and the Malaysia Year End sale, retailers can organise three of their own cheap sale promotions.
"These events however cannot run for more than 30 days with a gap of fourteen days from the previous cheap sale event," he said. He said retailers only need to submit their application to hold cheap sale promotions 14 days prior to the event and get the registration code from the nearest Ministry office.
-Daily Express.

Malaysia’s Homestay Programme Draws Applause At Inaugural World Agritourism Forum, China

CHANGSA CITY, CHINA, 30 OCT 2013: Malaysia’s Homestay Programme sparked significant interest amongst participants at the inaugural World Agritourism Forum here recently.

The over  200 delegates from 30 countries were glued to their seats attentively listening to a lively presentation from Tourism Malaysia Chairman, Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen on how the award-winning Malaysia Homestay Programme became a leading example of a successful poverty reduction model by providing local rural communities with additional income revenue opportunities. 

The Malaysia Homestay was awarded the prestigious UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovation in Public Policy and Governance in 2012.

“Last year, a total of 325,258 tourists participated in the Homestay Programme, generating arevenue of RM18.5 million for the local rural community. The Homestay Programme helps to protect, preserve and conserve our nature, culture and tradition besides fostering friendship,” said Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen.

“During their Malaysia Homestay, tourists are encouraged to plant a tree and “give back” to Mother Nature. Up to December 2012, 14,023 saplings had been planted garnering a revenue of RM43,196 for the Homestay operators, “ she added.

Tourism Malaysia Deputy Director-General Dato’ Azizan Noordin said that the World Agritourism Forum provided an excellent platform in promoting cooperation and partnership among the world’s industry leaders towards the development and sharing of knowledge and expertise in agriculture and rural tourism. 

The forum   was organised by the Hunan Qianlong Lake Investment Group and Beijing Shiji Xiandao Culture Development Centre. CPC Wangcheng (Changsha) District Committee, Wangcheng (Changsha) District People’s Government and Guangxi Tourism Investment Group Limited were the co-organisers.  
-Tourism Malaysia.

Tourism Malaysia Sabah ties in KK and Labuan with promotion efforts to boost shopping activities

Ramzi (middle) flanked by Hamzah (left) and Salleh (right) speaking to reporters.

KOTA KINABALU: Tourism Malaysia ™ Sabah has specially tied in Kota Kinabalu and Labuan in its promotion efforts in order to boost its shopping activities. TM Sabah director Sani Sham Ahmad said Kota Kinabalu and Labuan were tied in because it is quite difficult for the two destinations to be promoted as a shopping destination on their own.

Thus, Tourism Malaysia Sabah introduced the two destinations in its promotional campaign as “Oh, My Shopping! Kota Kinabalu & Labuan Holiday Packages” to attract avid shoppers to shop and enjoy the scenic tourist destinations in Sabah and Labuan.

The shopping packages were developed after a discussion with the local industry recently, he said during a break at the “Duty Free Seminar 2013” organised by Tourism Malaysia in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2014 at a hotel here yesterday.

“So the shopping packages in Kota Kinabalu are tied in with visits to Kinabalu Park, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park and the culture aspect while the homestay programme was included in Labuan,” said Sani.

“I guess this is one of the effective methods because people don’t fly all the way to Kota Kinabalu just for shopping, unless you tied in or leverage it with the famous Kinabalu Park and the islands… I think it would be appealing,” said a delighted Sani.

Head of Shopping Malaysia Secretariat, Ramzi Abu Yazid noted that the shopping activities in Kota Kinabalu has grown in recent years after the opening of 1Borneo Hypermall and Suria Sabah as it has created plenty of space and opportunities for retailers to set up their businesses in the city.

“The shopping activities in Kota Kinabalu will be further boosted next year as Malaysia Airlines will resume its direct flight operation to Tokyo. I believe we will have more tourists that like to shop for certain products,” said Ramzi.

He added that on average, each of the visitors to Malaysia will usually spend about RM700 on shopping. On the seminar, he said it was aimed to inform, assist and provide guidance to the retailers and players in Kota Kinabalu about the dutiable items.

KPMG Management & Risk Consulting Sdn Bhd, director (management consulting) Nik Anira Nik Mohd Zain said based on their findings, most of the foreign tourists do indeed prefers tour packages that combined with nature, adventure and shopping.

“So, we think promoting Kota Kinabalu as the next shopping destination is very good. While in Kuching, our findings showed that shopping is last in the itinerary list,” said Anira who is one of the speakers.

Other speakers were Royal Malaysian Customs Department senior assistant director Salleh Samuri, Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism senior principal assistant director Hamzah Mahadi and MasterCard vice president (member relations & marketing) Penny Tan.
-New Sabah Times.

Tourism Malaysia To Increase Participation In China International Travel Mart (CITM) 2014

KUNMING, CHINA, 27 OCTOBER 2013: In conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014,  and the fast growing  Chinese outbound market, Tourism Malaysia  plans to participate on a larger scale  in the China International Travel Mart (CITM)  2014, the largest professional travel mart in Asia, which attracts participation of  thousands of travel industry professionals from all over the world.

Besides taking a larger space for the Malaysia Pavilion at CITM, Tourism Malaysia will also bring a cultural troupe and hold road shows in several key Chinese cities. 

“China is a fast growing and a key tourism market for Malaysia. Certainly, we want to ensure a higher number of Chinese tourist arrivals during VMY 2014. The tourism industry is highly competitive and we must work doubly hard to meet our targets,” said Tourism Malaysia Chairman, Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen.

Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen led the Tourism Malaysia delegation to the four-day CITM 2013 held at the Kunming International Convention and Exhibition Centre (KICEC), which ended here today. Others in the Malaysian delegation included Tourism Malaysia’s Deputy Director-General (Planning), Dato Haji Azizan Noordin.

The CITM is an annual event held in Kunming and Shanghai alternately and is jointly organised by the China National Tourism Administration, Yunnan Provincial People’s Government and Civil Aviation Administration of China.
Participants come from all sectors of the travel industry including international and domestic tourist organisations, travel agencies, hotels, airlines and related travel companies as well as international media. 

At the CITM 2013, Tourism Malaysia’s exhibition space of 117 sq. meters included 13 booths represented by 23 organisations comprising Sabah and Sarawak State Tourism Offices, Malaysia My Second Home Association, 13 travel agencies, 7 hotels and resorts.

-Tourism Malaysia.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Asia responsible for 80% of LCC capacity growth: Amadeus

Asia is now the engine of LCC capacity growth across the world and accounts for a gargantuan 80 per cent of all new seats in 1H2013, revealed the latest analysis by Amadeus' Air Traffic solution.

Out of the 35.6 million seats that were added in the first half of 2013, Asia saw 28.9 million more seats come online to total 129.3 million seats. This represents a 28.7 year-on-year increase, the biggest leap in capacity in terms of percentage and absolute numbers.

In second place is the Middle East, where LCC capacity grew 17.7 per cent to inject another two million seats to 13.5 million.

Countries that saw the largest rises in LCC capacity are Indonesia (12.3 million more seats), India (three million), Thailand (two million) and Malaysia (1.8 million). Collectively, the four countries contribute half of global LCC capacity growth in total in 1H2013.

Unsurprisingly, Jakarta saw the strongest absolute leap in LCC capacity by 2.8 million seats or 44 per cent, followed by Bangkok that received 1.2 million more seats or a 30 per cent increase. Tokyo saw the largest change in capacity growth at 178 per cent, but the small base number meant the Japanese capital only witnessed 1.1 million more seats.

Nevertheless London still tops as the city with the largest amount of LCC seat capacity in the world, with 14.8 million seats operating to and from the city.

Brazil’s Sao Paulo trails with 10.8 million seats, followed by Jakarta with 9.4 million and Kuala Lumpur, with 8.2 million.

Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur registered the strongest percentage growth with 44 and 15 per cent respectively.

Alexandre Jorre, LCC specialist for Amadeus, said: “We see a natural boom in LCC capacity across Asia, where point-to-point air travel is largely underserved. However, across the mature markets of Europe and North America capacity is constrained, which may explain why some LCCs are considering new approaches to secure future growth.”
-TTG Asia.

East Asia Market To Focus On VISIT MALAYSIA YEAR 2014

KUNMING CITY, 25 OCT, 2013 –  Tourism Malaysia Chairman Dato’ Seri Dr. Ng Yen Yen urged her Overseas Directors to focus on the Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014 promotions with special emphasis on mega events that are  highly saleable to the East Asia market. 

She made this call to Tourism Malaysia’s overseas directors, deputy directors and marketing managers of the East Asian market during the Overseas Directors Regional Meeting which was held in Kunming City, China. Also present was Tourism Malaysia Deputy Director General, Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin.

“The meeting, coinciding with the China International Travel Mart (CITM) 2013, was organised to evaluate the overall performance for 2012 and the first of half of 2013 as well as to study the changing trends of the respective markets and the implication of the implementation of the China Tourism Act, which was expected to affect China outbound travel,” said Dato’ Seri Dr. Ng Yen Yen. 

Among the Tourism Malaysia Chairman’s key messages to her officers were to embark on more joint promotions with corporate and private sectors as well as tour operators in the region including the  airlines in an effort to improve connectivity.

The meeting also deliberated on the trends amongst the East Asian market with preference especially among the free independent travellers (FIT) for islands and beaches as well as food and culture. 

Other discussions also covered the marketing strategy in terms of advertising, public relations and promotional activities such as seminars and road shows as well as participation in the international trade fairs and Mega Familiarisation Programme.

Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng had also attended the China International Travel Mart 203 which is held from 24 to 27 October at the Kunming International Convention and Exhibition Center, and had an audience with the Vice Governor of Yunnan Province, Mdm. Li Jiang. 

She also had a meeting with the Director of China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), Mr. Shao Qi Wei  followed by a courtesy call to the Mayor of Kunming City, Mr. Li Wen Rong .

Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng will also attend the World Agrotourism Development Forum in Changsa City from 25 to 27 October where she will be presenting a paper on “Malaysia Homestay Experience”.

East Asia Market Tourism Performance 

Malaysia recorded a total of 943,756 Chinese tourists from January to June 2013 compared to 1,558,785 for the same period in 2012. Up until June this year, a total of 138,866 tourists from Taiwan visited Malaysia compared to 242,519 for the same period in 2012.

Malaysia is targeting 2 million tourist arrivals from China (including Hong Kong and Macau) and 273,500 tourists arrivals from Taiwan for 2014. Currently, there are a total of 396 flights per week from the East Asia market with a total of 91,053 capacity per week.

-Tourism Malaysia.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Kedah To Host Launch Of VMY 2014, Says Mukhriz

YAN (Kedah), Oct 28 (Bernama) -- Kedah is to host the launch of Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014 on the legendary island of Langkawi and make it a glittering event that tourists will treasure for all time.

Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir said Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz had agreed to the state hosting the event.

"I feel it is most appropriate that the launch be held there. Usually, at the end of the year, we have about 30,000 visitors in Langkawi. "Many of them are foreign tourists and most of them are repeat visitors. They return to Langkawi every year. As a gesture of appreciation, we should host a glittering event for them to treasure for all time," he said.

Mukhriz was commenting on Kedah's preparations to host the launch of VMY 2014 in a live interview today over the Kedah FM radio.

Mukhriz also said that the state government was striving to improve Kedah's tourism products, such as the hotspring in Baling, Gunung Jerai and Tasik Pedu, to prepare for an influx of tourists. This was because the state did not want to be merely a transit point for tourists visiting other destinations, he said.

"I myself am looking forward to getting all these going. We have also had discussions with travel agents on the needs of tourists because we want our tourism products to meet the demands of tourists," he said.


Sabah turtle centre makes waves

KOTA KINABALU: The first turtle rescue centre in Sabah at Gaya Island here was launched during the weekend.

To mark the occasion, its first turtle tenant named Bobby, rescued five months ago, was released back into the sea during the ceremony at Gaya Island Resort Marine Centre  on Saturday. The resort is operated by YTL Hotels.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, who launched the centre,  helped to carry Bobby from his  holding tank into the water.
The  rescue centre is located at  Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, which also carries out coral reef restoration and marine conservation education programmes.  The resort's marine biologist, Scott Mayback, said Bobby was found floating near the island in very bad shape.

"The only thing that Bobby atefed on for the first three months was fish oil, which we injected directly to his oesophagus."

Masidi touched on the importance of conserving nature and turning it into a sustainable economic earner for the state. 
He said Sabah was headed in the right direction,  ensuring its natural resources are used properly. He also expects Sabah's  tourist arrivals would exceed the three million targeted for this year with tourism receipts hitting RM5.8 billion.
-nst online.

Durian-Eating Competition, A Highlight Of Malaysian Festival

MELBOURNE, Oct 28 (Bernama) - A durian-eating competition will be a highlight of the inaugural Melbourne Malaysia Festival which will be officiated by Foreign Minister Datuk Sri Anifah Aman, here on Nov 3.

The festival, sponsored by Tourism Malaysia, is held in conjunction with 'Visit Malaysia Year 2014' and the 50th Malaysia Day anniversary this year.

There will also be a 'roti canai' making competition and Malaysian cooking demonstrations as well as cultural performances to reflect Malaysia's diversity and uniqueness.

An indigenous Sarawakian will be flown in to perform at the festival which will be held at Queensbridge Square, next to Crown Entertainment Complex in Melbourne.

Most of the proceeds from the event will go to InspireSEA - a programme dedicated to helping underpriviledged students in Malaysia and is an initiative of the Malaysian Students' Council of Australia, Victoria.

"The event also aims to celebrate the ties and shared history between Malaysia and Australia, especially to acknowledge the efforts of Australian troops during war times in Malaya/Malaysia," said festival organiser Joyce Ng.

The National Malaya and Borneo Veterans Association of Australia Inc. will set up a photo gallery to illustrate the role played by Australian troops during World War II, the Emergency and Confrontation and the formation of Malaysia.

Ng, the editor of JOM Magazine published in Melbourne, said there would be a 'pasar malam' atmosphere at dusk when candles will be lit up to celebrate Deepavali, the Festival of Lights. JOM Media, publisher of JOM Magazine, the only Malaysian community magazine, is the principal organiser of the festival.

The Malaysian Consul General in Melbourne, Datuk Dr Mohd Rameez Yahaya will host a 'durian fiesta' on Nov 5, the Melbourne Cup day.


Nicol David Celebrates Historic US Open Triumph

In her longest title triumph since the introduction of PAR (point-a-rally) scoring, favourite Nicol David overcame second seed Laura Massaro in the final of the Women’s Delaware Investments U.S. Open Squash Championship at Drexel University in Philadelphia to become the first player in the event’s history to retain the title.
The match, the first US Open final to go the full distance in ten years, saw Malaysia’s world number one fight back from 2/1 down to defeat England’s world number two Massaro 13-11, 11-13, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5 in 84 minutes.
It was an appropriate climax to the Women’s Squash Association World Series Platinum event, which – for the first time ever – was providing equal prize money to the men’s event.
For five games the pair traded blows, testing each other out with long, patient, well-crafted rallies – with unforced errors few and far between.
Barely a point separated the finalists in the first two games: Massaro reached game ball first in the opener, but David took it 13-11. From nine-all in the second, it was the Malaysian who had the first chance to get the game – but Massaro drew level after a second tie-break game.
Massaro held onto a slender lead through the third to take the lead 11-7, but was unable to capitalise on a 7-4 lead in the fourth as David took five points in a row to force the decider.
From two-all in the fifth, David moved ahead to 7-3 after some rare errors from her opponent. A winning boast for 10-5, then a ball driven into the deep that Massaro was unable to retrieve saw David leap into the air in delight.
“It feels fantastic, it means a lot to win that match and to win another US Open title,” said David.
“It’s been such a journey this year; I knew Laura was playing well and I would have to dig deep. When I was down in the fourth, she maybe stepped off it a little, I just knew I had to keep going and going to the last point.”
David held an 18-5 career head-to-head lead over Massaro going into the final – but had lost their two most recent encounters. The victory marks the 30-year-old from Penang’s third WSA Tour title in a row, and the 69th of her career.
“Liz helped me such a lot, she gave me the confidence to go in there, to know I could do it, and she and the team in Amsterdam have been doing that for the last ten and a half years,” added David, in praise of her coach Liz Irving.
“This is such a fantastic event – all credit to US Squash, the sponsors and the venue. Making the prize money equal is putting the women’s game where it deserves to be and we all look forward to coming back for the next ten years!”