Thursday, August 28, 2014

5th Asian Bird Fair 2014 @ Langkawi, Malaysia ( 28 November - 1 December 2014 )


The ASIAN BIRD FAIR (ABF) is an annual event created to highlight the different bird fairs in Asia, to promote the protection of birds and their habitats, encourage birdwatching and other ecotourism activities.
 
The 6 founding organizations took turns in hosting the ABF starting with the Wild Bird Club of the Philippine (Davao, 2010), Chinese Wild Bird Federation (Tainan, 2011), Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (Bangpoo, 2012),
The Wild Bird Society of Taipei (Taipei, 2013). 2014 ABF will be hosted by the Malaysian Nature Society (Langkawi, 2014) followed by Nature Society of Singapore (2015).


Join us for the 5th Asian Bird Fair
Date: 29-30 November 2014
Venue: Geopark Hotel Oriental Village, Langkawi, Malaysia.

ITINERARY

28th NOVEMBER 2014 (FRIDAY)

10:00 AM – 05:00 PM (REGISTRATION)
02:00 PM – Complimentary Island Tour (for first 40 participants only)
07:45 PM – Welcome Dinner @ LADA Venue (Gunung Raya)

 

29th NOVEMBER 2014 (SATURDAY)

07:00 AM Booth/Stalls Open MNS Run 4 Nature (Public)
09:00 AM Nature / Beach Walks
10:00 AM Keynote Address by CEO LADA
11:00 AM Coloring Competition (Pre-School)
11:00 AM Nature Talk 1
02:00 PM Nature Talk 2
03:00 PM Children Storytelling Competition – Secondary
04:00 PM Lucky Draw
05:00 PM Kite Making Competition for Secondary Schools
07:00 PM Dinner hosted by Tourism Malaysia (TBA)
08:00 PM GREENaid Concert

 

30th NOVEMBER 2014 (SUNDAY)

07:00 AM Booths/Stalls Open MNS Run 4 Nature (Secondary Schools)
08:00 AM Registration for Photography Competition
09:00 AM Flag Off for Photography Competition Nature/Beach Walks
10:00 AM International Partners’ Forum on Eco-Tourism
10:30 AM Poster Competition – Primary School
11:30 AM Nature Talk 1
02:00 PM Nature Talk 2
03:00 PM Lucky Draw
04:00 PM Birdwatching Workshop
07:00 PM ABF 2015 Handover Dinner Venue – Laman Padi

 

01st DECEMBER, 2014 (MONDAY)

10:00 AM Optional Post Tour (for hosted media members and designated officials)
*All other participants will be on own account
- Kedah Mainland
- Kuala Gula / Bukit Maxwell

*Itinerary Subject To Change
Package to Join the Event at :
RM480 per person on twin Sharing RoomRM660 per person on single occupancy Room
Package inclusive of Return airport transfers, daily transfer to the event, 3 nights at Bella Vista Express hotel inclusive of daily breakfast.

RM2028 per person on twin Sharing Room
RM3498 per person on single occupancy Room
Package inclusive of Return airport transfers, daily transfer to the event, 3 nights at The Andaman Luxury Collection Resort Langkawi inclusive of daily breakfast.

Terms and Conditions:
The Rate only applicable on the dates stated above.
Not inclusive registration fee for the event.

-http://bird-malaysia.com/asian-bird-fair/

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Elephant And Tiger Conservation Centres To Be World Class Eco-Tourism Attractions

TEMERLOH, Aug 26 (Bernama) -- The Tiger Valley Project, in the Krau Forest Reserve, Bukit Rengit and the Kuala Gandah National Elephant Centre, upgraded with several latest attractions, will boost the area into a world class eco-tourism area in several years.

Natural Resource and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G Palanivel said the Tiger Valley Project would be developed under the 11th Malaysia Plan on a 80 ha area with the aid of experts from India, United States and United Kingdom.

"We will develop it on a 80 ha area following the international standard of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to avoid being accused of being cruel to animals. "Our aim is to protect the tigers from extinction, the same way we saved the elephants by placing them at the Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre here, " he said.

He said this to reporters after a working visit to the National Elephant Centre, Kuala Gandah, Lanchang and the Tiger Valley, Bukit Rengit here, today. He was accompanied by State Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin.

He said, towards this end, the federal government would discuss with the Pahang State Government more comprehensively to draw up a world class eco-tourism plan. He said, via the two projects, the area would not only be capable of becoming a tourism attraction but would become a comprehensive eco-tourism protection centre.

Meanwhile, he said the government had allocated RM35 million to develop the Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre since 15 years ago. He said it was now the elephant Unit administration centre in Peninsula Malaysia and a care centre for injured elephants and had successfully relocated 783 elephants from conflict areas.

"We will add several more new attractions at the conservation centre including an elephant procession to attract more tourists to the centre," he added.

A total 200,000 tourists had visited the centre last year and the number was expected to go up to 300,000 as soon as the neighbouring Tiger Valley was completed in two to three years' time, he added.

-bernama.

Shangri-La says bye to Traders and hello to Jen


Hong Kong's Shangri-La International Hotel Management has commenced the gradual but total phase-out of its 25-year-old Traders Hotel brand, replacing it with the four-star Hotel Jen targeted at younger travellers.

The two-pronged approach includes the debut of 500-room Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Singapore on September 15, followed by the rebranding of the Traders Hotel, Singapore.

Lothar W Nessmann, COO, told TTG Asia e-Daily: “The timing is right, given research findings showing the travel patterns and needs of this new-generation traveller who is tech-savvy, not just with a Millennial mindset but also young at heart. The Hotel Jen brand is inspired by the virtual persona Jen, a professional hotelier who loves life, travel and the adventure of discovering new places.”

Guests are conceptualised as “friends of Jen”, and staff act as the guest’s own personal local lifestyle guide. Free Wi-Fi and mobile charging stations will be available throughout the hotel.

Shangri-La will be converting nine existing Traders properties in phase one namely, Singapore (September 25), Hong Kong (October 8), Brisbane (October 2), Penang (November 5), Johor Bahru (November 19), Manila (December 3), Male (January 14, 2015), Upper East Beijing (March 4, 2015) and Shenyang (March 11, 2015).

Shangri-La’s regional sales office will roll out a marketing campaign for Hotel Jen within the next 10 days, followed by trade seminar and roadshows in China, Australia and Singapore soon. A new website with Mandarin and Japanese language options is available and it is building a B2B platform.

Nessman said China is the main focus for Hotel Jen’s expansion in Asia but Shangri-La is also looking at Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Australia and Thailand.
-TTG Asia.

Monday, August 25, 2014

ONE Fighting Championship @ Stadium Putra Kuala Lumpur ( 17 October 2014 )

The mixed martial arts (MMA) phenomenon that has gripped the peninsula Malaysia is set to climax in 2014 as Tune Talk presents the return of Asia’s largest MMA event, ONE Fighting Championship, to Kuala Lumpur.

Get ready to witness the biggest names in Malaysian MMA in action again as they enter the famed ONE FC cage to battle for the honor and pride of the nation against international champions from around the world. Malaysian superstars and Tune Talk warriors Peter Davis, Gianni Subba, Saiful Merican and Nik Harris are set to lead the blockbuster Fight Card; and be prepared for guest appearances by Malaysia’s 1st female MMA fighter Ann Osman, Malaysian Invasion Mixed Martial Arts (MIMMA) champions and a host of Malaysian celebrities.

ONE Fighting Championship’s multi-city world tour has brought it to iconic cities around the world including Singapore, Dubai, Taipei, Manila, Jakarta and more! It’s a spectacle that thousands have experienced live and now it is Malaysia’s turn to witness the event that the entire world is talking about. Get ready to experience why the adrenaline-pumping sport of mixed martial arts is undoubtedly the fastest growing sport in the world today!

Hashtag #ONEFightNight and follow @ONEFCMMA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.


Get your tickets from:
1. Online at www.AirAsiaRedtix.com
2. Rock Corner outlets:The Gardens, Mid Valley (TEL: 03 - 2201 4893)
KLCC (TEL: 03 - 2181 5560)
Subang Parade (TEL: 03 - 5613 1139)
The Curve (TEL: 03 - 7733 1139)
3. Victoria Music outlets:Sg Wang(TEL: 03 - 2148 7208)
Amcorp (TEL: 03 - 7956 0592)
Tropicana (TEL: 03 - 7722 2955)
4. Penang outlets:Artist Gallery, Gurney Plaza
Artist Gallery, Queensbay Mall
5. KL Life CentreTEL: 03 - 2162 2570
6. Tune StoreLow Yat Plaza

-AirAsiaRedTix.

5th Round Of WAITGC 2014 To Play Out In Sarawak


KUCHING, 25 AUGUST 2014 – It is an exciting time for golf enthusiasts as the 5th round of the World Amateur Inter-Team Golf Championship (WAITGC) tees off at the prestigious Samarahan Country Club and Damai Golf & Country Club in Kuching, Sarawak from 25 to 28 August.

The four-day fifth qualifying round of the annual WAITGC 2014 organised by Tourism Malaysia will see a participation of 20 teams, with two teams each from Indonesia and Australia, five teams each from Brunei and Malaysia, and six teams from Singapore.

The tournament will be held at the Samarahan Country Club, formerly known as the Sarawak Club Golf Resort. The Club boasts of a 35,000 sq. feet clubhouse, an 18 hole course, 25 bay driving ranges, as well as many additional facilities such as an Olympic sized swimming pool, children splash pool, terrace cafeteria, bar, function rooms, and a spa.

The scenic and challenging par 72 golf course meanders through a beautiful rainforest jungle, and is considered by many as one of Sarawak’s must-play golf courses. To date, SCC has hosted the World Golfers Championship, World Amateur Team Championship, Sarawak Amateur Open, and Sarawak Inter-Club Team Championship among many others.

The second venue is the Damai Golf & Country Club is the first Arnold Palmer designed golf course in Malaysia, with an impressive international standard 18 hole, par 72 golf course. Established in 1996, it borders on the foothill of Mount Santubong, hugging the beaches, rocky outcrop and mangrove forest of the South China Sea, providing a brilliant backdrop for its golfers.

The club boasts of signature courses, the Mountain Nine and Ocean Nine, which are remarkably different in character. The front Mountain Nine offers challenging golf in a rugged, natural rainforest setting, as it follows the natural contours of the mountain foothills, while the back Ocean Nine hugs the South China Sea and features scenic fairways and beautiful beaches with the coastal ranges in the distance. The club also offers facilities such as a grass driving range, practice areas, golfer’s cafĂ©, pro shop, and locker rooms.

Golf tourism has been identified as one of the key priority projects to increase the nation’s tourism contribution to the economy, and has in fact been underscored in the country’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). Last year, golf tourism receipts amounted to RM 304 million compared to 296 million in 2012, and this year, Malaysia aims to push that figure to RM 310 million.

WAITGC is Tourism Malaysia’s initiative to promote the country as a top-of-mind golf destination in the region, attracting more than 500 international amateur golfers and spouses annually. It is played in Strokeplay gross for the gross category and Stableford for the nett and senior category. Since its debut in 1994, WAITGC has emerged as a well-regarded tournament and one of the highly anticipated golfing events in the region.

The World Amateur Inter-Team Golf Championship is managed by the Golf Club Managers Association of Malaysia (GCMAM) and sanctioned by the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA). 
-Tourism Malaysia.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Malaysia set to meet 1.8 million tourism target despite challenges


BEIJING: Tourist arrivals from China fell 6.5% to 754,696 in the first five months of the year, with the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 and the Sabah kidnapping incidents being the main reasons for it.
Malaysia originally eyed two million visitors in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 but the series of unfortunate incidents had hampered its target.
Despite the challenges, Malay­sian Tourism Promotion Board chairman Tan Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen said it is bent on meeting its revised target of 1.8 million tourists this year and two million next year.
“For 15 years, the number of tourists from China had been increasing except during the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) period. “Instead of huge billboards, we now have to initiate a deeper and wider reach. We are adopting a ‘silent promotion’ approach with the local travel agents.
“By inviting them to meetings with us, we exchange thoughts on how to move ahead together,” she said yesterday after meeting representatives from tour agencies here.
Dr Ng said the current visa policy paled in comparison with the policies from neighbouring countries in terms of pricing and convenience. She pointed out that the e-visa system and waiver of visa fee for 120 days are examples of attractive visa policies offered by neighbours in the region.
-thestar online.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tourism Proposes VOA Via Singapore

BEIJING, 23 (Bernama) -- Tourism Malaysia has proposed the Visa-on-Arrival (VOA) facility targeting Chinese and Indian tourists via land checkpoint for travellers visiting Malaysia from Singapore.

Currently, travellers can only apply for VOA at the following air checkpoints, namely KL International Airport (KLIA), Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT, KLIA), Penang Airport, Sultan Ismail Airport, Senai, Johor Baharu, Kota Kinabalu Airport, Sabah; and Kuching Airport, Sarawak.

The facility aimed at increasing the competitiveness of Malaysia to boost the tourism industry compared with the neighbouring countries, said the Chairman of Tourism Malaysia, Tan Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

For instance, she said Thailand had granted a three-month visa free policy for Chinese tourists beginning Aug 9 this year, some offered electronic visa (e-visa) or visa-free facilities.

Hence, Ng pointed out that the policy adjustment would definitely help in boosting Malaysia's tourism industry. She disclosed this to Malaysian reporters here on Saturday during her visit in China.

The disappearance of Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH370 on March 8, and kidnapping incidents in Sabah had dented Malaysia's tourism and shelved the Visit Malaysia 2014 campaign.

In order to draw more Chinese tourists, Ng said the tourism ministry had carried out a series of "silence promotion" in China instead of advertising the promotion on billboards.

Hence, Ng said tourism officers had been intensifying the promotion by organizing a face-to-face meeting with the local travel agents and key decision-making industry players. She said local tour agencies and social media personnel were also being invited to participate in the familiarization trips to visit Sabah.

-bernama.

LEGO® Star Wars™ Miniland Model Display, a New Indoor Attraction Set To Open at LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort


Singapore, August 2014 – The Force will be coming to LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort on 6 September as a brand new LEGO® Star Wars™ Miniland Model Display opens in conjunction with the Resort’s second anniversary. The fully air-conditioned indoor attraction will be the first standalone complex of its kind in Asia where 2,000 LEGO models from the popular film have been recreated on a scale of 1:20 using more than 1.5 million bricks.

The themed attraction is housed in a uniquely shaped standalone octagon building and recreates seven of the most famous scenes – six from the beloved Star Wars™ films and one from the smash hit animated series: Star Wars: The Clone Wars™.
Inside the model display, guests will be able to experience a specially designed pre-screening area for a LEGO Star Wars™ movie, followed by a chronological walk through the Star Wars timeline featuring the planets Christophsis, Endor, Geonosis, Hoth, Kashyyyk, Mustafar, Naboo, and Tatooine before having a unique photo opportunity at the Hall of Fame starring main characters Chewbacca, C-3PO, Darth Maul, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, R2-D2, Yoda and much more. The LEGO models are presented on raised platforms and stand 85cm high. There will also be life-sized LEGO models of C-3PO, Darth Vader and R2-D2 built with more than 80,000 LEGO bricks to greet visitors as they make their way into the model display.

Created by dozens of model designers and builders, animation technicians and specialist landscapers, the model display will also feature authentic Star Wars™ sounds, actions and lighting effects to create a realistic and enjoyable experience for the whole family. All the models for this project were built in various locations around the world including Malaysia, Germany and Czech Republic.

In addition to the amazing displays, there is also a retail store within the complex for guests.

“We are thrilled to present our guests something truly special for our second anniversary. This model display is one of a kind in Asia and we are confident that it will be an inspiring experience for both our guests and fans of the film,” said Mark Germyn, General Manager, LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort.

According to Germyn, the attraction cost more than RM6 million to build and is the biggest development at the Park this year. As a catalyst project in Iskandar, the Resort will continue to grow stronger tourism and attract more international visits by adding a new element annually to ensure guests have exciting reasons to visit.

Throughout the month of September, various LEGO Star Wars™ activities have been lined up to commemorate the anniversary celebrations. Amongst this is free entry for children dressed up as their favourite Star Wars™ characters. The promotion will start on 6-30 Sept 2014. Additionally, Annual Pass holders will enjoy special preview periods from 1-5 Sept before the attraction opens to public. All valid Annual Pass holders will be required to sign up online for the preview. Visit www.LEGOLAND.my or call the reservation office at +607-597-8888 for more details on the promotions, and keep up-to-date with our exciting activities on Twitter at https://twitter.com/legoland_my and Instagram athttp://instagram.com/legolandmy.
-Legoland Malaysia Resort.

Rayani Air To Begin Three-Weekly Flights From Melaka Next Year

MELAKA, Aug 22 (Bernama) -- Rayani Air, a new airline base in Melaka, will begin three-weekly flights to five domestic destinations from its hub at the Melaka International Airport in Batu Berendam here from January 2015.

Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron said the country's first boutique airline would use Fokker 50 planes for the inaugural routes between Melaka and Penang, Langkawi, Kota Baharu, Kuching, and Kota Kinabalu.

He said as Melaka relied heavily on tourism, accessibility via land, sea and air was of paramount importance to attract more tourists to the state.

"Rayani Air will likely expand its operations by introducing flights to Surabaya, Yogyakarta and Medan to bring in more tourists from Indonesia," he told reporters after opening the Melaka International Tourism Show and the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents Fair (MATTA) 2014 here Friday.

Idris said the state government would not take up any equity in Rayani Air, but would consider the request to compensate the airline for shortfall in passengers.

"It has got to have at least 35 passengers for each flight on the 50-seater plane. The shortfall in passenger volume will be borne by the state government," he said.

The Melaka state government had previously set up Melaka Air to fly to Penang and Medan, Indonesia but the service was halted because of poor response. The airport is also a 'white elephant' because since March 15 this year no commercial flights had taken off due to poor response despite the government spending RM240 million to upgrade and lengthen the runway.

The Melaka MATTA Fair 2014, a joint tourism promotion efforts undertaken by Melaka Tourism Board and MATTA, focuses on 12 sub-sectors.

Over 100 exhibitors are participating in the three-day exhibition starting today. Also participating in the exhibition are tourism boards from Thailand, Taiwan, Macau, Cuba, Indonesia and Singapore. An estimated 50,000 visitors are expected at the exhibition.

-bernama.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Penang engages expert consultant for CVB set-up


The Penang state government has unveiled the appointed of David Hall, senior partner at David Hall & Associates, as a consultant to set up the structure of Penang International Convention and Exhibition Bureau (PICEB).

Announced by Penang state minister for tourism development, Danny Law Heng Kiang, Hall’s new posting also tasks him with recommending a sustainable funding model and potential candidates to fill PICEB’s COO position.

David Hall & Associates is an Adelaide-based specialist in the convention and visitor bureau (CVB) industry, and also consults during the formation of Sarawak Convention Bureau.

PICEB, which will be a division under Penang Global Tourism, will be set up by end of the year but may only begin operations in early 2015.

Ooi Geok Ling, managing director, Penang Global Tourism, said the long delay in the setting up of PICEB was due to a stalemate in deciding on a funding model, which led to Hall’s engagement. Hall will be in Penang later this month to meet with local players in the business events industry.  

Zulkefli Sharif, CEO of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau opined that the new CVB would complement the federal bureau’s work. He said: “It makes our work easier because when we secure events for Malaysia and Penang is part of the itinerary, we can arrange visits to Penang and there will be PICEB staff on the ground to take them around.”
-TTG Asia.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

ICCA Malaysia names its leaders


ICCA Malaysia has nominated Ho Yoke Ping and Fu Kei Cheong to lead the charge in strengthening Malaysia's profile as a business events destination as chair and deputy chair respectively.

Ho is general manager – sales and marketing at Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau, while Fu is the general manager of Reliance Conventions & Events. The nine members of ICCA Malaysia met last week to pick its leaders through an election.

Speaking after her appointment, Ho said: “It is timely to form a Malaysia committee so we can strengthen the Malaysian business events industry.  As the host of ICCA Congress 2016, which will be held in Kuching, we want to showcase Malaysia’s capability and lift the profile of the Malaysia business events industry.

“We will focus on working with students, the government, national associations and the trade to further strengthen the business events industry in Malaysia.”

ICCA Malaysia member, Anthony Wong, said setting up the committee was a step in the right direction. “We need to have formal gatherings so we can work closely as a team and strengthen the industry further by pooling resources and working closely with academia and government,” he commented.
-TTG Asia.

Pulau Perhentian Set To Become Exclusive Eco-tourism Resort

SETIU (Terengganu), Aug 21 (Bernama) -- Pulau Perhentian is to be developed into an exclusive eco-tourism resort frequented by moderate- and high-income tourists as envisaged in the Terengganu Development Roadmap 2014-2020.

Terengganu Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Jidin Shafee said the island was now overcrowded with visitors who came alone or in small groups and stayed for too long without contributing much to the economy of the local people.

"These visitors usually kept to a tight budget in terms of lodging and meals. They do not help to boost the economy of the islanders although they may help to market the island by word of mouth or through articles," he told Bernama.

Mohd Jidin said Tourism Malaysia was conducting a study as part of the measures to turn Pulau Perhentian into an exclusive tourist destination. "The study, which covers various aspects, is expected to be completed by the end of this year and will help the state government to draft the development plan for the island," he said.

The study would look into cleanliness and the proliferation of new chalets or resorts which could tarnish the natural beauty and eco-system of the island, he said. It would also consider the infrastructure facilities, upgrading of chalets and security, among other things, he added.

He also said that the federal government, through the Sewerage Services Department, would build a waste water management system on Pulau Perhentian Kechil at a cost of RM50 million. "The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) has provided RM2.4 million to upgrade several tourist jetties and the solid waste disposal site," he said.

Mohd Jidin said the state government was also looking into the direct involvement of the local population in the tourism sector, such as by holding courses for tourist guides and professional divers as well as providing water taxi services.

On the average, occupancy at the resorts on the island is 68 per cent and the tourist season runs from February to October annually. Mohd Jidin quoted Marine Department records as indicating that the island hosted 64,870 tourists this year up to May.

"Pulau Perhentian has 1,376 rooms of various standards managed by 45 hotel operators. "The tourists come from all over the world, but mainly from Europe, China, Japan and South Korea," he said.

-bernama.

Cruise lines unveil more South-east Asian offerings


Royal Caribbean International and Princess Cruises have announced itineraries for their ships' upcoming Singapore homeport seasons.

Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas will return for a new Singapore season between June and November 2015 to sail a variety of three- to 10-night itineraries across the Asia-Pacific.

Itineraries on offer include:
-       A three-night night voyage to Penang and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang) in June
-       A three- or five-night cruise to Penang, Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Bangkok (Laem Chabang), and Koh Samui during the September school holidays
-       Two 10-night cruises Koh Samui, Bangkok (Laem Chabang) (overnight), Sihanoukville, Nha Trang, and Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My)
-       Three 10-night one-way cruises to Koh Samui, Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Sihanoukville, Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Nha Trang, Hue/Danang (Chan May), and Hong Kong
-       Two 10-night one-way cruises from Hong Kong to Taipei (Keelung), Manila, Boracay, Puerto Princesa, Kota Kinabalu, Bandar Seri Begawan (Muara), and Singapore

Legend of the Seas will also sail two consecutive 14-night itineraries in September, one south-bound voyage from Singapore to Perth (Fremantle), stopping at Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Langkawi, Phuket, Bali (Benoa), Lombok, Broome and Geraldton on the way, and the return north-bound journey to Singapore.

The ship underwent a US$50 million refurbishment in Singapore last year, and sister ship Mariner of the Seas will also sail from Singapore in the winter season of 2015/16, marking the first time Royal Caribbean offers year-round sailings from Singapore. 

Princess Cruises is placing a greater emphasis on the Indonesian market for its upcoming season beginning November 2014.

The cruise line is extending the season to end in March 2015 instead of February 2015. Sapphire Princess will add a 17-day Grand Asia tour featuring calls at Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Nagasaki, Busan and Beijing in March.

New cruise itineraries have also been segmented from the current planned sailings in December in order to target Indonesian families for the school holiday period.

These itineraries include a six-night cruise from Singapore to Bali and Kuala Lumpur, and a four-night cruise from Kuala Lumpur to Penang, Phuket and Singapore.

“We are witnessing tremendous growth and demand in the market for our homeporting seasons in the region," said Farriek Tawfik, director for South-east Asia, Princess Cruises. “We are very excited about bringing Sapphire Princess to Indonesia where it will visit Bali, Lombok and Komodo Island”. 

Furthermore, Sapphire Princess is also offering newly launched chocolate-themed products on board, such as chocolate spa treatments and desserts, in addition to new luxury boutiques and brands.
-TTG Asia.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Newly-Refurbished Tourism Malaysia Singapore Office Portrays Good Image Of Country, Says High Commissioner

SINGAPORE, Aug 20 (Bernama) -- The newly-refurbished Tourism Malaysia office will portray the good image of Malaysia and the tourism agency here, says Malaysia High Commissioner to Singapore, Datuk Husni Zai Yaacob.

"Today is special for two main reasons. We are here to have our inter-agency meeting which we normally have at the chancery of the Malaysia High Commission.

"But today we are having the meeting here for the first time in Tourism Malaysia to celebrate the completion of renovation of Tourism Malaysia office," he told Bernama at the Hari Raya Open House and the launch of Tourism Malaysia renovated office here. He said the renovation augured well with the on-going Visit Malaysia Year.

The high commissioner said the increase in tourist arrivals from Singapore of about 10 per cent in the first half of this year was quite impressive. "Singapore contributes more than 50 per cent (of tourist arrivals) to Malaysia. So, this increase augurs well for our VMY's target. "I hope this trend will continue for the rest of the year," he said.

Tourism Malaysia director for Singapore, Noor Ainee Ismail, said the office gave a totally new image of the agency especially in attracting more Singaporeans to Malaysia. "The glass panel display of posters of attractive places in Malaysia is really eye catching to the public who pass through the office," she said.

Noor Aine said the posters on display would be changed every two months to give advertisers, including hoteliers and tour agencies an opportunity to display their products. Tourism Malaysia office is located at No. 80 Robinson Road, Singapore.

-bernama.

MATTA adds carnival spirit to upcoming three-day fair

All smiles: Hamzah (third from left), Kho (third from right) and Wong (fourth from right) posing with a Doraemon mascot at the press conference at Wisma Matta in Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR: Next month’s Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair promises to be a fun outing for the family.
Organising chairman Rocky Kho, in emphasising that the three-day fair would be more than just an event to sell travel packages and tickets, said the upcoming event would have a carnival-like atmosphere. “Our theme is fun and fiesta,” he said.
He added that a 100,000-strong turnout was expected for the fair at Putra World Trade Centre here from Sept 5 to 7.
Kho said each visitor was set to receive a free voucher to a photo book by Pixajoy by Excard Corporation, a website offering consumers a chance to purchase and design their own custom photo books with ease.
“Children and adults will be in for another treat at the fair – the presence of Doraemon,” he said. The iconic manga character will be brought in by Animation International (M) Sdn Bhd, the master licensee for Doraemon in Malaysia and Singapore.
MATTA president Hamzah Rahmat said another special feature of this leg of the fair was the wider promotion of inbound travel in Malaysia.
“The time has come for us Malaysians to discover the beauty of our own country,” said Hamzah, adding that not many were aware that some of the Malaysian gems rivalled those of other countries. In line with that, one of the halls for the fair, he added, would exclusively showcase Malaysian travel packages and products.
MATTA vice-president (research and technology) Nigel Wong said Matta would collaborate with Tourism Malaysia to run a competition during the event. “The Malaysia, My Dream Destination contest is aimed at promoting travel in Malaysia to tourists inside and outside the country,” he added. Three lucky winners will win a paid trip around Malaysia and get the chance to have their travel footage featured in Tourism Malaysia advertisements.
For more information, visit mattafair.org.my.
-thestar online.

New GM, culinary director welcomed at Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat


Sunway International Hotels & Resorts has appointed Lucia Franziska as general manager of Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat Ipoh, effective immediately. 

Reporting to Mandy Chew, CEO of Sunway International Hotels & Resorts, Franziska brings with her over 30 years of experience in a range of positions and institutions within the hospitality industry. 

Franziska managed the Le Planteur Restaurant in Yangon alongside her Michelin-starred chef husband, Felix Eppisser, before her appointment to Banjaran. 

Eppisser has been appointed culinary director at Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat Ipoh.
-TTG Asia.
www.thebanjaran.com

International Golf Challenge For Juniors In Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 (Bernama) -- Young golfers from around the region and as far as South Africa will be heading to Malaysia to compete in the Kids Golf World Championship 2014 in Johor Baharu from Dec 8 to 12.

Over 400 young people between the ages of five and 18 years from over 20 countries are expected to compete in the prestigious tournament which is being held in Malaysia for the third consecutive year.

The championship is the international version of the prestigious US Kids Golf tournament and provides an excellent opportunity for young people to compete in a World Championship in their quest to become future top professional players.

Chris Vonderkall, the Vice President for Tournaments for U.S. Kids Golf, said he it was great that the tournament held in Malaysia has seen growth over the past two years.

"Having players come back year after year is a great testament to the success and organisation of the championship. The juniors in Malaysia and surrounding countries greatly benefit from the championship. It is a great stage to showcase their talent and show the world how good these junior players are," he said in a statement Tuesday.

He said bringing the great game of golf to juniors and their families was a mission of U.S. Kids Golf and added that the Malaysian chapter helps fulfill this mission.

"We hope it continues for many years to come. I think the organising team has done a great job. It is a major undertaking organising that many juniors, their families, courses and volunteers. Each year the team learns more and comes better the following year," he said.

He said the US Kids Golf being held around the world have over 10,000 juniors from more than 40 countries participating in the programme and the international growth was a big opportunity for more youngsters to play top notch golf and added that U.S. Kids Golf was excited to help grow junior golf in Malaysia.

Kids Golf World Championship Malaysia 2014 is an offshoot of the US Kids Golf Foundation established in 2001 and the US Kids Golf World Championship was envisioned as a platform to provide kids and their families to participate in the game of golf through instruction and competition. Its primary mission is to help kids have fun learning the basics of golf while encouraging interaction among family members to build lasting memories.

The Kids Golf World Championship is presented by US Kids Golf in partnership with Royal Sporting House (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and managed by Concept Collaboration Sdn Bhd.

The championship is also sanctioned by the Malaysian Golf Association and supported by Malaysia Major Events, a division of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau, an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

The championship offers world amateur ranking points. B. Sukumaran of Concept Collaboration said the response from the juniors have been overwhelming with over 180 juniors from abroad sending their requests to participate.

"Only the US Kids tournament has the format where the juniors get to play against players in the same age group. Exposure of competing with kids from around the world is a rare opportunity for Malaysian youngsters and they get to do it in Malaysia.

"It is also cost effective for the local participants. For foreign participants coming to Malaysia it is much cheaper and the experience that they gained money can't buy," he said.

The tournament offers prizes for boys in 8 categories and girls in 7 categories.
The Boys' categories are: 7 years and below, 8 years, 9 years, 10 years, 11 years, 12 years, combined age group of 13 and 14 years and 15 to 18 years while the Girls' categories are 8 years and below, 9 years, 10 years, 11 years, 12 years, combined 13 and 14 years and 15 to 18 years.

The last day of the tournament will feature a Best of Malaysia versus the Rest of the World, in a match play format akin to the Ryder Cup.

The Kids Golf World Championship provides junior boys and girls of all ages with the most competitive field and the ultimate tournament experience thus preparing them for their future in the world of golf.

-bernama.
www.malaysiakidsgolf.com

Monday, August 18, 2014

Malaysia’s Tourism Highlights – SEPTEMBER 2014


PUTRAJAYA, 18 August 2014 – A mix of art, cultural, sports, nature and international fashion events wraps up the third quarter of 2014. Here are some of the highlights of September 2014:

MUD: Our Story of Kuala Lumpur
Witness the story of Kuala Lumpur unfold on stage as three best friends – Mamat, Meng and Muthiah head to the capital city to seek their fortune during the 1880s.

The show promises to be a colourful and entertaining multi-cultural experience for all – a lively musical showcasing the rich diversity of the people who built Kuala Lumpur. It is an inspiring tale of friendship, perseverance and finding joys in a simple cup of teh tarik.

Organiser: Enfiniti Vision Media
Date: Ongoing
Time:  Twice Daily: 3pm – 6pm and 8.30pm – 9.30pm
Venue: Panggung Bandaraya, Jalan Raja, Kuala Lumpur
Price: RM45 – RM60
Contact: +6 03 6142 9877
Website: mudkl.com  

SARAWAK REGATTA 2014
The renowned Sarawak Regatta 2014 is back in Kuching! Started from the Brooke era, the traditional longboats race aimed to stop racial wars among local tribes where headhunting was largely practiced. 

The colourfully designed and decorated longboats can accommodate up to 30 paddlers on the boat. Aside from boat races, highlights of the event include “Brooke Swim”, kayaking and duck catching competitions.

Organiser: Resident Office Kuching Division 
Date: 4 – 7 September 2014
Venue: Kuching Waterfront, Kuching, Sarawak
Contact: +6 082 507 051/ 055
Website: www.sarawaktourism.com  

Media for 21st Century Children!
For the first time, a global summit on media in the development, education and wellbeing of children is taking place in Asia! 

The 7th World Summit on Media for Children (WSMC) 2014 aims to improve the quality of media for children through networking, debates and workshops on content creation from more than 2,000 producers, broadcasters, media regulators, educators and community leaders.

If you are someone who works in the field of childhood development with an interest in media, this Summit is for you!

Organiser: Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU)
Date: 8 – 10 September 2014
Venue: The Royale Chulan Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +6 03 2282 3592
Website: www.wsmc2014.org  

ROYAL PAHANG BILLFISH INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE 2014
The largest fishing competition in Malaysia is here! The Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge (RPBIC) 2014 is an annual offshore fishing competition that practices the “Catch and Release” method. 

RPBIC takes advantage of the active migration season of the billfish, such as marlin and sailfish which pass through the Rompin area from the northern hemisphere to Australia, between March and September. 

Loaded with dynamic bursts of excitement for the experienced angler, it is a highly anticipated event especially for those who seek adventure and eco-friendly sports.

Organiser: Pahang State Government, Tioman Development Authority & Pahang Tourism
Date: 12 – 14 September 2014
Venue: Pantai Lanjut, Rompin, Pahang
Contact: +6 09 514 1206
Website: www.rpbic.com.my 

Watch World-Class Tennis Live in KL
The ‘Malaysia Open, Kuala Lumpur 2014’ will play host to the best line up of players in its young history. Nick Kyrogios, the 19-year-old Australian player who won the 2013 Australian Open Boys’ Singles event will be making his Malaysian professional debut this year.

Other than world-class tennis action, highlights of the event include the signature catch-the-ball promotions with prizes, the on-court coin toss and also daily autograph sessions with the players. Come and support them!

Organiser:  Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia
Date: Qualifying Weekend,  20 – 21 September 2014
Main Draw, 22 – 28 September 2014
Venue: Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur
Contact:    +6 03 9222 8881
Website:     www.malaysianopentennis.com   

It is now bigger and better!
Kite enthusiasts from all across the globe will bring their new creations and fly these magnificent art pieces at the 10th Borneo International Kite Festival 2014!

Highlights of the festival include the Stunt Kite/ Revolution Kite performances, the 1st Asia Pacific Sport Kite (dual-line) Championship, Creative Kites Display, ‘wau’-making workshop, and cultural night performances.

Organiser: Borneo International Kite Festival Secretariat, Bintulu Development Authority (BDA)
Date: 24 – 28 September 2014
Venue: Old Bintulu Airport, Bintulu, Sarawak
Contact: +6 086 332 011
Website: www.borneokite.com

AFRICA-MALAYSIA INTERNATIONAL FASHION SHOW 2014
Nineteen celebrated fashion designers from across the Africa continent including Tina Lobondi, Taibo Bacar and Mina Evans are invited to present their “Fall 2014” collections in Malaysia.

AMIFS 2014 is a platform to celebrate the work of Africans and African inspired designers by promoting their rich cultural heritage especially in the Asia Pacific continent.

Organiser: Standard Pacific Global Sdn. Bhd. & Astral Skyline (M) Sdn. Bhd.
Date: 24 – 28 September 2014
Venue: Avenue K Shopping Mall
Contact: +6 017 6434 912 (Puan Zainun)
Website: http://www.africa-malaysiafashionshow.com/

6th BORNEO BIRD FESTIVAL 2014
Calling all birding enthusiasts; grab the chance to see vibrant-coloured birds from Kingfishers to the elusive Borneo Bristlehead at the 6th Borneo Bird Festival 2014!

Spread over 3 days, the event offers various activities such as bird photography, guided bird walks, a bird race and a bird watching competition. The event aims to raise awareness of over 568 bird species in Sabah, four of which are found nowhere else in the world.

Organiser: Sabah Tourism Board
Date: 26 – 28 September 2014
Venue: Rainforest Discovery Center (RDC) Sandakan, Sabah
Contact: +6 088 212 121 (Noredah Othman)
Website: www.borneobirdfestival.com

ASIA PACIFIC IRONMAN LANGKAWI 2014
Missed the 3-in-1 sports challenge in Desaru? Upcoming is the Asia Pacific Ironman Langkawi 2014 for you to prove your mettle as a triathlete again! 

Ironman is triathlon’s marquee challenge and this ultimate endurance race requires the completion of 3.8 km of swimming, 180 km of cycling and 42.2 km of running, all three in a single day. Take a truly Malaysian cultural journey through tropical, hilly and demanding terrain! 

Organiser: Ironman Malaysia
Date: 27 September 2014
Venue: Langkawi, Kedah
Contact: +6 03 7491 0505
Website: http://ap.ironman.com/triathlon/events/asiapac/ironman/malaysia 
-Tourism Malaysia.