Thursday, December 31, 2015

Konsert 5 DIVO @ Stadium Malawati, Shah Alam ( 13 Februari 2016 )

-www.ticketpro.com.my

ERL Offers Smart Savings On KLIA Ekspres And KLIA Transit Fares

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 (Bernama) -- Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL) offers smart savings for its passengers on the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Ekspres and KLIA Transit.

ERL in a statement released today said KLIA Ekspres passengers will automatically save RM10 when purchasing a return ticket between KL Sentral and KLIA or KLIA2 at the ticket counter.

"The fare will only be RM100 instead of the full fare amount which is RM110. However, passengers are encouraged to purchase their tickets online where they can save even more.

"A 10 percent discount will be given for single or return tickets purchased through the KLIA Ekspres website, mobile application (mobile app) and at the self-service kiosk. The price for a return ticket will now drop further to RM90 from RM100 which means only RM45 for a one-way trip," it said.

Under a new promotion, MasterCard credit and debit cardholders will enjoy the most savings at 20 percent off when purchasing KLIA Ekspres single or return tickets through its website, mobile app and the kiosk, the statement said.

"With this offer, a return ticket between KL Sentral and KLIA or KLIA2 is only RM80 or just RM40 per trip. Passengers are entitled to 20 percent cash back when they use AmBank, AmBank Islamic or MBF credit cards when buying KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit tickets at full fare from the ticket counter, via online or the kiosk.

"Meanwhile, daily commuters on the KLIA Transit will enjoy huge savings of between 17 percent and 83 percent when using the KLIA Transit monthly or weekly TravelCards," it said.

KLIA Transit passengers will also be given a 10 percent discount when purchasing single and return tickets at the kiosk and for Malaysian senior citizens, 1Malaysia Student Discount Card (KADS1M), Disabled Individuals (OKU) cardholders, they are entitled to a 30 percent discount for single ticket fare for travel on KLIA Transit, it said.

"For Touch 'n Go users, they will enjoy a 10 percent instant discount at the gate on both KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit services during the promotion period," the statement said.

The offers are valid from Jan 1, 2016 until further notice, and ERL will be coming out with more smart saving options for its passengers to continue enjoying the fastest airport transfer in the country, it said.

More information on the promotional deals can be obtained at www.KLIAekspres.com.

-bernama.

Top 10 Tourist Arrivals To Malaysia - January~June 2015 (By Nationality)

1. Singapore 6,392,155

2. Indonesia 1,313,886

3. China 751,383

4. Thailand 654,535

5. Brunei 553,412

6. India 378,654

7. Philippines 293,024

8. Australia 230,427

9. Japan 223,998

10. South Korea 205,013

Total worldwide arrivals 12,567,300 (-9.4%)

-Tourism Malaysia.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

China’s Liang Wen-Chong Appointed Vice Captain For Team Asia


Shah Alam, Malaysia, December 29: Team Asia Captain Jeev Milkha Singh has appointed China’s Liang Wen-chong as Vice Captain for the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM which will be staged at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club from January 15 to 17.
 
Singh believes Liang, who is a former Asian Tour number one and a winner on both the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour, will provide strong support to him and the 12 playing members when they face a Darren Clarke-led Team Europe in the Ryder Cup-styled event.
 
“I am delighted to announce that Liang has accepted my invitation to be my Vice Captain for the EurAsia Cup,” said Singh, who is a former two-time Asian Tour number one.
 
“As he is widely respected by his peers in Asia and Japan and knows all our team members well, Liang will certainly add value to our team set-up. I will be counting on him to provide feedback on how my team members are playing and also on our team strategies and partnerships.
 
“Liang has always been known for his fighting qualities and never-say-die attitude on the golf course and I’m hoping this will positively impact Team Asia in our goal to win the EurAsia Cup. I believe we now have the ideal team make-up to achieve this goal.”
 
Liang, 37, became China’s first Asian Tour Order of Merit champion in 2007 and has three career Asian Tour titles. He also won his first tournament on the Japan Golf Tour this season.
 
The Chinese star said: “It is an honour to be appointed as Vice Captain of Team Asia and I would like to thanks Captain Jeev for his faith and belief in me. I have known Jeev for a while now and I have the utmost respect for him as a competitor and now as Team Asia Captain for the EurAsia Cup.
 
“I watched the first EurAsia Cup which ended in a 10-10 draw in 2014 and it was very exciting. I aim to contribute as much as I can to the team’s cause and I am confident Team Asia will be victorious come Sunday evening of the tournament week. 
 
“The 12 players who will represent Asia are fantastic golfers and I will do everything I can to support them and enable them to perform their best for the team.”
 
The EurAsia Cup will feature 24 matches, with day one showcasing six Fourball matches, followed by six Foursomes matches and 12 Singles matches on the third day.
 
The winning team will share prize money of US$3.6 million while the runners-up will share US$1.2 million.
 
Team Asia will be represented by Anirban Lahiri, S.S.P. Chawrasia, Thongchai Jaidee, Danny Chia, Byeonghun An, Shingo Katayama, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, K.T. Kim, Nicholas Fung, Jeunghun Wang, Prayad Marksaeng and Wu Ashun.
 
Team Europe will feature Danny Willet, Ross Fisher, Victor Dubuisson, Chris Wood, Andy Sullivan, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Shane Lowry, Bernd Wiesberger, Soren Kjeldsen, Kristoffer Broberg, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood. 
-www.eurasiacup.com

Korea Chooses Malaysia For Pilot Project Of ASEAN Homestay Programme

SEPANG, Dec 30 (Bernama) -- Malaysia has become the first country selected by the ASEAN-Korea Centre (AKC) for a pilot project, ASEAN Homestay Programme.

This follows the country's progress in the homestay industry, as compared to the other developing countries.

AKC Secretary-General Kim Young-sun said the selection was also due to the Malaysia Standard Homestay Malaysia having been adopted in 2014, by all ASEAN countries as the ASEAN Homestay Standard.

"I can say that Malaysia is a good example as a success story of the homestay industry in this region...so, that's why we are here today," he told the media after the official launch of the ASEAN Homestay Programme, 'Youth Fostering Sustainable Tourism Development' here Wednesday.

The eight-day ASEAN Homestay Programme beginning Dec 28, is jointly organised by AKC and the tourism and culture ministry in Selangor.

While staying with foster families in rural parts of Malaysia, 21 Korean university students will participate in various activities, including experiencing local cultures, traditional lifestyles and volunteer activities in Banghuris Homestay and Sungai Sireh Homestay.

The programme is designed to provide a stage for Korean students majoring in tourism or Asian studies to accumulate understanding on 'Community-based Tourism' through hands-on experience related to local culture, environment conservation and sustainable tourism policy development for the first time since the establishment of the AKC in 2009.

Meanwhile, Tourism and Culture Deputy Minister Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said between January and September this year, homestay segment contributed an increase in revenue of 10.8 per cent to RM19.87 million as compared to the same period last year.

"Homestay segment also currently contributed one per cent to the overall of tourism revenue in the country," she said.

Mas Ermieyati said Korea was among the countries with potential for the local tourism industry and as such, homestay operators should intensify efforts to promote their homestays.

"The industry can help rural people, especially, to earn additional income, including for their businesses like handicraft and traditional food and beverage products," she added.

In addition, she said the homestay segment had big potential in provding job opportunities to young people in the rural areas, thus reducing the rate of migration of rural residents to the capital.

As of September this year, the total number of homestays in the country amounted to 181 programmes, 3,653 houses and 5,056 rooms provided to international tourists.

-bernama.

Visual Art Museum Planned For Langkawi

LANGKAWI, Dec 29 (Bernama) -- A visual art museum is being planned to be developed in Langkawi as a new tourist attraction, especially for art enthusiasts.

State executive councillor in charge of Tourism, Datuk Mohd Rawi Abd Hamid said the site for the museum had been identified by the National Visual Arts Gallery board and when completed, it would feature a collection of paintings and other visual art pieces by leading artists.

"It will be another world-class destination in Langkawi soon," he told reporters after the launching of a new product of the Langkawi Underwater World, here, today.

He said the museum would also exhibit a collection of photographs of world leaders who had attended international events held in Langkawi.

Meanwhile, National Visual Arts Gallery director-general, Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Najib Ahmad Dawa said the visual art museum would also be a centre of excellence to enhance the skills of local artists.

-bernama.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

57 rebut gelaran Miss Tourism 2015

WARANGKANANG WUTTHAYAKORN (kiri) dan Yada Theppanom tiba di Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur, Sepang, semalam. Utusan/RASHID MAHFOF
SEPANG 28 Dis. – Sebanyak 57 peserta bakal berentap bagi merebut gelaran Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International 2015 yang akan dipertandingkan di Hotel Marriot Putrajaya, Khamis ini.


Presiden Miss Tourism International, Tan Sri Danny Ooi berkata, pertandingan tersebut yang akan diadakan serentak dengan sambutan tahun baharu 2016 bakal menyaksikan semua peserta tersebut turut bersaing merebut lima gelaran lain.

“Keunikan pertandingan kali ini kesemua peserta terbabit juga akan merebut lima gelaran lain iaitu Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International, Miss Tourism Metropolitan International, Miss Tourism Global International, Miss Tourism Cosmopolitan International dan Dreamgirl of the Year International.

“Pada masa sama, pertandingan kali ini juga akan mempromosikan negara ini melalui tema Malaysia Truly Asia,” katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.

Menurut Ooi, semua peserta yang akan berada di negara ini selama 18 hari sebelum acara akhir tersebut bermula, turut bakal mempromosikan produk pelancongan, kebudayaan dan semangat setiakawan.

Beliau berkata, pertandingan itu merupakan salah satu usaha pihaknya bagi mempromosikan produk pelancongan dalam negara ke peringkat antarabangsa.

“Pelbagai aktiviti disediakan untuk peserta terbabit antaranya program lawatan ke Kuala Lumpur, Melaka dan aktiviti berbentuk kemasyarakatan,” katanya.

Sementara itu, dua bekas pemenang pertandingan kecantikan iaitu Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International 2014, Warangkanang Wutthayakorn dan Miss South East Asia Tourism Ambassadress 2015, Yada Theppanom tiba di Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur (KLIA) di sini bagi memeriahkan lagi acara pertandingan tersebut.

Wutthayakorn yang merupakan juara pada tahun lalu akan menyerahkan mahkota dimenanginya kepada pemenang tahun ini.
-Utusan online.

Seri Menanti Old Palace, Takhta Rencana, Pengkalan Kempas Megalith Gazetted As National Heritage

SEREMBAN, Dec 28 (Bernama) -- The Seri Menanti Old Palace in Kuala Pilah is one of three listed as Negeri Sembilan Heritage to have been gazetted National Heritage, says state culture and Malay customs committee chairman, Abd Razak Ab Said.

He said the palace was declared National Heritage in 2009, in conjunction with its 100 years anniversary while the other two, Takhta Rencana in Seri Menanti and the Pengkalan Kempas megalith in Port Dickson were listed this year.

"The Seri Menanti Old Palace and Takhta Rencana are categorised under buildings while the Pengkalan Kempas megalith is categorised under archeology sites.

"The Takhta Rencana is a special throne to carry the Yang Dipertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan during ceremonial events.

"National Heritage such as the A-Famosa, National Monument, Kuala Lumpur Railway Station building and Merdeka Stadium should be treasured as they have been inherited from past generations and these heritage sites have become popular tourist attractions.

"Preserving a national heritage is important to create a spirit of patriotism and love for the homeland," he told Bernama recently.

Abd Razak said so far, 11 objects categorised under buildings have been listed as Negeri Sembilan Heritage.

These include the former Seremban District Office; former state secretariat office building, Seremban; live rocks, Tampin; Keramat Sungai Udang, Port Dickson; Boro Town, Port Dickson and Salleh Ancestral Tomb, Jelebu.

He said the others were the Masjid Jamek, Seremban; Negeri Sembilan Malay house model at Taman Seri Budaya Complex, Seremban; SMK King George V, Seremban; Sekolah Kebangsaan Ampangan (old building block), Seremban and Ampang Tinggi Old Palace at the Taman Seri Budaya Complex, Seremban.

"Hopefully next year, more of the state's legacy and heritage will be designated as National Heritage. The National Heritage Department will work closely with the State Museum Board to ensure certain state-owned heritage are listed on the state heritage register to be conserved and protected," he added.

-bernama.

Motorsport Free Morning @ Sepang International Circuit ( 30 December 2015 )


The last SIC Motorsport Free Morning before we end the year of 2015! 

Save your date this 30th December 2015. No charges, it's free!

For those who joined the previous event, come again and bring your friends and families.
 

-Sepang Circuit facebook.

Monday, December 28, 2015

George Town among top 16 ‘must-see’ destinations


GEORGE TOWN: The Unesco world heritage site here has been picked as one of the 16 “must-see” destinations by the Los Angeles Times.  
In its Boxing Day edition, the paper wrote that “George Town (population about 500,000), Penang’s main city, is a Unesco World Heritage site with a 500-year history of trading and a hotel boom in progress".   
It stated that as many as 10 new hotels may open in 2016, and a bevy of cruise lines call at the port in inner George Town.   
“With luck, this growth will leave intact the city’s most historic architecture and encourage its lively food scene. George Town was a British trading post from the early 19th century (hence its name) until Malaysian independence in 1957. 


“It gives you British echoes, Malay essence, Chinese and Indian commercial traditions, scattered rickshaws and a stew of religions,” the paper added.  
The other destinations (alphabetically arranged) were Botswana; Bozeman, Montana (US); Cartagena, Colombia; Dublin; Ireland; Harlem, New York (US); Iran; Myanmar; Natchez, Mississippi; Orange County coast, California (US); Paris, France; San Sebastián, Spain; Seattle (US); Stratford-Upon-Avon, England; Washington, D.C. and Williamstown, Kentucky (both in the US).  
The Los Angeles Times is the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the US with a daily circulation of more than a million. It also has the largest Sunday circulation in the country - more than 1.3 million.  
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng also highlighted the article in his Facebook page on Sunday night.  
George Town also took the No. 4 in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Cities list for Best in Travel 2016.   
“George Town might be widely known for its Unesco World Heritage-listed streetscape, but of late it has also emerged as the crucible of an artsy, modern Malaysia,” Lonely Planet had said on its website.

-thestar online.

Usher in the New Year @ Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur

-Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur facebook.

Govt Expecting 30.5 Million Tourists To Contribute RM103 Billlion Next Year - Nazri

photo: MOTAC facebook
MELAKA, Dec 27 (Bernama) -- Malaysia are expecting 30.5 million tourists to contribute RM103 billion in revenue to the country next year said Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.

Nazri was confident that the target can be achieved through various programmes in the pipe line and the existing yearly events, including the festive season Open House practiced in Malaysia.

"The tourism industry and cultural activities is expanding at a tremendous pace with new approaches like Health Tourism, Education and Sports Tourism initiatives to attract tourists to historic destinations.

"For the Tourism and Culture Ministry, the open house concept is not only a yearly event for Christmas and New Year but aimed at boosting the tourism industry, especially in a historical state like Melaka," he said in his speech at the 2015 Malaysia Christmas Open House Celebration at Proclamation of Independence Memorial, Bandar Hilir, here Sunday night.

The celebration was kicked off by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and attended by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup and Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron.

Mohamed Nazri said the uniqueness of Malaysia's diversity and culture were showcased through the Malaysia Year of Festivals 2015 or MyFEST2015 which was themed 'Endless Celebrations'.

Meanwhile, Idris said Melaka registered 12.5 million tourist arrivals as of Oct 31, and hoped the figure would increase by end of the year.

"Yesterday I was informed that not less than 435,000 tourists had come to Melaka in two weeks. I believe activities like the Christmas Open house can further boost tourist arrivals to Melaka and hit the 16 million target next year," he said.

-bernama.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Zahir Mosque Turns 100 Years Old

The frontal view of Zahir Mosque at Alor Setar, Kedah
ALOR SETAR, Dec 26 (Bernama) -- On Oct 15, the Zahir Mosque located in the heart of the city turned 100 years old and the anniversary celebration is scheduled for April 2016.

Surely, the mosque which is also the Royal Mosque has many uniqueness.

Recalling the history of the mosque, also known as the Zahrah Mosque, the Grand Imam, Ustaz Mohd Isa Abd Rahman said the mosque which was built on March 11, 1912 was the brainchild of Tunku Mahmud Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Mukarram Shah, who was the Kedah State Council president and the 26th Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah's younger brother.

It was launched on Friday on Oct 15, 1915 by Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah.

What was more interesting was that during the opening ceremony, Tunku Mahmud delivered the Friday prayers sermon himself while Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah led the prayers.

Mohd Isa said another interesting fact about the Zahir Mosque was that, during the old days, 'nobat' would be played at the 'balai nobat' before the calls of prayer (azan).

"People in the past have no watch to tell the time for prayers. Besides the nobat, the large clock located near the mosque also used to tell the time," he said.

Both the big clock and balai nobat were built together with the construction of the mosque, said Mohd Isa.

He said another unique feature of the Zahir Mosque was that it had 261 pillars made of stones and cement.

"The design used the Corinthian architecture with floral carvings," he said.

He added that the mosque was renovated twice, in 1960 and 1975.

-bernama.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Sepang Circuit Open Track Day - Car @ SIC ( 1~2 & 4~6 January 2016 )

Sepang Circuit Open Track Day - Car on 1-2 January 2016 & 4-6 January 2016. 

Book your slots now, for more info please call 03-87782222.

-Sepang Circuit facebook.

Handicraft Sales From January To November Surpassed Target - Mas Ermieyati

image: MOTAC facebook
JOHOR BAHARU, Dec 25 (Bernama) -- The sales of handicraft from January to November this year has surpassed the RM460 million target as sales reached RM489.50 million.

Deputy minister of Tourism and Culture Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said the achievement showed that the craft industry can be a source of income for those who wished to venture into the industry.

"The committed effort of the Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation (Kraftangan Malaysia) in promoting the industry and craft products has given an encouraging impact," she said when launching the 2015 Johor Craft Festival at Plaza Angsana, here today.

The festival which started yesterday and ends on Dec 29 features a variety of programmes such as craft sales, demonstration, exhibition and craft interactive activities.

Mas Ermieyati said the festival was the best platform to help entrepreneurs involved in handicraft to promote and market their products directly to consumers at reasonable prices.

"It is learnt that the craft sales at the Johor Craft Festival last year had reached RM5.3 million," she said.

-bernama.

Majlis Rumah Terbuka Malaysia - KRISMAS 2015 @ Melaka ( 27 Disember 2015 )

Tarikh: 27 Disember 2015 (Ahad)

Masa: 2.30 petang - 11.30 malam

Tempat: Memorial Pengisytiharan Kemerdekaan,
Bandar Hilir, Melaka

Persembahan Artis Terkenal:
- Dato' Jamal Abdillah
- Francissca Peter
- Jaclyn Victor
- Crystal Lee
- Shan Kilauan Emas
- Dan ramai lagi

Jamuan Rakyat (bermula jam 6.30 petang):
- Aneka kuih-muih tradisional
- Aneka makanan tradisional

Semua Dijemput Hadir.

-MOTAC.

Friday, December 25, 2015

New Year Countdown At KLCC

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 (BERNAMA) -- KLCC (Holdings) Sdn Bhd (KLCCH) wishes to invite everyone to a New Year Countdown at KLCC 2015 (NYC@KLCC 2015) on 31 December 2015 at the Esplanade, KLCC Park.

Celebrate the coming of the New Year with a host of entertaining light, sound and laser show with an exciting blend of musical and cultural showcase for the whole family.  Our artiste line-up for this year include Firman, the winner of Akademi fantasia 2014, Syamel, runner up of Akademi Fantasia 2015 and Natasha Sass, a young and talented Malaysian artiste.

The show begins at 9.00 p.m. with a musical fireworks finale at midnight.

Join us in bidding farewell to 2015 and together we welcome 2016 with joy and hope for a great year ahead.

SOURCE : KLCC (Holdings) Sdn Bhd
-bernama.

SHAAM E DOSTANA - Sonu Nigam & Atif Aslam Live in Concert @ PICC Putrajaya ( 22 January 2016 )

Shaam E Dostana, a grand melodious affair honouring singers of India & Pakistan through a show that witnesses two of the world’s top Bollywood singers, Sonu Nigam & Atif Aslam, coming together for the first time in Malaysian history for the love of music & harmony. 

A musical “ Jugalbandhi “ like never seen before here in Malaysia. Conceived and Produced by Carnival Entertainment and Promoted by Hitman Solutions. This 22nd January 2016, don’t miss out 2016’s Biggest Bollywood Concert.

For more info visit: www.carnivalentertainment.info

-www.ticketcharge.com.my

No HSR stop at Putrajaya


KUALA LUMPUR: High-Speed Rail trains plying between here and Singapore will not stop at Putrajaya, MyHSR Corp confirmed.

MyHSR Corp chief executive Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal said the HSR was supposed to share part of the Express Rail Link’s (ERL) track.
However, higher costs, a more complex agreement and a potential safety risk have led the Government to look at a dedicated HSR line instead.
“Using the ERL track for HSR, it becomes natural for Putrajaya to be in (the alignment).
“But after looking at certain feedback from technical experts, the Government decided to go for a dedicated HSR line,” he told The Star.
Talks are ongoing between Singapore and Malaysia for the 350km project before an international tender for it is expected to open late next year.
This would mean that the next HSR stop after KL would be Seremban.
Mohd Nur said HSR trains would travel at faster speeds than ERL coaches, which move at top speeds of 160kph now.
This, he said, would mean both trains would have to be coordinated for the same track.
Aside from paying ERL Sdn Bhd for using the track, he added that the line would also have to be modified to take HSR trains.
It is not yet known how fast trains on the KL-SG line will travel at, but most in the world now go at speeds of up to 350kph.
Mohd Nur said that while track-sharing with HSR trains was common in European countries, there was a risk of accidents.
“The number of accidents is very low, but the risk is always there,” he said.
Asked what the effects of this move would be, he said it would mean shorter travel times for riders going between KL and Seremban.
However, he said Putrajaya riders could connect with the HSR when its Malaysian terminus was built at Bandar Malaysia.
“The ERL track runs alongside Bandar Malaysia. Once we have this (HSR) service, we will talk to the Government to introduce a Bandar Malaysia stop for ERL,” he said.
The Bandar Malaysia terminus will replace the current Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Sungai Besi.
-thestar online.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Tourism moving Malaysia’s industries forward


Tourism in a national context does not exist in isolation. Tourism exists in an ecosystem that affects other factors such as national economies and industries such as retail, hospitality and real estate. In Malaysia’s case, it has benefited from tourism tremendously.
The tourism industry can have a high degree of influence on a country’s economy. The most accurate way to determine the strength of a country’s economy is by measuring the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is a primary indicator that is used to gauge a nation’s total economic activity.
Travel and tourism directly and indirectly contributes to the GDP of a country. The direct contributors include accommodation services, F&B services, retail trade, transportation services, as well as cultural, sports and recreational services. If the GDP continues to rise, this would indicate that the economy of the country is in good condition and is moving forward.
According to The Globe Shopper Index Asia-Pacific paper, tourism is growing worldwide and the Asia-Pacific region is no exception. According to the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), tourists accounted for 980 million international trips in 2011, of which 216 million were to Asia-Pacific destinations.
The paper had also cited the importance of shopping, which has not been lost
on tourism authorities. National sales in countries like Singapore and Malaysia are used to entice foreign spending. At the same time, tourism strategies in the region frequently seek to increase visitor spending in stores.
Perceiving the impact of tourism on GDP, the malaysian government had acknowledged the potential of tourism sector as a major source of revenue and a catalyst for the malaysian economic renaissance. Thus, to promote tourism in Malaysia, a government agency, namely Tourism Malaysia or in full Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB), had been established.
Tourism Malaysia chairman Wee Choo Keong said, “The dynamic shopping scene in malaysia contributes positively to the malaysian economy and this would not have been possible without the effort of all parties, the retail sector, the shopping associations, and everyone who is part of the larger retail and tourism industry.”
“I would like to take the opportunity to share that for the first half of 2015, the total tourist receipts amounted to RM33.8bil, with shopping constituting the biggest share of it of about RM10bil,” Wee added.
According to Tourism Malaysia, Malaysia registered 27.4 million tourist arrivals and RM72bil in receipts in 2014. Tourists spent RM21.6bil on shopping in Malaysia, an increase of 9.3% compared to RM19.8bil in 2013. Total tourist receipts for 2014 were RM72bil, making tourism as the second-largest foreign exchange earner for Malaysia (after manufactured goods).
The Economic impact in Malaysia 2015 by World Travel & Tourism Council reported that the direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP was RM61bil (5.7% of total GDP) in 2014, and is forecast to rise by 5.6% in 2015, while the total contribution was RM161bil (14.9% GDP) in 2014, and is forecast to rise 5.3% in 2015.
The Malaysia Airports Traffic 2014 from Malaysia Airports Holding Bhd reported a total passenger movements of 83,348,003 in 2014, which include international terminal passengers, domestic terminal passengers, and transit passengers. This showed an increase of 4.7% from 2013, which recorded a total passenger movements of 79,587,084.
Driving the tourism ecosystem
According to Tourism Malaysia official website, they aim to promote malaysia to become an outstanding tourist destination by presenting Malaysia’s unique wonders, attractions and cultures. Their ultimate goal is to see a rising number of foreign tourists to Malaysia and a longer average length of stay, which in turn will boost Malaysia’s tourism revenue.
The scenic view from the chalets at Pangkor Laut Resort.
The scenic view from the chalets at Pangkor Laut Resort.
In 1999, Malaysia’s tourism board came out with one campaign called “Malaysia Truly Asia”. It succeeded in bringing over 7.9 million tourists into malaysia and receipts of around RM12.3bil revenue. The revenue and tourist arrival number kept increasing year-on-year.
Recognising the potential of the retail sector to further boost tourist expenditure in the country, Tourism Malaysia formed Secretariat Shopping Malaysia 12 years ago in 2003 to streamline all efforts in intensifying the development of the shopping sector as a major component of Malaysia’s tourism economy.
One of the early initiatives was to increase the annual nation-wide mega sales Carnival from once a year previously, to thrice yearly to spur shopping in malaysia. The three national level annual campaigns are the 1Malaysia Grand Prix Sale in march, 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival from June to september, and 1Malaysia Year-End Sale from November to January.
These mega shopping seasons lure shoppers with marked-down prices, huge range of products, including duty-free goods, as well as value buys and numerous promotional activities.
Shopping Malaysia eventually became a recognisable brand associated with top-notch shopping. It is promoted in the country and overseas through all Tourism Malaysia’s offices, as well as through various online marketing platforms, including websites and social media, that reach out to a worldwide audience. Tourism missions, dialogues and meetings, at national and international levels, encompass the promotion of Shopping Malaysia.
These are part and parcel of strategies under the Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan 2020 towards 36:168, which positions the Ministry of Tourism and Culture at the forefront to encourage innovation and creativity, to achieve the target of 36 million tourist arrivals and RM168bil in receipts by 2020.
The inviting grand entrance of one of the renowned hotels in Kuala Lumpur city centre.
The inviting grand entrance of one of the renowned hotels in Kuala Lumpur city centre.
“The government authorities have worked hard with many malls to position the nation as a shopping destination for over 10 years. The Malaysian Mega Sales, Year End Sales and GP Sales are amongst the initiatives of partnership, where the government encourages retailers across the nation to hold simultaneous sales across the country,” said Sunway Bhd property investment division managing director Datuk Ngeow Voon Yean.
Stimulating travel business
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), a leading organisation, has also helped in promoting the interests of the travel and tour industry in Malaysia. The group facilitates its members to do business by organising a variety of events.
Apart from the well-known MATTA Fairs that are conducted bi-annually in Kuala Lumpur and many other state Chapters, MATTA also organise B2B sessions to promote domestic tourism, training seminars for cruises, and more.
The MATTA Fair was packed from day one to day three. (MATTA Fair 2015 at PWTC, Kuala Lumpur.)
The MATTA Fair was packed from day one to day three. (MATTA Fair 2015 at PWTC, Kuala Lumpur.)
MATTA official mentioned that there’s not much significant difference between the number of people who choose to travel locally, and the number of people who opt for overseas trips.
The main point to look at is in the “why” they chose that particular location: business, education, visiting family members or friends. If one is interested in new sights and sounds, or even just for a relaxing holiday, there are plenty of options to choose from, both locally and overseas.
Normally, the younger generation is more prepared to go through the hassle of checking in and out at airports and spend more time on their feet, so they would usually choose a more vibrant and adventurous journey.
The older generation, on the other hand, would usually prefer a location where they can relax and unwind, in order to enjoy a better quality time.
Contributing to the hospitality industry
Sunway Bhd property investment division managing director Datuk Ngeow Voon Yean.
Sunway Bhd property investment division managing director Datuk Ngeow Voon Yean.
According to Ngeow, tourism has a direct impact on the hospitality business in Malaysia. He cited that the largest portion from the direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP went to accommodation. “Tourism receipts help us grow and continuously improve the Group’s hospitality businesses, and thereby solidify our offerings to visitors from around over the world.
“Next year, for instance, we will have an exciting year ahead as we plan to open the 401-room Sunway Pyramid Tower West early next year, which will be connected to the expanded section of Sunway Pyramid. Under our Asset Enhancement Initiative, Pyramid Tower East will undergo major refurbishment next year, to be transformed into a four-and- a-half-star hotel in February 2017.
“The main Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa will also undergo a transformation into a brand new international five-star hotel. By 2018, we will be the largest and most integrated hotel development in the Klang Valley, prepared to support the nation’s tourism aims with over 2,400 rooms in the region.
“In addition, tourism receipts also help us innovate and pursue service excellence
in human capital development. One of the major drives in our hotel is customer- centricity. An example of this is how we are currently customising our services to meet the demands of travellers from our main markets.
“For instance, we bring in Arabic translators to assist our guests and have two Middle Eastern chefs in The Resort Café to serve F&B options, which are favourable to them. We are also personalising our services for tourists from China with additional well- trained Mandarin-speaking personnel at our hotel,” Ngeow explained.
Shopping destinations and zones
It is noteworthy that certain shopping destinations and zones have been earmarked for development. Such developments can potentially stimulate economic activity and also impact retail real estate values.
According to Tourism Malaysia, several clusters of major shopping destinations have been identified for high-impact development under the Tourism National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) strategic plan. The destinations are the Klang Valley (covering Kuala Lumpur and Selangor), Penang, Johor, Malacca, Kota Kinabalu, Labuan, Kuching, Miri and Langkawi.
In addition, Extended Shopping Zones with attractive shopping attributes have also been earmarked for development and promotion along with the major shopping destinations.
The Extended Shopping Zones are Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman Heritage Shopping Zone, Kuala Lumpur (private sector participation in this area is driven by the Batu Road Retailers Association or BARRA, representing some 300 businesses at Jalan Tuanku Abdul rahman); Bandar Utama, Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya and Mutiara Damansara, Selangor; George Town, Penang; Malacca; Johor Bahru, Johor; Kota Kinabalu in Sabah; and Kuching and Miri in Sarawak.
A leading travel and shopping destination
The fact that Malaysia had won several leading tourism awards and leads in international shopping destination rankings should not be taken lightly.
Malaysia has led winners at the World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony 2015 in Hong Kong. Tourism Malaysia was recognised as Asia’s Leading Tourist Board, while Malaysia itself took the title of Asia’s Leading Destination.
Other accolades for Malaysia includes Pangkor Laut Resort and One World Hotel, which have taken the titles of Asia’s Leading Wedding Venue and Asia’s Leading Meetings & Conference Hotel respectively.
The official portal of ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia stated that Malaysia was placed as the 11th most visited country in the world in 2014 by World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and as the most halal/muslim-friendly holiday destination for five consecutive years from 2011 to 2015 by CrescentRating’s Halal Friendly Travel (CraHFT).
Wee said, “We are also excited to be recognised as a top-notch shopping destination. Recently, Malaysia secured the second-top position as the Best Shopping Destination 2015 in the Muslim Travel Shopping Index by CrescentRating and MasterCard.”
“The global news network CNN ranked Kuala Lumpur as the world’s 4th Best shopping City, after New York, Tokyo and London, for two consecutive years in 2012 and 2013. The Geneva-based Globe Shopper Index ranked Kuala Lumpur as the second- best shopping destination in Asia Pacific 2012,” Wee added.
The index’s Asia-Pacific paper stated that Kuala Lumpur rarely finished first on individual index indicators, and its best category score is second. Although seldom leading, it is consistently strong, being the only city to finish in the top 10 in every category.
The city’s specific strength is the ability to combine low prices with a good range of products in a large number of stores, including three of the world’s 10 biggest shopping malls. Such malls include 1 Utama, the world’s fourth largest, which boasts its own rainforest with 100 varieties of flora and fauna.
Brilliant, sparkling Christmas decorations adorn the main entrance to Pavilion Kuala Lumpur along Jalan Bukit Bintang..
Brilliant, sparkling Christmas decorations adorn the main entrance to Pavilion Kuala Lumpur along Jalan Bukit Bintang.
From high-end fashion of Bukit Bintang and KLCC areas to street market like Central Market and Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur is the perfect place to experience city’s shopping scene in Malaysia.
Sunway Pyramid, which is located in Sunway Resort City, is one of the best- known tourism destinations within the region. The synergistic integration of their hospitality, multi-park attractions and retail components, offers tourists a convenient place to play, shop and stay, all within a safe, and connected township.
“In the Globe Shopper Index, Sunway Pyramid was highlighted as one of the main retail attractions for our themed architecture, themed precincts and our ice rink. The recognition has affected us positively as the ranking created a halo effect for the entire tourism and retail industry,” said Ngeow.
“Shopping is a major activity for tourists as our goods here are comparatively cheaper or more affordable than their home country, as well as other parts of Asia such as Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo and Singapore. They may not make the bulk of the retail purchase, but depending on malls, the percentage of retail purchase by tourists could be as high as 30%,” he added.
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, the defining authority in fashion, dining and urban leisure
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, the defining authority in fashion, dining and urban leisure
In the case of Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, it is the first mall in Malaysia to showcase the luxury duplex retailing concept that boasts an excellent tenant mix of over 550 stores, 20% of which are new brands to Malaysia.
As the defining authority in fashion, dining and urban leisure, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur has brought about retail innovation and excellence since its opening in 2007. The mall also presents some of the city’s most exciting fashion festivals, launches and signature events.
“With Kuala Lumpur being ranked as the second best shopping city, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, and the surrounding malls can expect to receive more tourist shoppers, which in no doubt will boost the retail businesses in the mall,” said Pavilion Kuala Lumpur CEO of retail Joyce Yap.
A tourist looking at the little festive gifts offered in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.
A tourist looking at the little festive gifts offered in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.
“Retail brands located in the city centre are affected more by the ups and downs
of tourism in Malaysia because the area is most concentrated with international hotels, notably Pavilion Kuala Lumpur where 30% of its shoppers are tourists.
“With the strong presence of tourism, retailers in malaysia will enjoy healthier revenues, which in turn will boost the overall economy. A healthy and stable economy will make Malaysia as an attractive country for foreign investors who will bring about growth in the country’s real estate value,” enthused Yap.
In conclusion, it is clear that tourism has a positive impact on Malaysia’s economy and industries. This in turn benefits various stakeholders in such industries.
-www.starproperty.com