Saturday, 31 January 2015

Malaysia Confident Of Achieving 29.4 Million Tourist Arrivals In 2015

photo: MOTAC facebook
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 (Bernama) -- Tourism Malaysia is confident of achieving the target of getting 29.4 million tourist arrivals this year in view of the Malaysia Year of Festival 2015 despite the volatile economic condition.

Its Deputy Director-General (Promotion), Datuk Azizan Noordin said Tourism Malaysia is positive of the tourism outlook and on track to achieving the target, driven by various initiatives taken, including promotional and advertising blitz throughout the world.

"Last year, we targeted 28 million tourist arrivals and until October 2014, we managed to get 22.12 million tourist arrivals," he told reporters at the launch of the International Islamic Trade, Business and Tourism Fair 2015 (i-Tradebiz 2015) here Friday.

Azizan said there was a recovery of tourist arrivals from China after a lull following two air tragedies involving the Malaysia Airlines. MAS flight MH370 bound for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur disappeared on March 8 while flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17.

Azizan said tourist arrivals from China dropped by 11.1 per cent between January and September 2014, but it rose in October 2014 by 5.2 per cent after the two air tragedies. He said that the depreciation of ringgit is an advantage to foreign tourists as it add value to their money.

"With higher foreign currencies like euro, pound and yen, foreign tourists would find that prices of goods are cheaper than before in Kuala Lumpur, which was rated the world's fourth best shopping haven.

"Since July last year, many airlines have been operating chartered flights weekly from China to Malaysia and this will encourage more tourist arrivals," he said, adding that Malaysia Tourism is targeting more Chinese tourists during the Chinese New Year festival following the visa fee waiver announcement recently.


Friday, 30 January 2015

Star-studded cast at the Maybank Malaysian Open as Miguel Angel returns

Spanish star Miguel Angel Jimenez is set to make his fourth appearence at the Maybank Malaysian Open from Feb 5-8 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. - EPA
Spanish star Miguel Angel Jimenez is set to make his fourth appearence at the Maybank Malaysian Open from Feb 5-8 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. - EPA
PETALING JAYA: Pony-tailed Spanish golfer Miguel Angel Jimenez has joined the star-studded field at the US$3mil (RM10.88mil) Maybank Malaysian Open next week.

Defending champion Lee Westwood and Ryder Cuppers Victor Dubuisson, Graeme McDowell and team captain Paul McGinley were the first batch of stars to confirm their participation at the European Tour and Asian Tour co-sanctioned event.

The charismatic 51-year-old Jimenez is returning for his fourth appearance, having last played in 2006. The four-time Ryder Cup winner’s best finish was a tie for sixth spot in 2004 and 2005.

But Jimenez is heading to the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) from Feb 5-8 in buoyant mood after clinching his first title of the season at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii, which is the season-opener for the Champions Tour.

Last year, Jimenez became the first man over the age of 50 to win on the European Tour at the Spanish Open en route to clinching a remarkable 21st crown on the Tour.

Also joining Jimenez at the KLGCC are 23-year-old Frenchman Gary Stal and England’s Danny Willett, who picked up their European Tour victories recently, as well as multiple European Tour winner Robert Karlsson of Sweden and Stephen Gallacher of Scotland.

Stal will be pumped up after his maiden breakthrough at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship two weeks ago where he defeated world No. 1 Rory McIlroy.
The 27-year-old Willett boasts two titles under his belt including a recent win at the South African Nedbank Golf Challenge last month.

Also in the line-up is South Korea’s Yang Yong-eun, whose famous victory over Tiger Woods at the 2009 PGA Championship made him the first Major champion from Asia.

Yong-eun will form the Asian brigade alongside two-time Malaysian Open champion Arjun Atwal of India, former Asian Tour No. 1 Liang Wen-chong of China and world No. 38 Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, a three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner.

Malaysia will be represented by 22 golfers led by Danny Chia, Nicholas Fung and Arie Irawan Fauzi.
-thestar online.

MotoGP legend Stoner leads early world-class action in Sepang

SEPANG – World-class motorcycling action gets an early start at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) this year with MotoGP legend and two-time world champion, Casey Stoner, returning to Malaysia for pre-season testing with the Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) team.
Stoner, whose contract as HRC test rider was recently extended by another year, will be conducting the team’s private testing for two days beginning today before the MotoGP teams and riders start their first official pre-season test for 2015 the following week.

“Stoner’s return to Sepang is a great start for motorcycle racing this year. His fans here will love to see him in action again. Immediately, after the HRC test, we will be having the first official test session for the MotoGP riders.

“We will also be hosting the first ever test session for the non-MotoGP teams. This session will be for our own SIC Racing Team and Malaysia’s new Moto2 team, JP Moto. As Malaysian-based teams, they have been granted permission to do their testing in Sepang. They will not have to join the Moto2 and Moto3 riders in Europe,” says SIC Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Razlan Razali today.

The new Malaysian Moto2 and Moto3 teams will take part in their maiden official test session from Feb 18 to 20.

Meanwhile, the first official pre-season testing for MotoGP in 2015 will be from Feb 4-7 while the second session is scheduled from Feb 23 to 26.

While SIC Racing Team features Malaysian rider, Muhammad Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Jakub Kornfeil of the Czech Republic, the newly-established JP Moto features Malaysia’s rising star, Muhammad Zaqhwan Zaidi, holder of three championship crowns – the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) 600cc Supersport title, the CP130 Malaysian Cub Prix Championship title and the Malaysian Super Series Superbike crown.

Malaysia’s two other Moto2 riders – Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah and Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman of Petronas Malaysia Raceline and Idemitsu Honda Team Asia respectively, will be joining the rest of the championship riders in their official test in Valencia from Feb 10 to 12 and a second session from Feb 17 to 19 at Jerez Circuit in Spain.

“The tests will be a preview of the level of action that awaits fans when the season blasts off in Qatar in March. I am excited with the participation of the new teams and the potential they offer.

“This year, the Aprilia and Suzuki factory teams have returned to the MotoGP fold. Marco Melandri will be joining Aprilia while Suzuki will have the flamboyant Maverick Vinales in their ranks this year. Other interesting news includes Australian Moto3 ace, Jack Miller moving directly to MotoGP,” said Dato Razlan.

“The most significant developments this year are the participation of the SIC Racing Team and JP Moto who are backed by passionate motorsports fans, JP Chin and Raja Zaini.

SIC Racing Team and JP Moto will have their second test session from March 2 to 5, which will be run together with the first official test for Shell Asia Talent Cup. The ATC is a regional series promoted and organised by Dorna and supported by SIC.

“Fans can catch all the action during the tests from the Main Grandstand at no charge,” Dato’ Razlan said.

In conjunction with the MotoGP official pre-season test, Dato’ Razlan said SIC would be offering early bird tickets prices for the 2015 Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, which will be held at the end of October.

Discounted tickets would also be offered for the second edition of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship 2015 Malaysian Round and the 2015 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix™, which will be held from March 27 to 29.

BA's Malaysia comeback a boost to inbound business

Having suspended flights in 2001 as global travel slowed following the 9/11 incident, British Airways (BA) will resume direct daily flights from London to Kuala Lumpur from May 27 this year. 

Operating the service on a B777-200ER, BA will increase capacity by 219 seats on a route currently monopolised by Malaysia Airlines (MAS), which flies twice daily on the London-Kuala Lumpur route using an Airbus A380 with 500 seats.

Saif-ul Haque, CEO of London-based Halcyon Collections, said the BA brand has mileage and will create interest in the destination with marketing and PR efforts to re-establish the route.

He added: “Certain high-end clients of mine are BA fans; they believe in its service, so its re-entry will help prop up business.”

On the other hand, David Carlaw, head of faraway product at Premier Holidays UK, opined that it will be advantageous if BA has codeshare agreements with other airlines for add-ons to other destinations like Penang, Langkawi, Singapore and Thailand, as customers also want to travel beyond Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia’s inbound travel operators are also upbeat about BA’s return. Arokia Das, senior manager at Luxury Tours Malaysia, said: “Extra capacity and competition on this route will reduce air fares, which is good for the traveller. Traditionally, the UK has been the top inbound European market to Malaysia, and extra capacity gives room for growth for both inbound and outbound travel.

“We plan to strengthen our presence in the UK by setting up a sales office in London in 2H2015 to cover both UK and Germany.” 

Diethelm Malaysia managing director, Manfred Kurz, said additional capacity on this direct route will also allow MICE organisers from the UK to bring in bigger groups.

“The weakened ringgit has also made the destination more affordable; we will talk to our partners in the UK to look at new promotions we can do together to further promote Malaysia.”

Likewise, Adam Kamal, CEO, Rakyat Travel, revealed that the company will start looking at opportunities to get a share of the MICE business from the UK and Europe by participating in IMEX and EIBTM.
-TTG Asia.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Malaysia Won Best ASEAN Marketing And Promotional Campaign At ATF 2015

Nay Pyi Taw, 29 January 2015Malaysia was awarded the Best ASEAN Marketing and Promotional Campaign at the 34th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) which was held from 22 to 29 January 2015 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.

It was presented during the opening ceremony of the ATF held at the Myanmar International Convention Center, here, on 26 January 2015.

The Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, YBhg. Datuk Dr. Ong Hong Peng received the award from the Minister of Hotels and Tourism, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, His Excellency U Htay Aung.

ATF comprises the ASEAN Tourism Ministers’ Meeting, ASEAN Tourism Ministers and Dialogue Partners Meetings, TRAVEX (Travel Exchange) and ASEAN Tourism Conference. The ASEAN Tourism Ministers’ Meeting is preceded by the official level meetings of the ASEAN National Tourism Organizations.

Each year, the hosting of ATF is rotated among the member states: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. This year, ATF was held in Myanmar for the first time since its inauguration in 1981. The theme 'ASEAN – Tourism towards Peace, Prosperity and Partnership' is in line with the theme of Myanmar's ASEAN Chairmanship in 2014, based on the three pillars of building the ASEAN Community – peace, prosperity and unity.

ATF is a cooperative regional effort to promote the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region as a single tourism destination where Asian hospitality and cultural diversity are at its best.

-Tourism Malaysia.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

GOASEAN TV to beam spotlight on tourism

ASEAN tourism ministers at their meeting on Monday welcomed Malaysia’s initiative to establish a homegrown English language ASEAN-focused TV travel channel for all member countries to promote the tourism industry collectively.

GOASEAN will be aired 24/7, on four-hour cycles of six loops, showcasing destinations and tourism products in different concepts and formats to suit a variety of interests, from tourism trivia, travel news and documentaries to travel reality shows, as well as incorporating social media.

From June, GOASEAN will first be aired in Malaysia; by 2016, across the ASEAN region; and by 2017, to a global audience.

Ong Hong Peng, Malaysia's head of NTO, said the broadcasts will be available via platforms such as free-to-air, direct-to-home satellite TV service, and pay TV.

During the meeting, the ministers also endorsed Malaysia’s proposal for ASEAN NTOs to work closely with industry players in the region to create more ASEAN tourism packages online for promotion within South-east Asia and globally via the ASEAN tourism website.

Ong said: “Both initiatives are in line with ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan to promote ASEAN as a single tourism destination.”
-TTG Asia.

Malaysia Year Of Festivals 2015 Launched At ATF 2015

NAY PYI TAW, MYANMAR, 28 January 2015 Malaysia is taking part in the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, this year. The week-long ATF offers Malaysia a strong marketing platform to market and create awareness for the Malaysia Year of Festivals or MyFest 2015 to its ASEAN counterparts.

The Malaysia delegation is headed by the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Datuk Dr. Ong Hong Peng, the Deputy Chairman of Tourism Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Maznah Mazlan, and the Director General of Tourism Malaysia, Dato’ Mirza Mohammad Taiyab.

MyFest 2015 is a continuation of the Visit Malaysia Year campaign from last year, and aims to promote Malaysia’s cultural aspect as a tourist attraction. Themed “Endless Celebrations”, a total of 50 cultural events and festivities have been identified as key cultural attractions in Malaysia. The campaign is expected to significantly boost arrivals of tourists to Malaysia, with targets of 29.4 million tourist arrivals and RM89 billion in tourist receipts in 2015.

As in previous years, the ATF 2015 sees the participation of an elite Malaysian delegation, comprising of 55 hoteliers, travel agents, theme park operators, and state tourism boards (Penang State Tourism, Sabah Tourism Board, and Tourism Selangor Sdn. Bhd), who will make their sales pitch at the three-day ATF TRAVEX (Travel Exchange) to over 400 international buyers.

On 28 January, Tourism Malaysia will give a presentation to the media on the MyFest 2015 campaign and the 50 events which are happening this year. Later in the evening, the MyFest 2015 campaign will be launched at the ‘Malaysia Gala Night Dinner’ at MAX Hotel. The attendees consisting of buyers, media, Malaysian sellers, and invited guests will have the chance to watch the award-winning video titled ‘Malaysia Truly Asia - The Essence of Asia’ recorded by internationally renowned Malaysian singer, Yuna.

-Tourism Malaysia.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

2015 Royal FLORIA Putrajaya Flower and Garden Festival

For the first time ever, the Royal FLORIA Putrajaya will showcase its very own Spring and Winter Gardens when it opens from 30 May to 7 June 2015 which is also a first during school holidays, at its permanent site known as Anjung Floria in Precinct 4, Putrajaya.
Benchmarking the Chelsea Flower Show, the largest festival of flowers and gardens in this region will be back with more attractive colours and varieties of flora to tantalize your imagination. Themed ‘Tapestry of Hues’, Royal FLORIA Putrajaya 2015 promises an exhibition of the theme flower Lily and its family in specially designed gardens and exhibits.
2015 Flower and Garden Festival

2015 Royal Floria PutrajayaThe 8th edition of Malaysia’s very own international flower and garden festivalhosted by Perbadanan Putrajaya (PPj) with the cooperation of the Ministry of Federal Territories and Tourism Malaysia is augered to be a bigger and better one with various new components that is expected to bring in more local visitors and foreign tourists at its permanent grounds in Precinct 4, now known as Anjung Floria. Effective this year, Putrajaya Floria Sdn Bhd (PFSB) a wholly owned subsidiary of PjC will manage Royal FLORIA Putrajaya.logo putrajayafloria
International participants are a big draw at FLORIA with more of them making an appearance each subsequent year. This year, we expect to better last year’s record of 43 international participants from 23 nations by targeting 50 international participants namely floral designers and landscape architects who hail from Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Hong Kong/Macau, India, Indonesia, Itali, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Oman, Philippines, Republic of Moldova, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand dan United Kingdom.
They will exhibit indoor and outdoor garden displays besides giving visitors an insight into the creativity and expertise of local and international landscape designers via numerous outdoor garden displays by government agencies, corporate bodies, private sector, associations, growers, universities as well as secondary and primary schools.
At the press conference of the Royal FLORIA Putrajaya 2015, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri (Dr.) Aseh Hj Che Mat said, “As part of efforts undertaken to place Royal FLORIA Putrajaya as a destination on the international flower shows map as well as towards our branding, we would be inviting organisers of other international shows like Chelsea Flower Show and Melbourne Flower Show to Royal FLORIA Putrajaya. Furthermore, new components are also being put in place as more offerings to visitors and our loyal followers of the last 7 outings.”
Stargazer Lily at Royal Floria Putrajaya
“Among them are the Spring and Winter Gardens that will provide a simulation of spring and winter gardens in Europe during those seasons, with actual snow fall. These gardens will provide a new experience to visitors not only in terms of weather and temperature that is controlled with the use of technology, but also flowers like tulips and roses. Roses from Kenya are said to be the best in the world and we have the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of these flowers at Royal FLORIA Putrajaya. Our gardens would be the first outdoor Spring and Winter Gardens in a flower show in Malaysia.”
“The Floral Pavilion which has always been a focal point for visitors will present the all new Embassy Row. Embassy Row will be supported by several Embassies representing their respective countries to showcase flowers from their countries in various variations, designs and creative compositions. For the record, the High Commission of Kenya is the first to join our Embassy Row.”
For the ease of visitors who are expected to come in hordes, entrance ticket counters will open two days before FLORIA kicks off, on May 28 and 29 from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm.
international flower and garden festival
A special package for visitors has also been introduced ie. the Friendship Pack for Anjung Floria and Blooms Pack for Royal FLORIA Putrajaya 2015 marketed through travel agencies locally and internationally with the support of Tourism Malaysia who is assisting with promotional efforts for FLORIA Royal Putrajaya 2015.
As with each edition of Royal FLORIA Putrajaya, a number of awards are up for grabs. These include the Royal FLORIA Putrajaya International Cup for the winning design among international participants at the Floral Pavilion, Royal FLORIA Putrajaya Garden Cup for the overall winner of the outdoor garden showcase and the Royal FLORIA International Orchid Competition.
Other highlights of Royal FLORIA Putrajaya 2015 are the Lily Garden, Royal Garden Designer Gardens, Tea Party Garden, Innovation Garden, Cats Garden, Kids Gardens and Floral Pavilion.
Other attractions include the Garden Bazaar and Horticultural Market that sells everything a gardener needs, from flowering plants to trees, garden furniture, garden equipment, biotech products and landscaping services.
More than 300 daily activities are held throughout the nine-day FLORIA Putrajaya that include floral arrangement demonstrations, gardening workshops, entertainment, photography competition, watercolour arts competition as well as arts and crafts.
As with each FLORIA Putrajaya, new attractions are constantly included to give added value to this annual event. This year, highlights include The Winter and Spring Gardens, Spa Garden, Pinwheel Garden, English Garden and Glamping Garden in sync with the theme for this year’s gardens which is “Outdoor Lifestyles”.
Flower and Garden Show
The China-Malaysia Friendship Garden, a Lingnan-styled garden is the first permanent component at Anjung Floria. Implemented as the first friendship garden in Putrajaya, this garden was developed in collaboration with the Malaysia-China Friendship Association and is now frequented by local and foreign visitors.
Another attraction is FLORIA Flavours which is expected to be a big hit again this time, offering authentic cuisine from various states in Malaysia under one roof. Tantalize your taste buds with your favourite dishes from states like Malacca, Johor, Perak, Penang and Terangganu, among others.
A new attraction at the last FLORIA , FLORIA Arts & Crafts is a must-see and must-visit spot. Coordinated by Perbadanan Kraftangan Selangor, an exhibition as well as more than 90 retail lots offer arts and crafts inspired by plants, landscape and nature with daily art and craft activities held at designated times at this pavilion.
Once again, another exciting gathering of budding talents from Secondary Schools and Primary Schools is set to take place in Putrajaya. The program is aimed at attracting students to participate in the Garden Competition to impart their very own design and implementation opportunities in “hands-on” creative garden building works, under close supervision of their respective teachers. Altogether, 20 primary schools, 20 secondary schools and 20 universities will participate in this competition.
The Schools and University Gardens Competition is an attraction not to be missed at FLORIA Putrajaya as students from Secondary Schools and Primary Schools pit their creative ideas in building their very own gardens.
School and University Garden
As is the norm every year, another exciting gathering of future leaders from local Universities will impart their creativity, design and implementation techniques in “hands-on” creative garden building works in the University Gardens Competition.
Now an annual event, FLORIA Putrajaya is always eagerly awaited by the public because of the unique beauty of the flora on display in attractively designed landscaped gardens, coupled with sparkling lights at night.
Promising a spectacular display at Anjung Floria along the Promenade in Precinct 4, Royal FLORIA Putrajaya is open to the public from 9am to 10.30pm (Monday to Thursday) and from 9am to 12 midnight (Friday to Sunday).

SKY A Valuable Addition To The Participating Teams List Of LTDL

KUALA LUMPUR - The twentieth Le Tour de Langkawi will feature a prestigious start list when the race will kick off from Malaysia’s legendary island on March 8 for an eight-day journey to Kuala Lumpur via the east coast and Genting Highlands.

For the first time, double Tour de France winners Team Sky (with Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and Chris Froome in 2013) will top the list of the participating World Teams alongside returning Orica-GreenEdge, Astana and Tinkoff-Saxo.
“Those teams are four of the five very best in the world”, noted the CEO of the 2015 Le Tour de Langkawi Datuk Malik Mydin. “We’re talking about teams who have won three Tour de France, one Giro d’Italia and two Vuelta a España in the past three years. It’s a huge honour to have them racing in Malaysia. Their faith in our organization is very much appreciated.”

Astana won the 2013 Giro and the 2014 Tour with Vincenzo Nibali, Tinkoff-Saxo won the Vuelta with Alberto Contador in 2012 and 2014. Orica-GreenEdge led those three Grand Tours in the past two years: the 2013 Tour de France with former LTdL participants Simon Gerrans and Daryl Impey, the 2014 Giro and Vuelta with Michael Matthews who also used LTdL as a stepping stone in his career with two stage wins in 2011 at the age of 19.

“It’s always fantastic to hear champions like Richie Porte saying that they’ve kept a found memory of Malaysia”, Datuk Malik said. “That’s the tradition we want to maintain as Le Tour de Langkawi is reaching the age of 20. That’s also why we insist on having a well balanced field that includes World Teams and Pro Continental teams but also third tier teams from continental level to give Asians and emerging cycling countries a chance to step up to the highest level.”

Seven Pro Continental teams will make their way to Malaysia with French outfit Bretagne-Séché taking part for the first time. “It means one more Tour de France team as they recently got a wild card for the second consecutive year”, Datuk Malik added. “We’re also glad that MTN-Qhubeka will come back to LTdL after they received their first ever invitation to the Tour de France.” Italian based Androni-Venezuela, Bardiani CSF and Southeast, all invited to the 2015 Giro d’Italia, will return to Langkawi, as well as Team Colombia who took the first yellow jersey with Duber Quintero last year and America’s Unitedhealthcare with a seriously reinforced roster.

Eleven continental teams, all from Asia and emerging cycling countries with close ties with Malaysia have been selected to complete the start list. It includes first timers Torku Sekerspor from Turkey and Skydive Dubai from the UAE as well as one more local team NSC, representing the National Sports Council of Malaysia, has joined the country’s favourites Terengganu in the continental ranks.

ATF Travex 2015 hits a record 527 booths

ATF 2015 has attracted some 1,000 Travex delegates from the 10 ASEAN member countries, occupying 527 booths and 300 buyers, said Jason Ng, executive director of MP International.

ASEAN member countries make up the largest buyer contingent at 45 per cent, followed by 33 per cent from Europe and 11 per cent from other Asian countries.

Ng said: “We are expecting 30 to 35 local Myanmar buyers to register on site. The government has given international buyers priority to register first.”

On the seller side, Myanmar has the biggest contingent, taking up 35 per cent of space, followed by Thailand, corporates, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Over the next few days, some 2,000 delegates from 50 countries including 300 government delegates, Travex attendees and media will gather in Nay Pyi Taw.

Ng said this turnout is above target. “Although Nay Pyi Taw has experience in hosting international events, it does not have a dedicated exhibition hall. MICC 1 is a state building for presidential events. We are privileged to be able to use it for ATF, showing the commitment of the government.”

The private and public sectors have given full support in providing hassle-free visas-on-arrival and customs clearance for delegates.

On the private-sector side, Golden Myanmar Air has added Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw flights while SilkAir has extended one of its Singapore-Yangon flights to Nay Pyi Taw during peak delegate arrivals and departure.
-TTG Asia.

Penang To Host First Hot Air Balloon Festival In The State

GEORGE TOWN, Jan 26 (Bernama) -- After the International Hot Air Balloon Festival in Putrajaya, Penang, will host the Penang Hot Air Balloon Festival on Feb 21 and 22.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the first-ever programme in Penang, would be held at Padang Polo here and showcase 15 hot air balloons in various shapes such as Trump, Darth Vader and Humpty Dumpty.

"We are planning to make this programme an annual event which can attract more tourists to the state. I hope there can be more such programmes which will increase the number of tourists to Penang.

"The number of tourists coming here dropped a little in December compared with last year. Not only Penang, but other states also experienced the same situation. So, I hope this programme will help increase the number of tourists coming to this state," he said in a press conference here today.

He added that although the number of tourist arrivals to the state had dropped, there was an increase in tourists who stayed at hotels here with 3.1 million from January to June last year, compared with 2.4 million during the same period in 2013.

Lim said the cooperation of various parties was needed to organise interesting programmes and to increase the number of tourists to Penang.

Meanwhile, Penang Tourism Malaysia Deputy Director, Haryanty Abu Bakar who was also present at the press conference said efforts would be focused on bringing in more tourists from neighbouring countries and promoting Malaysia through similar programmes.

Besides the Penang Hot Air Balloon Festival, there would also be a charity run held on Feb 21 from Padang Polo to Taman Belia here.

There would also be family activities such as games, creative workshop, archery events, photography competitions, Para motor and remote control airplane/helicopter shows during the two days.


Monday, 26 January 2015

AirAsia drops fuel surcharge for all flights

In line with declining global oil prices, AirAsia will abolish fuel surcharge effective January 26, 2015 across all of its airlines, including its low-cost longhaul affiliates AirAsia X, Thai AirAsia X and Indonesia AirAsia X.

Plummeting aviation fuel prices had earlier promoted Japan’s two main airlines, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, to trim their ticket surcharges too.

“We are a high-value, low-fare airline and we will continue to strive to make flying as affordable as possible,” commented AirAsia’s group CEO, Tony Fernandes.

“This decision has been made in November 2014, which was in line with declining global oil prices. However, we are only able to implement it now, but we believe removing fuel surcharge and reducing travel costs will be a huge boost to the tourism industry. This will be a plus point for consumers, but the economy will also benefit from this as the tourism industry is a great job creator.”

With the removal of fuel surcharge from its fares, AirAsia’s domestic flights are expected to begin from as low as RM19 (US$5.30) one-way all-in and international flights from RM49 one-way all-in.

AirAsia was the first airline to abolish fuel surcharge for all its domestic and international flights back in 2008, however rocketing fuel prices forced the airline to re-introduce fuel surcharge into its fares in 2011.
-TTG Asia.

Royal Floria Putrajaya 2015 @ Anjung Floria, Putrajaya ( 30 May - 7 June 2015 )

Sunday, 25 January 2015


The Johor Society for the Performing Arts (JSPA), organisers of eleven years of the JB Arts Festival, is proud to present a new event set to bring live, improvised music sure to quicken the pulse of jazz fans around the region - The Johor Bahru Jazz Fest 2015. The JB Jazz Fest 2015 is the first of five (5) festivals included under the 12th JB Arts Festival 2015, which is featured in the calendar for Malaysia Tourism's MYFest 2015 as an official event in the state of Johor. Living legends are coming to JB! The JB Jazz Fest 2015 will feature world-class saxophonist Sadao Watanabe, and Italian acapella group Mezzotono, along with well-known jazz names from around the region such as Steve Thornton and Afro Asia with Razak Rahman, Jeremy Monteiro and Alberto Marsico with the Jazz Blues Brothers, The David Gomes Jazz Ensemble with Junji Delfino, Xiong Quintet, and The Rustika Quartet.
JB Jazz Fest 2015 Facebook event:

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Penang Tourism: Promoting Cycle Lanes In Urban Heritage Areas

GEORGE TOWN, Jan 24 (Bernama) -- Tourism Malaysia Penang is actively promoting bicycle lanes in urban heritage areas to bring visitors to the historic sites in the state.

Its deputy director, Haryanty Abu Bakar, said it was a complementary product after the launch of the double decker tour bus, 'Hop-On Hop-Off' which has become a new attraction in Penang since November last year.

"The cycling package which we successfully accomplished in collaboration with industry players is seen as a suitable approach for visitors to familiarise themselves with the unique cultural heritage of Penang," she said after the Media Bike Ride Treasure Hunt 2015 programme, here today.

"We are planning a follow-up edition to this inaugural programme and planning to add additional activities to attract people from various age groups to participate," she added.

In the meantime, Haryanty said in conjunction with the Visit Penang Year 2015 they are targeting 5.7 million tourist arrivals this year, an increase of 0.2 million compared with last year.

She said more than 20 interesting programmes have been designed to highlight the concept of 'festival' as the main attraction throughout the year.

Earlier, a total of 40 participants comprising Penang media practitioners, from the Department of Culture and Arts, Penang, and from the State Handicraft Development Corporation joined the cycling expedition covering a distance of 6.5 kilometres.