Saturday, 31 October 2015

Tourism Malaysia Promotes Sabah Food Trail Packages

SANDAKAN, 30 October 2015 – Tourism Malaysia Sabah launched a new brochure today to promote Sabah as a food paradise. The “Sabah Food Trail” brochure was launched by Datuk Kamarlin Hj Ombi, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Enviroment Sabah. The brochure, which contains nine interesting Food Trail tour packages, is published in collaboration with six travel agencies.

It is created to promote local food and natural attractions in Sabah. The tour packages, which range from 2 Days 1 Night to 5 Days 4 Nights, give foreign and domestic tourists a chance to explore their taste buds by trying local delicacies and mingle with the local community.

Datuk Kamarlin said that Sandakan is clearly the backbone of Sabah’s tourism industry. Sandakan town is blessed with bountiful natural attractions, such as Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, Sukau-Kinabatangan, Selingan Island, heritage, and fabulous food. He congratulated Tourism Malaysia and participating agents for their effort. This initiative marks yet another milestone in boosting tourist arrivals to Sabah, particularly Sandakan.

Each tour packages offers different attractions. For instance, those who join the 3D/2N Sabah Cooking Experience get to enjoy Hajah Halimah traditional food cooking experience, along with a guided city tour, local food experience, and a visit to the market.

The 4D/3N Food In Wonderland package allows tourists to experience local food and market, along with guided tours of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Kinabalu Park, Desa Cattle Farm, Poring Hot Spring and Sabah Tea Garden.  

Wildlife enthusiasts should opt for the 3D/2N Sandakan Seafood Channel, which includes guided tours of Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre and Heritage Tour, besides local food experience (seafood) and market.

The 5D/4N Borneo Food Hunter package allows tourists to participate in a cooking lesson at Rumah Terbalik (upside down house), in addition to guided tours of Mari-Mari Cultural Village, Kinabalu Park, Poring Hot Spring, city tour, local food experience and market.

Other tour packages are Food Lover In KK, Makan-Makan Kita Bah, KK Food Mania, Sandakan Food Galore, and Pusing-Pusing Cari Makan. 

Those who are interested to join the tour packages can contact any of the six (6) agents for further details.

Tourism Malaysia Sabah will also be promoting the tour packages through websites, online social media, email blast and distribution of brochures at Tourism Malaysia state and overseas offices. 
-Tourism Malaysia.

CIMB Classic 2015 Round 3 Notes

photo: PelanconganKini
Weather: Hot and humid weather with temperatures reaching 91 degrees with winds shifting from the North to the West at 4-8 mph.

Due to wet conditions, preferred lies were used during the third round.

Third-Round Leaderboard 
Justin Thomas69-61-67 - 196 (-20)
Brendan Steele67-63-66 - 196 (-20)
Kevin Na67-66-64 - 196 (-19)
James Hahn70-65-64 - 199 (-17)
Hideki Matsuyama65-65-68 - 199 (-17)
Spencer Levin67-64-68 - 199 (-17)

Brendan Steele
Making his third start at the CIMB Classic, and second at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (T25/2014), Brendan Steele made six birdies in a bogey-free round and is tied for the lead with Justin Thomas through 54 holes.

His and Thomas’ 196 total through 54 holes is the lowest in tournament history.

Steele, who is not known for his length, is 9-under-par on the par-5s through 54 holes. Steele is in search of his second win on TOUR (2011 Valero Texas Open). This is the fourth time that Steele has led entering the final round at a PGA TOUR event, including his win at the Valero Texas Open. At the Open, Steele also held the 54-hole lead and fired a final-round 76 to finish T17.

Steele is coming off of a missed cut in last week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Justin Thomas
A day after firing a course-record 61 in the second round of  his CIMB Classic debut, Justin Thomas finished birdie-birdie to grab a share of the lead with Brendan Steele.  His 20-under, 196 total ties Steele for the lowest in tournament history through 54 holes.

Thomas also entered the final round of the 2015 CareerBuilder Challenge presented by the Clinton Foundation in a tie for the lead and eventually finished seventh.

In the second round, Thomas’ bogey-free 61 set a new course record at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club and matched the tournament record. The former University of Alabama All-American also set the 36-hole tournament record in relation to par with his 15-under-par score (2012-Robert Garrigus /14-under).

Thomas got his sophomore campaign off to a strong start with a T3 at the Open, a career-best showing on TOUR. The former Nicklaus Award winner closed with a 69 and narrowly missed a 30-foot birdie putt on the final hole to finish one shot out of a playoff with Emiliano Grillo and Kevin Na.

As a TOUR rookie in 2015 Thomas, the last player to make the field, posted 10 birdies in the third round of THE PLAYERS Championship, the most in tournament history.

In 2014, Thomas earned his first professional victory at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship outside of Columbus, Ohio during the Tour Finals. Thomas headed into the weekend four back of the leaders, carded 72-70 and defeated Richard Sterne in a playoff for the title.

Kevin Na

Kevin Na fired an 8-under 64 to vault up the leaderboard in the third round, despite making a bogey on the par-4 13th hole, and is one shot back of the lead. Na, who is making his fourth start at the CIMB Classic, has top 10s in his last two starts in the event.

Na is coming off of two runner-up finishes in the first two events of the 2015-16 PGA TOUR season, including a playoff-loss at the Open. Interestingly, Na entered the final round at the Open in a tie for second place, behind leader Brendan Steele. 

After missing the green short on No. 10 Na holed the pitch shot from the rough directly in the hole without it taking any bounces.

Na is looking for his second PGA TOUR victory, his first coming at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in 2011. 

In 2002, Na was named the Asian Tour Rookie of the Year on the back of his win at the Volvo Masters of Asia, played in Malaysia – it is his only career win on the Asian Tour.

Another runner-up finish would be the sixth for Na since the beginning of 2014.

Third Round Leader Stats
The eventual CIMB Classic winner has held at least a share of the lead through 54 holes every year, except 2012 when Nick Watney won the tournament entering the final round in a tie for seventh.

The largest 54-hole lead in tournament history was Ben Crane (2 strokes) in 2010, and he went on to win.

Miscellaneous Stats
In addition to 500 FedExCup points and a two-year PGA TOUR exemption, the CIMB Classic champion receives invitations to the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, a winners-only event in January, along with two major championships (Masters Tournament and PGA Championship) and THE PLAYERS. The player would also earn exemptions into six additional invitational events and a two-year exemption on the PGA TOUR.

2015 Northern Trust Open champion James Hahn matched Na and 2015 Memorial Tournament winner David Lingmerth with an 8-under 64, the low rounds of the day. Hahn is in a group of four players tied for fourth at 17-under that includes American lefty Brian Harman, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and American Spencer Levin.

Adam Scott, in his first appearance at the CIMB Classic, shot his second-straight 6-under 66 and is four shots off the lead. Scott has been using a conventional-length putter with a claw grip in anticipation of the anchoring ban that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2016. 

Anirban Lahiri, who won at KLGCC earlier this year on the European Tour, shot 67 (5-under) for the second-consecutive round and is at 12-under for the tournament.

Danny Lee, making his second appearance in the CIMB Classic, withdrew during the third round on No. 1 (his 10th hole of the day) due to a finger injury.

American Ryan Moore, the two-time defending champion at the CIMB Classic is six back after a 6-under 66. Moore was on fire early on Saturday, opening with four birdies in a row, but cooled off with bogeys at the 7th and 9th. In both of his previous wins, Moore held at least a share of the lead through 54 holes. With a win this week, Moore would become the first player since Steve Stricker to win the same PGA TOUR event three years in a row (John Deere Classic, ’09-11).

Bogey-free rounds:
R1 – Scott Piercy, Alex Cejka, Charles Howell III, Kevin Na, Chad Campbell, Brendon De Jonge, Jon Curran, Paul Casey, Russell Knox, Ben Martin, Carlos Ortiz

R2 – Justin Thomas, Brendan Steele, Spencer Levin, Hideki Matsuyama, Stewart Cink, Jason Gore, James Hahn, David Hearn, Kyle Reifers, Jim Herman, Daniel Summerhays, Kevin Chappell.

R3 – Brendan Steele, James Hahn, David Lingmerth, Patrick Reed, Cameron Tringale, Tony Finau, Russell Knox, Hudson Swafford, Zac Blair, Ben Crane.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Tourism Malaysia Optimistic Target Of 5.5 Per Cent Domestic Tourists Achieved

KUCHING, Oct 30 (Bernama) -- Tourism Malaysia is optimistic an increase of 5.5 per cent in the arrival of domestic tourists this year can be achieved.

Tourism Malaysia Domestic Promotion Division director Iskandar Mirza Mohd Yusof said the trend in the last two years showed an increase of more than five per cent in domestic tourists arrival, with 60.7 million recorded last year.

"Malaysians now have the mood of travelling in our own county as travelling overseas is too expensive," he told reporters after officiating at the launch of Experience Sarawak Best Packages Dekat Je in conjunction with Sarawak Adventure Dive Mini Expo 2015 here today.

Earlier in his speech Iskandar said Sarawak had great potential in luring more domestic and foreign tourists to the state.

He said a rich diversity of tourism products could lead to the development of many innovative and unique packages to suit every budget, interest, market and requirement.

Hence, he hoped the private sector involved in tourism would continue to push the boundaries of tourism development to promote Sarawak in a fresh and new way.

Iskandar said last year Sarawak recorded a total of 4.8 million visitors arrival, comprising three million international visitors and 1.8 million domestic visitors with tourism receipts totalling RM10.686 billion.

The top five international source markets for Sarawak last year were Brunei (1.96 million visitors), Indonesia (547,158), the Philippines (135,861), Singapore (49,059) and China (39,735).

He said up to August this year Sarawak received a total of 3.1 million visitors, while its target for 2015 is five million visitors.


Sarawak Mini Dive Expo 2015

KUCHING, 30 OCTOBER 2015: The Sarawak Mini Dive Expo 2015 is the first to be organized, from 30 October to 1 November at the new wing of the Boulevard Shopping Mall in Kuching, Sarawak. The expo, which showcased diving packages, diving equipment/merchandise, and dive courses, aims to promote Sarawak as a potential dive destination in Malaysia. 

A total of 14 agencies and companies participated in the expo, which included dive operators, suppliers, travel agents, and government agencies.

In conjunction with the event, the Domestic Promotion Director, Mr. Iskandar Mirza Mohd Yusof, launched the ‘Experience Sarawak Best Packages Dekat Je’, which features 50 packages by 16 travel agents divided into several segmentations such as adventure & nature, city tours, culture & heritage, cycling and bike ride, sport tourism, volunteerism, Edu-tourism, Golfing and Diving.

It is noteworthy to mention that the production of the packages was in collaboration with Sarawak Tourism Board.

He lauded the move, saying, “Sarawak, being the largest state in Malaysia, is blessed with a rich diversity of tourism products…This rich diversity can lead to the development of many innovative and unique packages to suit every budget, interest, market and requirement.”

He added, “It is my hope that the private sector involved in tourism will continue to push the boundaries of tourism development to promote Sarawak in a fresh, new way.”

Tourism Malaysia’s State Director for Sarawak, Mr. Salahuddin Mohd Ariffin said, “We are very proud of Malaysia’s diving attractions, and we have taken great steps in preserving and promoting these dive sites to the world. This brochure will be useful in promoting Sarawak’s dive sites and highlight the many interesting facets of Sarawak as a holiday destination.”

As part of the promotional efforts by Tourism Malaysia to promote diving in Sarawak, a recent seminar and dive activity was organised on 19 – 21 August 2015 in Miri. The event was participated by local media, the Malaysia Scuba Diving Assocation (MSDA), Sarawak Forestry Corporation, PADI, Jabatan Laut Sarawak, JKKN Sarawak, local travel agents and Malaysia’s Tourism Ambassador, Mr. Clement Lee.

Last year, Sarawak recorded a total of 4.8 million visitor arrivals, comprising of 3 million international visitors and 1.8 million domestic visitors. Tourism receipts from that year came up to RM10.686 billion.

The top five international source markets for Sarawak in 2014 were Brunei (1.96 million visitors); Indonesia (547,158 visitors); Philippines (135,861 visitors); Singapore (49,059) and China (39,735) 

Up to August 2015, Sarawak has received a total of 3.1 million visitors comprising of 57% domestic visitors and 43% international visitors. Sarawak’s target for 2015 is 5 million visitors. 
-Tourism Malaysia.

International Sports Among Attractions Of Visit Kedah Year 2016 - Mukhriz

LANGKAWI, Oct 30 (Bernama) -- International sports events are among the tourist attractions that are being considered for the Visit Kedah Year 2016, said Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Mahathir.

He said international sports events, which had been previously held in the state, attracted many tourists especially when they were held in Langkawi.

"Langkawi is already known as a unique tourist resort which can be a sports destination of international standards, contributing to the success of the Visit Kedah Year 2016," he said, after officiating the Paintball World Cup (PWC) Championship 2015 here last night.

He said the choice of Langkawi as the location for the PWC Championship this year was an honour shared by all of Kedah and he was confident the event could attract many tourists.

A total of 138 teams from 24 countries, including Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Nepal, Mexico, Kuwait, Iran, Norway and Sweden are taking part in the four-day championship which began yesterday.


Malaysia Wins Big At The World Travel Awards Asia & Australia Gala Ceremony

PUTRAJAYA, 30 October 2015: Malaysia was among the big winners at last night’s World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony 2015 in Hong Kong. 

During the red carpet event at Intercontinental Grand Stanford, Tourism Malaysia was recognised as Asia’s Leading Tourist Board, while Malaysia itself took the title of Asia’s Leading Destination.

In aviation,  Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia won Asia’s Leading Cabin Crew. It was the first time a low-cost carrier has won the award, beating the full service carriers.

Other awards won by Malaysia at the prestigious event were Asia’s Leading Meetings & Conference Hotel (One World Hotel) and Asia’s Leading Themed Resort (Resorts World Genting). Besides that, Pangkor Laut Resort took home the Asia’s Leading Wedding Venue award.

World Travel Awards President Graham Cooke said “It is an honour to recognise the leaders in Asian and Australasian hospitality here in Hong Kong this evening.

“Congratulations to all our winners tonight and I look forward to greeting many of them in December when we celebrate our Grand Final 2015 in Morocco.”

World Travel Awards Gala Ceremonies are widely regarded as the best networking opportunities within the travel and tourism industry, attended by government and industry leaders, luminaries, and international print and broadcast media.


World Travel Awards™ was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the World Travel Awards™ brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.

In 2015, World Travel Awards™ will celebrate its historic 22nd anniversary year.

The annual programme is renowned as the most prestigious and comprehensive in the travel and tourism industry. In 2014, over 650,000 individual votes were cast by travel professionals and high-end tourism consumers.

Each year, World Travel Awards™ covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective successes within each key geographical region.

The Grand Tour of World Travel Awards™ gala ceremonies are regarded as milestone events in the industry calendar, attended by the industry’s key decision makers, chief figure heads and the leading trade and consumer media.

In 2015, the Grand Tour sees World Travel Awards™ stage regional gala ceremonies in the Middle East, Africa & the Indian Ocean, South & Central America, North America & the Caribbean, Asia & Australasia and Europe.

All regional winners then compete head to head in a final round of voting to decide who will triumph in the World Travel Awards™ world awards – the ultimate accolade in the travel and tourism industry. The winners are announced on the night of the World Travel Awards™ Grand Final at the end of the year.

World Travel Awards has a television audience of 300 million spread across 200 countries, while also reaching hundreds of thousands of print and digital readers each month through an extensive network of global media partners.
-Tourism Malaysia.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Perak Wants To Turn Lenggong Into An International Tourist Destination

LENGGONG, Oct 29 (Bernama) -- The state government wants to rebrand the Lenggong district as an international tourism destination by organising several world class annual programmes.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said the programmes included recognising the Lenggong Valley area as a world heritage site, organising the 'Lenggong International Food Festival' and holding a seminar or symposium related to archeology.

"Rebranding this small district is crucial as it is already declared as an archeological site under the supervision of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization," he said.

He said this to reporters after a ground breaking ceremony for Sekolah Menengah Tahfiz Darul Ridzuan project on a 7.2 hektar site, here today.

He said the state government was drawing up the programme for the 'Lenggong International Food Festival' with the cooperation of the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority and other interested parties such as an international television station.

"Through the cooperation later, we can hold the 'Food Festival' at the international television station," he said.

On the organisation of the seminar, Zambry said the state government would propose the matter to Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) which is an organiser of archeological seminars of international stature.

"We will urge USM to hold the programme in the Lenggong area and use it as an international seminar centre every year," he said.

After the event, Zambry visited a deer grazing plantation in Sungai Soh, Bukit Sapi, here.

Until today, 2,700 deer are reared in Perak.


AirAsia to link Kota Kinabalu, Wuhan with daily flights

AirAsia is set to operate daily flights from Kota Kinabalu to Wuhan from January 22, 2016.

The new flight is estimated to depart from Kota Kinabalu at 18.55 and land in Wuhan at 23.10, while the return flight will leave Wuhan at 23.55 and arrive at Kota Kinabalu at 04.05 the following day.

One-way tickets are priced at an introductory rate starting from RM88 (US$20) from now to November 1, 2015 for travel between January 22 and October 29, 2016. Prices are inclusive of taxes and fees.
-TTG Asia.

CIMB Classic 2015 Round 1 Notes

Weather: Hot and humid weather with temperatures reaching 91 degrees with winds shifting from the North to the South at 4-8 mph.
Due to wet conditions, preferred lies were used during the first round. 
First-Round Leaderboard 
Scott Piercy62 (-10)
Hideki Matsuyama65 (-7)
Jason Gore66 (-6)
Alex Cejka66 (-6)
Cameron Smith66 (-6)
Charles Howell III66 (-6)
Keegan Bradley66 (-6)

Scott Piercy
American Scott Piercy, making his second appearance at the CIMB Classic and first at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, fired an opening round 10-under-par 62 to take a three-shot lead after the first round. The 62 is his lowest round on the PGA TOUR since a final-round 61 (10-under) at the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open. 

It is the lowest first-round score in the history of the CIMB Classic, and is the lowest 18-hole score recorded at this event since it moved to Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club two years ago. Previously, Ryan Moore’s opening-round 63 in 2013 was the best at KLGCC, and he went on to win that year, as well as the next. The lowest 18-hole score recorded at the CIMB Classic was a 61 by Nick Watney in the final round in 2012 at The Mines Resort and Golf Club. Piercy’s PGA TOUR career-low is 61, which he has shot twice.

Piercy’s round included 10 birdies and no bogeys. This is the third time he has led after 18 holes, most recently at the Shell Houston Open earlier in 2015, where he finished 10th. He won the 2012 RBC Canadian Open after holding the first-round lead. At the 2010 Farmers Insurance Open, Piercy led after the opening round on his way to a T20 finish.

Hideki Matsuyama

Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama opened with a 7-under 65 that included eight birdies against one bogey. This is Matsuyama’s third-consecutive start at the CIMB Classic and by far his best start, shooting 70s in the opening round each of the previous two years. His best showing at the tournament came last year when he finished T21.

Matsuyama’s 65 is his best opening round since he fired a 65 at last season’s Wyndham Championship. His best first-round score is a 64 (8-under) at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide last season, where he eventually finished T5.

Matsuyama’s only victory on the PGA TOUR came in 2014 at the Memorial Tournament, where he was T21 after the first round.

Matsuyama was one of the 12 members on the International Presidents Cup Team earlier this month in Incheon, Korea, that saw the U.S. Team win by a narrow margin. For the week, he was 2-1-1. He finished 16th in the FedExCup last season.

Ryan Moore
Two-time defending champion, American Ryan Moore got off to another great start at the CIMB Classic, firing a 5-under-par 67. In his two victories, he opened up with a 63 (2013) and a 68 (2014).  Two years ago he won in a playoff over Gary Woodland and last year by three over Woodland, Kevin Na and Sergio Garcia.

With a win this week, Moore would become the first player since Steve Stricker to win the same PGA TOUR event three years in a row (John Deere Classic, ’09-11).

Moore had a strong 2014-15 campaign, earned $2,642,306 and finished 39th in the final FedExCup standongs for the second straight year.

Moore recorded four top-10 finishes on the year, including two consecutively in March at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship and the Valspar Championship.)

Scott Brown
Scott Brown made an ace at the par-3 15th hole, the third of his career, on his way to a four-under-par 68. The ace came at the 15th hole from 189 yards, which carried an added bonus for Brown, as the first player to make a hole-in-one on the 15th hole this week won a BMW i8.

His ace was the first ever on the 15th hole at the CIMB Classic.

Brown is making his first start at the CIMB Classic since 2013, when he finished 72nd.

Miscellaneous Stats 
In addition to 500 FedExCup points and a two-year PGA TOUR exemption, the CIMB Classic champion receives invitations to the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, a winners-only event in January, along with two major championships (Masters Tournament and PGA Championship) and THE PLAYERS. The player would also earn exemptions into six additional invitational events and a two-year exemption on the PGA TOUR.

Five players are tied for third after shooting opening-round 6-under 66s: Jason Gore, Alex Cejka, Cameron Smith, Charles Howell III and Keegan Bradley.

Gary Woodland, who recorded runner-up finishes in each of the last two years, struggled to a 3-over 75, his worst round at the CIMB Classic.

Adam Scott, making his first appearance at the CIMB Classic, finished with a 4-under 68 in the first round. Notably, he was not wearing his sunglasses during the round due to the heat and humidity, causing him to sweat and fog up the lenses.

Anirban Lahiri, who won at KLGCC earlier this year on the European Tour opened with a 2-under 70. Lahiri fired a 10-under 62 on this course in his victory earlier this year on the European Tour.

Bogey-free rounds:
R1 – Scott Piercy, Alex Cejka, Charles Howell III, Kevin Na, Chad Campbell, Brendon De Jonge, Jon Curran, Paul Casey, Russell Knox, Ben Martin, Carlos Ortiz.

Muslim-friendly hotel standard portal goes live

Malaysia-based Lagisatu has launched Salam Standard, an online hotel reference tool dedicated to Muslim travellers.

This new product caters to the specific accommodation requirements of Muslim travellers by providing information on Muslim-friendly amenities and services available at hotels and resorts around the world.

Faeez Fadhlillah, CEO and co-founder of Lagisatu Travel, said: “Salam Standard provides Muslim travellers with a one-of-a-kind reference tool, enabling them to choose Muslim-friendly accommodation that adheres to their Islamic principles.”

According to Faeez, more than 10,000 properties worldwide have already joined the Salam Standard initiative, including major international hotel chains such as Accor Hotels, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Rotana Hotels & Resorts, Anantara Hotels & Resorts and Rixos Hotels.

Faeez added: “Salam Standard could evolve into the biggest information provider of Muslim travel content over the next few years. Our aim is to encourage hotel operators to offer more facilities for Muslim travellers.”
-TTG Asia.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Lonely Planet lists George Town among world’s 10 best cities

George Town is listed as the fourth best city to visit.

GEORGE TOWN: The state capital has been rated as one of the world’s Top 10 cities by Lonely Planet.
The world-renowned travel guide listed George Town as the fourth best city to visit in its Best in Travel 2016 list.
Kotor in Montenegro was listed as the top city in the world, followed by Quito in Ecuador and Dublin, Ireland.
The other cities in the Top 10 are Rotterdam, Mumbai, Fremantle, Manchester, Nashville and Rome.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the listing has shown that Penang is among the top cities in the world.
In 2014, Lonely Planet listed Penang as the world’s No. 1 destination for food lovers.
-thestar online.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team Confirm Jakub Kornfeil And Adam Norrodin For 2016

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia – Tuesday 27th October, 2015 
DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team are delighted to announce that Jakub Kornfeil will continue racing for the team in 2016. The Czech rider will contest the Moto3 Championship on board the Honda NSF250RW alongside upcoming Malaysian talent Adam Norrodin.
Following a positive season in the teams’ debut year, Jakub Kornfeil has shown great potential and improvement  throughout. Since achieving the team’s first podium at the British Grand Prix, the 22 year old has gone from strength to strength, showing his increasing ability to battle with the leaders. The team firmly believe it is only a matter of time before Kornfeil claims his first World Championship win.  
Currently competing in the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup, 17 year old Adam Norrodin is a promising young talent who has continued to progress throughout his racing career. The Malaysian rider shone in front of his home crowd at the Malaysian Grand Prix last weekend where he claimed his second podium finish of the year. Alongside the SAAT Cup, Norrodin also competes in the Spanish CEV Championship, making him no stranger to racing at some of the European circuits.    
Chief Executive Officer of Sepang International Circuit Dato’ Razlan Razali: 
“I’m very excited to officially announce that we will be continuing our collaboration with Jakub Kornfeil for the 2016 Moto3 World Championship. I think he has done a great job this year and I’m sure with a year’s experience already in the team, he can do even more next year and potentially fight for the World Championship on a Honda machine. With a lot of tests being planned at Sepang Circuit, a circuit that he knows very well, I believe he will continue to progress and be able to achieve a lot more next season. I’m also pleased to announce Adam Norrodin as a rookie for the team next year. He has three years’ experience in the Asia Talent Cup and two years in the Junior World Championship, as well as the Spanish CEV, so he’s prepared to be in the Moto3 World Championship and we’re really looking forward to working with him. Together with Jakub and the team we should be able to help him and he should be able to learn a lot in the first year to be able to then excel in 2017.”
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager: 
“Re-signing Jakub is great for us as a team because we have been working together for a year now and we know each other very well. There are some very positive things to take with us from this year and also some weak points that we know we need to work on, but this is perfect because we can only get stronger as a unit. We will keep the same structure as this year. We know what we need to do to improve and we have a good relationship, so I’m very happy to continue working with Jakub. I think also for him it’s very good because it’s the first time he’s stayed in a team for two years in a row and this is important for his confidence. He is a good rider with great potential and we can see that. We just need to do the best we can for him and I think we will take a big step forward.
With Adam I think it will be a very hard rookie year for him. He’s a young rider coming from the Asia Talent Cup so it’s going to be a completely different level. He’s been riding in the CEV Championship this year, so he does have some knowledge of the Spanish circuits and riding in Europe, which is good. The World Championship is a big step so we’re going to have to be very humble with our expectations for Adam coming into the Moto3 class. We have to help to grow his ability and keep his confidence up as this will be the key point. He has to train hard in the winter, he needs to prepare himself very well and then it is up to us to give him the best package, which I believe we can do. It will be important for him to take all he can from us, the experience we have and learn from it. I think he also has a great teammate in Jakub who will help him and work with him. It will interesting to see how he can progress and we look forward to working with him.”
#84 Jakub Kornfeil: 
“I’m very happy to be staying with the DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team for 2016. I’ve really enjoyed my time with them this year. The structure is great and we all have the same mentality. They are a very professional team and I know that they can give me what I need to be competitive. Also what is great is that we all get on so well. I feel very comfortable with everyone and for me this is one of the most important things in a team. We have a great understanding of each other and I trust my crew a lot. This will be the first time I have stayed with the same team for two years in a row, so it’s perfect because I don’t have to start from zero; we already have a good relationship together.
Next year we will also switch to Honda. I think the NSF250RW will be very good, so thanks to our Team Manager Johan Stigefelt for pushing for this collaboration. I think the Honda is the best bike we can have. 2016 will be a very important season for both the team and myself; I think with this bike we can be really strong. I must say a big thanks to the sponsors for allowing me the opportunity to stay with the DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team and for continuing to believe in me.”
#7 Adam Norrodin: 
“I’m very excited to join the DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team in 2016. This will be my first year in the World Championship! I’m also really looking forward to riding the Honda NSF250RW. This year in the Asia Talent Cup I have been riding a Honda so next year it is not such a big step in terms of machinery, which is good. This year I have also ridden in the Spanish CEV Championship, so I’m pleased to have some experience riding in Europe too. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the team so I’m very happy to be joining them. I think they will help me to progress my riding a lot. I know it will not be an easy year as a rookie in the Moto3 class but I will do my best; I can’t wait to get started.”

Kelantan Targets Six Million Tourists During Visit Kelantan Year 2016

KOTA BAHARU, Oct 27 (Bernama) -- The Kelantan state government is targeting the arrival of six million tourists to the state in conjunction with the Visit Kelantan Year (VKY) next year.

State Culture, Tourism and Heritage Committee chairman Datuk Md Anizam Abdul Rahman said the total number of tourist arrivals in the state this year as at September was about three million people comprising both domestic and international tourists.

"We are expecting more tourists to visit Kelantan next year. We will be holding promotions abroad such as Hatyai (Thailand), Singapore and other places," he told a press conference on VKY 2016 here, today.

Md Anizam said the state government was targeting tourists from Thailand, Singapore, Brunei and European countries to visit the state next year.

He said through VKY 2016 themed 'Menyusuri Warisan', tourists would get to be enchanted by the cultural heritage of the people in the state.

He said the state government would be cooperating with the service and transport industry, hotels, culture and food industry to ensure the total number of targeted visitors was achieved.

He said 34 programmes including cultural performances would be held every month during VKY organised by the Kelantan Tourism Centre and the State Museum.

"We also hope to entice youths into the tourism industry as tourist drivers," he said.

VKY 2016 will be launched on Saturday (Oct 31) here at 8.30 pm.


Monday, 26 October 2015

A paradise for bargain hunters

The weakened ringgit, a new outlet mall in Kuala Lumpur’s outskirts and year-round sales are compelling reasons for avid shoppers to visit Malaysia.

To leverage the love for shopping among Asians and Middle Eastern travellers, which made up 91.2 per cent of Malaysia’s tourist arrivals in 2014, the government and private sector have rolled out a slew of initiatives to encourage higher visitor spending.

The chief reasons that make Malaysia a value-for-money shopping destination is the weakened ringgit against major currencies as well as a hassle-free tourist refund scheme implemented at eight international airports since April 1, 2015. There are also duty exemptions on a wide range of merchandise like jewellery, cosmetics, fragrances and computers.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture has timed three sales periods to coincide with peak travel periods in Malaysia: the week when the annual Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix is held in April, the Middle East summer holidays around mid-year and the year-end holiday season. These nationwide sales periods are promoted by Tourism Malaysia to overseas markets.

Noraza Yusof, head of tourism, Kuala Lumpur City Hall, said City Hall is also looking at introducing shorter sales periods that coincide with international brands to increase sale impact. This will further cement Kuala Lumpur’s position as a preferred shopping destination with a strong value-for-money proposition, she added.

Travel consultants too are benefiting from the nationwide sales periods.

Adam Kamal, CEO of Rakyat Travel, has created shopping packages that coincide with the 1Malaysia GP Sale, 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival (July to August) and 1Malaysia Year-end Sale (mid-November to January).

He said: “Tourists from the Philippines, Indonesia and Brunei have been very receptive to these three-day, two-night packages. We offer a range of accommodation in the Bukit Bintang area and airport transfers. Those who buy our packages come here only to shop, as savings can be as much as 70 per cent off normal retail prices.”

Ally Bhoonee, executive director of World Avenues, a major player in the Middle East inbound market, said: “This recognition has helped the tourism industry to promote shopping more aggressively, especially now that the weakened ringgit provides more bargains and reasons for tourists to visit Malaysia. At the same time, it brings in more revenue to the country.”

To make shopping in major areas more conducive for pedestrians, Kuala Lumpur City Hall built covered walkways linking shopping malls in the Bukit Bintang area with its surrounds in late 2014. Shoppers can now walk in comfort through a 4.5km covered elevated pedestrian walkway that links Berjaya Times Square mall to Pavilion Kuala Lumpur through Sungei Wang Plaza mall.

In July, Kuala Lumpur’s first outlet mall, Mitsui Outlet Park Klia Sepang, opened less than a 10-minute drive from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the LCC terminal Klia2. This is the second outlet mall to open in Malaysia, following Johor Premium Outlets which opened in 2011.

Conceived as a last-minute shopping venue, Mitsui Outlet Park Klia Sepang provides a free baggage storage service, where shoppers can leave their luggages while they shop. The outlet also offers a flight check-in centre which allows visitors to obtain their boarding passes, while a flight information display system allows travellers to check flight information without leaving the site.

Welcoming the debut of an outlet mall near the airport, John Chan, business consultant, Kris International Traveltours, said: “We bring tourists here as a last shopping stop prior to their departure. The offerings are a boon to travellers as it offers very good buys. It also allows them to dispose of their excess ringgit prior to departure, and this benefits the local economy.”

Furthermore, overseas visitors will benefit from the Super Pass, a travel guide-cum-discount booklet. It was published in April and acts as a discount voucher book with savings of up to 70 per cent on retail, attractions and F&B.

“(The Super Pass) helps travllers to plan their holiday better before arriving in Malaysia,” said Alex Wong, senior manager - global marketing at Apollo Knight.
-TTG Asia.