Thursday, March 31, 2016

Malaysia Registers 25.7 Million Tourists In 2015

PUTRAJAYA, 31 March 2016: From January to December 2015, Malaysia welcomed a total of 25.7 million (25,721,251) tourists and RM69.1 billion tourism receipts. Compared to Visit Malaysia Year 2014, for which there was a bigger financial allocation conduct various publicity and promotion activities, the 2015 tourist arrivals and receipts registered a decline of 6.3% and 4.0% respectively.
However, a fair comparison between 2013, for which there was no special allocation, and 2015 performance shows tourist arrivals last year recorded a 0.02% increase.
The top 10 tourist generating markets to Malaysia from January to December 2015 were Singapore (12,930,754), Indonesia (2,788,033), China (1,677,163), Thailand (1,343,569), Brunei (1,133,555), India (722,141), the Philippines (554,917), Australia (486,948), Japan (483,569) and South Korea (421,161).
In 2015, the ASEAN region contributed a 74.4% share with 19.1 million tourists. Among ASEAN countries, Thailand and Cambodia were the countries that showed positive growth, registering an increase of 3.4% and 1.8% respectively compared to the same period last year. Other ASEAN countries showed a decline in tourist arrivals: Indonesia (-1.4%), Brunei (-6.6%), Singapore (-7.2%), Laos (-8.2%), the Philippines (-10.3%), Vietnam (-19.6%) and Myanmar (-30.2%).
A strong Singapore Dollar and availability of more holiday destination choices caused a reduction of Singapore arrivals to Malaysia. The regional haze phenomenon in late August until October also affected travel to Malaysia. Besides that, security issue in eastern Sabah, incidents in aviation industry as well as earthquake and floods were among the issues that affected travel decisions to Malaysia for the first half of 2015.
The medium-haul markets contributed 18.8% or 4.8 million tourists to Malaysia’s total arrivals in 2015.
Despite a challenging environment, tourist arrivals from Taiwan, China and South Korea registered positive growth, with an increase of 3.1%, 4.0% and 9.2% respectively. However, countries that registered negative growth during this period were India (-6.2%), New Zealand 
(-9.8%), Iran (-10.0%), Saudi Arabia (-12.4%), Japan (-12.6%), Australia (-14.8%), UAE (-20.2%) and Kuwait (-23.9%).
The significant increase of Korean tourists to Malaysia was due to the additional seat capacity of 68,080 or 15.6% from this market. Aggressive promotion initiatives taken by Tourism Malaysia in China in 2015 successfully regained the confidence of Chinese travellers to Malaysia. This is further supported by special flight arrangements to Malaysia from China.
However, the routes expansion plan undertaken by Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways in Europe and the United States caused a double-digit decline of tourists from Middle Eastern market to our region. Cancellation of routes from Kochi to Kuala Lumpur affected the selection of Malaysia as a preferred destination for Indian tourists. Australian tourist arrivals were hit following the depreciation of the Australian Dollar and termination of the Malaysia Airlines flight from Brisbane since August 2015.
A total of 1.7 million tourists or 6.7% of Malaysia’s total arrivals were contributed by the long-haul market. Spain was the only country that registered an increase in tourist arrivals with 3.7%. This is due to a collaboration between Tourism Malaysia and two reality TV shows, namely Peking Express and Big Brother, which created interest in Malaysia.
Countries that registered a decrease in tourist arrivals for the long-haul market included Italy (-5.9%), Sweden (-6.7%), Germany (-8.5%), South Africa (-9.0%), USA (-9.3%), United Kingdom (-10.0%), Russia (-10.6%), France (-10.9%), the Netherlands (-13.7%), Canada (-14.2%) and Kazakhstan (-14.7%).
The termination of services by Malaysia Airlines to Frankfurt beginning May 2015 led to a reduction in seat capacity from 3,378 to1,547 seats per week, resulting in the decrease of tourist arrivals from Germany. Tourist arrivals from Europe countries continued to drop as travel advisories over the security issue in the East Coast remain broadcasted in the media. Armed attacks on the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo in January and the city of Paris on November impacted tourist arrivals from European countries to Muslim countries.
-Tourism Malaysia.

What's Up April 2016 @ Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur

-Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala lumpur.
Website : http://www.seripacifichotel.com

DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team Aiming To Continue Good Form At Argentina


Argentina – Wednesday 30th March
Circuit: Termas de Río Hondo
Circuit Length: 4.8 km
As the MotoGP World Championship returns to Argentina this weekend, DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team riders Jakub Kornfeil and Adam Norrodin are ready to build on their positive opening round in Qatar.
Located in the Province of Santiago del Estero, the Latin American circuit is renowned for being tough on tyres due to the high speeds, hard braking zones and high camber angles. The fast layout combines five left-hand and nine right-hand corners, challenging riders to reach the highest average speeds of the year.
Securing the team’s first points of the season, Jakub Kornfeil is eager to continue his momentum at the Argentina Grand Prix as he focusses his attentions on a podium finish.
Set to experience the Termas de Río Hondo circuit for the first time, teammate Adam Norrodin is excited to begin the second round of the season. Whilst continuing to build on his familiarisation with the Factory Honda, the Moto3 rookie has his sights set firmly on a top twenty result.
#84 Jakub Kornfeil 
“The track at Argentina is quite a simple layout but very fast. It’s similar to Qatar in this way, also with one very long straight, so this is good for my style because I can be very fast in the fast corners. Turns seven and eight can be a little difficult, so I know this is where I must improve, but overall I really like the track and I’m really looking forward to riding it again. I think it will be good for the Honda too because this bike is very stable in the quick corners. As always we want to be up at the front this weekend and continue our progress from Qatar. If we can be strong from the beginning in practice, for sure we can be there in the race; we have to just keep pushing every session and also I need to improve my qualifying to start from a better grid position. The goal is a podium.”
#7 Adam Norrodin
“I’ve never been to Argentina before, so this will be my first time riding at the Termas de Río Hondo circuit but I’m confident that I can learn the layout quickly. We did a good job in Qatar so I’m feeling positive about this weekend and I’m excited to ride my bike again! Honda took the Moto3 podium in Qatar, so we know it can be the top bike. My feeling with the NSF250RW is really good now; the bike is working well and we understand it a lot more. We have a good base to start from and even though I’ve not ridden the track before, I know that I can rely on my team to help me to adjust. We will work hard to do a good job. I know I still have a lot to learn but I feel I can push more. My aim is top twenty; I want to get closer to the fight for points.”
-SIC Racing Team facebook.
PelanconganKini supports DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team.
Note: DRIVE M7 merchandises are available at http://www.m7shop.com/home.aspx
Drive/M7 x Nicky Hayden 69 merchandises also now available.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Malaysia Expects To Attract 3.2 Million Inbound Muslim Tourist Arrivals

Photo: MOTAC facebook
SHAH ALAM, March 30 (Bernama) -- The Ministry of Tourism and Culture through Islamic Tourism Centre hopes to attract 3.2 million inbound Muslim tourist arrivals this year, said Deputy Minister of Tourism and Culture Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.

She said, Malaysia was still the preferred global destination in the fast-growing Muslim travel market, in offering Muslim-friendly environment which includes everything from excellent attractions, halal food and accommodation.

"The significant increase in Muslim tourist arrivals in the world has put a great demand for accommodations which are 'Muslim friendly'.

"If we exclude Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, Malaysia is the top preference for Muslim tourists followed by Turkey," she told a press conference after presenting Islamic Quality Standard (IQS) awards to 30 domestic and International hotels and nine travel agencies here, today.

Commenting further, Mas Ermieyati said about 871 airlines from Muslim countries flew to Malaysia every week and this showed many of the airlines were interested to expand their network to Malaysia.

She said the top five tourist arrivals from Muslim countries to Malaysia were Indonesia, Brunei, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and followed by Pakistan.

The deputy minister said the top five per capita expenditure of Muslim tourists in Malaysia were Saudi Arabia with an estimated spending of RM9,459 for an average length of stay of 10 days, Kuwait (RM8,494 for 7.3 days), Oman (more than RM7,900 for 8.7 days), United Arab Emirates (RM7,389 for 7.6 days) and Iran (RM5,880 for 7.7 days).

Mas Ermieyati said the demand for Islamic Tourism had increased in recent times, with many organisations having developed their services in accordance with syariah compliance.

"The Muslim population is expected to rise from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.2 billion by 2030 and we must grab the opportunity available in the field of tourism to empower Islamic Tourism in whatever way," she said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Universal Crescent Standard Centre (UCSC), Datuk Dr Ismail Ibrahim said the award ceremony organised by UCSC was given to the hotel operators and travel agencies in recognition of their outstanding contribution in providing syariah compliant services and hospitality for travelers in Malaysia and abroad.

He said due to the high demand for Syariah compliance tourism, UCSC this year had received outstanding response from hotels in Indonesia, Turkey, Dubai and Malaysia which wanted to be Syariah compliance certified hotel and had submitted their application for IQS award.

-bernama.

Asia Road Racing Championship - Round 1 @ Johor Circuit ( 31 March ~ 2 April 2016 )

In the 2016 season, the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship consists of 5 different classes. SuperSports 600cc, Asia Production 250cc, Underbone 130cc, Asia Dream Cup (CBR250r), Suzuki Asian Challenge (FU150).
-http://www.asiaroadracing.com/

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

'Hogoh Pahang' Slogan For Visit Pahang Year 2017

KUANTAN, March 29 (Bernama) -- Pahang will be using a local dialect slogan, 'Hogoh Pahang' for Visit Pahang Year 2017 to promote its unique local culture to tourists.

Tourism and Culture Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Ong Hong Peng said the slogan itself, which roughly translated in English means "Pahang Rocks", was very unique.

"The slang word 'hogoh' means to make a big impact. It is very catchy, unique and captures the spirit to showcase Pahang's culture to tourists.

"The word 'Ho' in the slogan itself means good, ok and agreeable in Hokkien (a Chinese dialect). So it indirectly carries the message Pahang is good," he said.

Ong said this at a luncheon with local pressmen which was organised by state Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin.

He added that he hoped other states would follow in Pahang's footsteps in coming up with similar catchy slogans.

-bernama.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Tahun Melawat Perak 2017 dilancar

ZAMBRY ABD. KADIR mengibarkan bendera sebagai simbolik pelepasan perkhidmatan kereta api elektrik sempena kempen Tahun Melawat Perak 2017 di Dataran Stesen KTMB Ipoh, kelmarin. Turut sama, Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi (dua dari kanan) dan Sarbini Pijan (kanan). Utusan/ZULKARNAIN MOHD, SAIDIN
IPOH 27 Mac – Kerajaan negeri me­lancarkan Tahun Melawat Perak 2017 dengan sasaran meningkatkan jumlah kedatangan pelancong asing ke negeri ini.


Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Dr. Zambry Abd. Kadir berkata, daripada tujuh juta pelancongan yang mengunjungi negeri ini setiap tahun, antara 300,000 hingga 400,000 orang merupakan pelancong asing.

Menurut beliau, sempena Tahun Melawat Perak 2017, kerajaan negeri menyasarkan angka tersebut meningkat kepada 500,000 orang tahun depan.
“Kita melihat potensi pelancong asing dari Eropah, Asia se­perti China serta Singapura me­ningkat sempena Tahun Melawat Perak tahun depan,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian dalam sidang akhar selepas Pelancaran Tahun Melawat Perak 2017 di Dataran Stesen Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) di sini semalam.

Turut hadir Ketua Pengarah Tourism Malaysia, Datuk Mirza Mohammad Tayyab; Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pelancongan, Ke­senian, Kebudayaan, Komunikasi dan Multimedia negeri, Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi; Pengerusi Lembaga Pe­ngarah Tourism Perak, Mohamad Kamil Shafie dan Presiden KTM Berhad,Leftenan Kolonel (B) Datuk Sarbini Tijan.

Menurut Zambry, untuk memudahkan kemasukan pelancong asing ke negeri ini, kerajaan ne­geri akan menjalinkan kerjasama dengan beberapa buah syarikat pe­nerbangan menerusi perkhidmatan di Lapangan Terbang Sultan Azlan Shah (LTSAS) di sini.

Kata beliau, kerajaan negeri juga telah mengenal pasti beberapa halangan yang perlu diselesaikan dengan segera untuk merea­lisasikan sasaran Tahun Melawat Perak 2017.

Beliau berkata, antaranya infrastruktur pelancongan dari segi kemudahan asas untuk membo­lehkan pelancong tinggal di satu-satu kawasan.

“Kita turut memberi penekanan terhadap aspek kebersihan di semua kawasan tarikan pelancongan terutamanya tandas awam,” katanya.
-utusan online.

Promoting Malaysia To Myanmar: Tourism Malaysia Brings Myanmar Fam Group On AirAsia Inaugural Yangon-Penang Flight

AirAsia Brand Ambassador, Myanmar Miss World 2015, Ms. Khin Yadanar Thein Myint

(in red cap) arrives in Penang for the Tourism Malaysia fam trip
PUTRAJAYA, 23 MARCH 2016: Tourism Malaysia is organising a familiarisation trip to Malaysia for a group of media from Myanmar in conjunction with the inaugural Yangon-Penang connection by AirAsia. The programme is a collaborative effort with AirAsia and Penang Global Tourism.

The 17 media participants of the familiarisation trip arrived in Penang on 22 March aboard the AK1509 A320 carrier. The group from The Golden Land includes AirAsia Brand Ambassador, Myanmar Miss World 2015, Ms. Khin Yadanar Thein Myint, as well as television crew, journalists and bloggers. They are visiting the cultural, heritage, shopping and family attractions as well as hotel and medical facilities in Penang from 22 to 26 March.
A second familiarization trip will be organized for 12 Myanmar travel agents from 29 March to 2 April. They will be visiting major attractions in Penang and Ipoh, Perak.
Both groups are invited to Malaysia to help promote the destination’s varied culture, cuisine and family attractions to the people of Myanmar. The familiarisation programme will showcase Malaysia as an exciting and value-for-money destination as well as spark interest among the travel agents to develop attractive packages for the Myanmar market.
The Yangon-Penang AirAsia route flies three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Prior to this, Yangon is connected only to Kuala Lumpur via AirAsia (14 flights a week), Malaysia Airlines (14 flights) and Myanmar Air (4 flights). With this new development, air accessibility from Myanmar to Malaysia has increased to 35 flights a week offering 5,948 seats by AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines and Myanmar Air.
Last year, tourist arrivals from Myanmar to Malaysia registered a total of 66,553.
-Tourism Malaysia.

Celcom is title sponsor of Malaysian Open badminton

Shazalli (left sitting) exchanging documents with Mohamed Al-Amin
while (from left standing) Khairy, Najib and Rosmah looks on.

PUTRAJAYA: Celcom Axiata has been announced as the new title sponsor for the Malaysian Open badminton tournament.
The telecommunications company signed an agreement with Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) at the Prime Minister's Office here, which will see them sponsoring the event for three years.
The agreement was signed by Celcom Axiata Berhad chief executive Datuk Seri Shazalli Ramly and BAM acting president Tan Sri Mohamed Al-Amin Abdul Majid.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak his wife, BAM patron Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, and Youth and Sport Minister Khairy Jamaluddin witnessed the signing.
Celcom replaces Maybank, who parted ways with BAM after sponsoring the tournament since 2011.
The Malaysian Open is a Superseries Premier event, the highest level competition in the Badminton World Federation calendar.
It will be held at Stadium Malawati in Shah Alam on April 5 to10.
-thestar online.

King Opens Biggest Shopping Mall In Kedah

ALOR SETAR, March 28 (Bernama) -- The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, today opened Aman Central, the biggest shopping mall in Kedah, here.

His Majesty delivered a brief address and signed a plaque.

Tuanku Abdul Halim was greeted on arrival by Belleview Group managing director Datuk Sonny Ho, owner of Aman Central.

Kedah Council of Regency chairman Tan Sri Tunku Sallehuddin Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah and council member Tan Sri Tunku Putri Intan Shafinaz also attended the event.

Also present were Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah and his wife, Datin Seri Hizam Awang Ahmad, state executive councillors and State Secretary Datuk Bakar Din.

The mall, located on 1.25 million sq ft of land, opened for business on Oct 1 last year and is claimed to draw 1.2 million visitors every month.

-bernama.
http://www.amancentral.com.my/

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sun bear centre receives Tourism Ministry aid


SANDAKAN: The fledgling Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre here received a boost with a RM700,000 grant from the Tourism Ministry.
Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the money would help efforts to conserve the endangered bear species and to support the centre’s potential for eco-tourism.
“The centre has already attracted nearly 52,000 tourists who want to get a closer look at the sun bears,” he said of the centre in Sepilok located about 40km from here.
The centre, which has 38 rescued bears, began operating in 2008 and was officially opened to the public in 2014.
The centre’s founder and chief executive officer Wong Siew Te said he was very thankful for the ministry’s financial support.
The money to finance the centre’s operating expenditures, which stood between RM700,000 and RM800,000, mostly came from donations, visitors’ contributions and sales of souvenirs to sustain their conservation efforts, he added.
“The (ministry’s) contribution goes a long way in helping us in our programmes.
“We need to put up more facilities for the bears as well as carry out education and research activities,” he added.
Nazri, who began a six-day visit to the east coast Sabah town yesterday, is scheduled to visit Pulau Selingaan, the Agnes Keith Tea House, the Kinabatangan River Lodge and also a homestay in Batu Puteh, among other tourist centres during his stay here.
-thestar online.

Travel Agencies Advised To Get Special Licence To Offer Umrah Package

ALOR GAJAH, March 26 (Bernama) -- Travel agencies are on Saturday reminded to obtain special licence from the Tourism and Culture Ministry before making the umrah package offer to the public.

Deputy Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said the requirement was made to avoid agencies using the umrah package to cheat consumers by offering the package at a cheap price.

Until now, about 500 travel agencies have been issued the licence to offer the umrah package, while the licence of 13 other companies have been revoked after they were found to have breached the stipulated conditions, she said.

She told this to reporters after opening the Melekek Luar Farmers' Unit general meeting here.

Mas Ermieyati said the ministry had also informed local government authorities to bring down banners put up by travel agencies to advertise their umrah packages, if they did not conform with existing regulations.

Earlier in her speech, Mas Ermieyati advised farmers and cattle breeders to seize opportunities in the agro-tourism and eco-tourism sectors to improve their income, as well as attract more tourists to the state.

-bernama.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix 2016 @ Sepang International Circuit ( 28 ~ 30 October 2016 )


Held on 28-30 October 2016, just 4 weeks after the Malaysia F1 Grand Prix, the two biggest international motorsports events make for a high adrenaline October in Malaysia. Fans can expect an even bigger and better Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix 2016, with passionate rivalry on the track and a spectacular motocarnival for passionate two-wheel motorsports enthusiasts off the track.

With more than 100 booths, the motocarnival offers just about everything a fan could want. MotoGP race week, arguably the best two-wheel motorsports festival in Southeast Asia, extends across the Klang Valley, with off-track entertainment, fan engagement with riders and other exciting activities. Local fans will definitely want to root for Adam Norrodin, who is making his Malaysia MotoGP debut as a SIC Racing team rookie, and not forgetting, cheer on national favourites Hafizh Syahrin in the Moto 2 category.
Get your tickets from:
Online at www.AirAsiaRedtix.com

-AirAsia RedTix.

Arts And Culture A Promising Industry To Attract Investment - Mas Ermieyati

KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 (Bernama) -- Arts and culture are a promising industry, and serve as a magnet to attract investment and talent, says Deputy Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.

She said the government realised the importance of arts and culture as they could enrich the quality of the people, besides enhancing social harmony.

"Investment in arts and culture brings wealth of intangible values and benefits, and that is why we must develop strategies to promote the tourism and arts industry as the main contributor to national economic growth.

"I believe, the success of a world class arts and cultural institution depends not only on the hardware (physical aspects), but also related to human development, especially in terms of skills, thinking and mentality," she said in her opening speech at the 4th Annual Asian League of Institutes of the Arts (ALIA) International Symposium 2016 here, today.

The three-day conference starting today was attended by 150 participants from around the world which objective is to discuss issues relating to arts and culture.

Mas Ermieyati said the conference was important as it gave participants an opportunity to exchange ideas and knowledge.

"It allows cultural policy makers and leaders of renowned institutions from all over the world to share their experience and wisdom in cultural management and arts education," she added.

-bernama.

TMT 2017 sasar 6.5 juta pelancong


JOHOR BAHRU 24 Mac – Kerajaan negeri Terengganu menyasarkan kehadiran seramai 6.5 juta pelancong dari dalam dan luar negara sempena program Tahun Melawat Terengganu (TMT) 2017.

Menteri Besarnya, Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman berkata, sasaran itu realistik berdasarkan pelbagai program promosi yang dijalankan sejak akhir tahun lalu.

Kata beliau, program pertama diadakan di Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur pada 29 Oktober sehingga 2 November tahun lalu sebelum promosinya disambung ke Johor melalui program Beautiful Terengganu 2016.

“Sasaran jumlah pelancong sempena TMT 2017 adalah seramai 6.5 juta dengan dianggarkan antara 30 hingga 40 peratus merupakan pelancong antarabangsa.

“Bagi mencapai sasaran tersebut, pelbagai program promosi telah diadakan antaranya Pesona Terengganu 2015, Beautiful Terengganu 2016 dan juga promosi peringkat antarabangsa di beberapa bandar utama di China,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian dalam sidang akhbar selepas merasmikan program Beautiful Terengganu 2016 di pekarangan pusat beli-belah Angsana Mall Johor Bahru di sini malam tadi.

Yang turut hadir, Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pelancongan, Perdagangan dan Kepenggunaan negeri, Datuk Tee Siew Kiong dan Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pelancongan dan Kebudayaan negeri Terengganu, Datuk Mohd. Jidin Shafee.

Antara tarikan program tersebut termasuklah pelbagai pakej pelancongan menarik, makanan tradisional Terengganu serta ruang pameran.

Menurut Ahmad Razif, pihaknya juga akan mempergiatkan usaha mempromosi pelancongan ekonomi, pelancongan berasaskan sukan dan pelancongan kesihatan bagi menarik lebih ramai kehadiran pengunjung di masa depan.

“Antara tarikan baharu untuk pelancongan kesihatan adalah pembinaan sebuah hospital dalam hotel yang dijangka siap tahun ini, selain pelancongan sukan berkuda,” katanya.

Tambah Ahmad Razif, Johor Bahru dipilih kerana ia bukan sahaja merupakan lokasi tumpuan rakyat Johor, tetapi pengunjung Singapura.
-utusan online.

Over 60,000 expected to attend Langkawi laksa carnival


The Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) hopes to grow gastronomic tourism in Langkawi through its homegrown Laksa Carnival this May, which is expected to attract some 60,000 visitors.

At the fifth edition of the Langkawi International Laksa Carnival, which will run from May 27 to 29 at Laman Padi, over 10 participants from all over Malaysia will showcase laksa creations from the various states.

Asian rice noodles specialists from China, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines will also be dishing out their local noodle dishes.

Other activities include laksa cooking contests, art performances and live laksa cooking demonstrations by four local celebrity chefs.

While laksa and noodles are the main highlights, other local delicacies will also be on sale during the three-day event.

Deputy CEO of LADA, Rozaina Radzi, said: “The purpose of the carnival is to complement domestic and international tourists travelling to Langkawi during this period with live activities that engages the taste buds.”
-TTG Asia.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Cuaca panas tidak halang pelancong ke Taman Negara


RAMLAN MAT AMIN (duduk, kiri) bersama para penuntut jurusan undang-undang Universiti Rotterdam, Belanda di Mutiara Taman Negara Resort, Kuala Tahan, Pahang, semalam. UTUSAN/HARIS FADILAH AHMAD

JERANTUT 24 Mac – Cuaca panas yang sedang melanda negara tidak menjejaskan kehadiran pengunjung di pusat pelancongan Taman Negara Kuala Tahan, di sini yang mahu menikmati keindahan hutan tropika tersohor di peta pelancongan dunia itu.

Seorang pemandu pelancong, Ramlan Mat Amin, 42, berkata, pakej-pakej pelancongan yang ditawarkan di kawasan hutan tropika berusia lebih 130 juta tahun berkenaan terus mendapat sambutan daripada pengunjung dari dalam dan luar negara.

Bagaimanapun katanya, para pengusaha pelancongan tetap mengutamakan langkah ke­selamatan dan kebajikan pelawat dalam semua kegiatan ekstrem di Taman Negara Kuala Tahan ber­asaskan peraturan pihak berkuasa terutama dalam keadaan cuaca panas ketika ini.

“Boleh dikatakan setiap hari ini saya menguruskan pakej antara 20 hingga 50 pelancong walaupun cuaca panas sedang melanda negara,” katanya di sini hari ini.

Dalam pada, seorang pelancong asing, Wigburg Vohn, 25, berkata, dia bersama rakan-rakannya sudah lama berhasrat mengunjungi Taman Negara Kuala Tahan setelah melihat promosi sebuah agensi pelancongan negara ini di Amsterdam tahun lalu.

Dia yang bersama 26 penuntut jurusan Undang-Undang Universiti Rotterdam di Belanda berkata, Taman Negara Kuala Tahan menjadi persingggahan pertama dalam kunjungan mereka ke negara ini sebelum berlepas ke Pulau Tioman dan Pulau Pinang.

“Cuaca panas tidak menghalang kami melakukan kegiatan rekreasi malah teruja dengan keindahan hutan tropika ini,” katanya.
-utusan online.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Malaysia, Singapore remain world's most Muslim-friendly destinations


The nations of Malaysia and Singapore have once again claimed top spots in the annual MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI), which covers 130 destinations, ranking them as the most Muslim-friendly tourism destinations worldwide.

Malaysia retained its number one position on the list of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries, with the UAE moving up one spot from last year to second place. Turkey, Indonesia and Qatar comes next, rounding off the top five OIC countries.

For non-OIC destinations, Singapore kept its crown, with Thailand, the UK, South Africa and Hong Kong making up the top five.

Just last November, Thailand's first halal hotel, the Al Meroz Hotel Bangkoksoft-launched in Bangkok’s predominantly Muslim enclave of Ramkhamhaeng, bolstering its position as the second-most Muslim-friendly non-OIC destination.

The study further revealed that in 2015, there were an estimated 117 million Muslim visitor arrivals globally, representing close to 10 per cent of the entire travel market. This is forecasted to grow to 168 million visitors by 2020 with a market value spend projected to exceed US$200 billion.

Countries analysed in the GMTI are scored against criterias including suitability as a family holiday destination, the level of services and facilities provided, accommodation options, marketing initiatives as well as visitor arrivals. This year, two new criteria – air connectivity and visa restrictions – were added.
-TTG Asia.