Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Sepang International Circuit Open Trak Day ( 7 November 2017 )

Sepang Circuit Open Track Day - Car, 7th November 2017.
Only RM318 per session!

Any further clarification or assistance on slot fee or Pits allocation, please do not hesitate to directly contact Indra Zawawi via email indra.zawawi@sepangcircuit.com / +603 8778 2263
-Sepang Circuit facebook.

M’sian trade upbeat over SME, medical tourism allotment in Budget

Funds set aside for infrastructure development, SME loans,
medical tourism promotion give trade many reasons to cheer

Malaysian prime minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak last Friday presented the national budget for 2018, unveiling a RM2 billion (US$471.5 million) component for the SME Tourism Fund, which provides soft loans to eligible tour operators with an interest subsidy of two per cent, among other tourism sector allocations.

Apart from the SME Tourism Fund, RM500 million has been set aside for the development and promotion of tourism through infrastructure upgrades, as well as marketing for homestay and eco-tourism programmes.

Other highlights include expanding eVisa regional hub by facilitating visa application worldwide, especially for expatriates, foreign students and the Malaysia My Second Home programme; and allocating RM250 million to the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) to enhance security controls at Sabah and Sarawak borders, including RM50 million for coastal surveillance radar.

Notably, the government has also allocated RM30 million to the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council. Among other purposes, funds will go towards promoting Malaysia as the Asian Hub for Fertility Treatment and introducing the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital programme, which offers special incentives for private hospitals to attract medical tourists.

Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), CEO, Sherene Azli, commented: “We welcome the allocation and are excited with the budget announcement to spur further growth of the medical tourism industry. Since 2011, the industry has shown tremendous potential recording a double-digit annual growth, ranging between 16-17 per cent every year. In 2016, the healthcare travel industry grew by 23 per cent from 2015, compared to the average growth rate of 15 per cent from 2011-2015.”

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents’ (MATTA) president, KL Tan, said the tourism allocations answer MATTA’s calls for continued incentives for inbound and domestic tour operators to help new and small players, many of which are Bumiputera companies.

“MATTA had proposed for funding for capacity building in the travel sector and RM2 billion was allocated to SMEs for training programmes, grants and soft loans under SME Corporation Malaysia. (Also), the allocation for infrastructure development will strengthen rural tourism and homestay, including eco-tourism facilities like jetties, toilets and signages.”

He further expressed optimism that the expansion of the eVisa regional hub, Malaysia “is certain to attract more visitors from countries with access to this facility”, and that airport expansion would bring greater comfort and convenience to travellers.

“As safety and security are paramount, allocating RM250 million to ESSCOM is essential for the safety and security of tourism and economic activities in the East Coast of Sabah, which is currently experiencing an influx of China tourists, especially to Semporna,” he added.
-TTG Asia.

Unlocking Malaysia Diving Hidden Treasures @ DEMA Show 2017 ( 2 November 2017 )

Hi all my friends attending DEMA 2017 Orlando please be invited to attend my presentation on Diving in Malaysia on:-

Date: Thursday 2nd Nov 2017
Time: 12:00PM
Venue: Room S310E

Topic: Unlocking Malaysia Diving Hidden Treasures.
See you all there cheers
-Clement Lee facebook.

Hilton picks Kuala Lumpur for Canopy’s SEA debut

South-east Asia will get its first Canopy by Hilton property when Canopy by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Bintang opens in 4Q2021.

Set along Pudu Road within the Bukit Bintang neighbourhood, the 456-key hotel will feature complimentary Wi-Fi, Canopy Central café and bar, a fitness centre, as well as a rooftop swimming pool and F&B outlet on the 28th floor.

The hotel will form part of Bukit Bintang City Centre, a mixed-use development that includes office towers, residential apartments, a lifestyle shopping mall, a modern Malaysian heritage-inspired bazaar, an entertainment hub as well as a transit hub.
-TTG Asia.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Tahun 2020 diisytihar Tahun Melawat Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR 27 Okt. - Kerajaan mengumumkan tahun 2020 sebagai Tahun Melawat Malaysia seiring dengan pelbagai aktiviti yang akan dilaksanakan pada tahun itu antaranya menjadi tuan rumah kepada Kerjasama Ekonomi Asia Pasifik (APEC).

Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak berkata, pengumuman itu adalah seiring dengan kemampuan Malaysia menjadi negara ke-12 paling ramai dikunjungi pelancong dari seluruh dunia untuk tahun 2016 mengikut laporan 
Pertubuhan Pelancongan Sedunia (WTO).

Jelas Perdana Menteri, demi menyiapkan Malaysia sebagai destinasi pelancongan pilihan, kerajaan akan memperkenalkan beberapa skim bantuan antaranya RM2 bilion diperuntukan kepada Tabung Pelancongan perusahaan kecil dan sederhana (PKS) sebagai pinjaman kepada pengusaha pelancongan dengan insentif subsidi berkadar faedah dua peratus menerusi Bajet 2018.

“Dari Melaka ke negeri Pahang, tumpang berteduh di Bandar Pekan, negara tersohor pelancong pun datang, itulah tandanya Malaysia aman. Bagi tahun 2018 pula, dijangka 28 juta pelancong akan melawat Malaysia,” katanya ketika membentangkan Bajet 2018, di Dewan Rakyat, hari ini.

Tambah Najib, kerajaan juga akan memperluaskan hab serantau e-Visa bagi memudahkan permohonan di seluruh dunia terutama kepada ekspatriat, pelajar asing dan peserta program Malaysia My Second Home.
-utusan online.

Malaysia’s north to soar on Qatar’s wings

Kurz expects interest from UK senior market looking to visit Penang

Qatar Airways’ new thrice-weekly flights between Doha and Penang, commencing February 6, 2018, are spurring hopes among Malaysian inbound agents of stronger European traffic to the northern region of the country.

The new service will be the first longhaul flight to Penang, an island destination that gets mostly air connections with regional destinations in South-east Asia and North Asia.

Diethelm Travel Malaysia’s managing director, Manfred Kurz, believes that the new flights are “perfect” for promoting the northern region of Malaysia, where Penang is, to the Europeans. Popular destinations in the north include Langkawi, Kedah, and the Belum Temenggor Forest Reserve in Perak state.

Speaking to TTG Asia at the recent ITB Asia 2017, Kur said: “I foresee the UK senior market will be interested in these flights due to the country’s historical links with Penang.”

As the “Germans like to move around more and tend to end their holiday with a beach stay”, Kurz predicts that an open jaw arrangement would appeal to the travellers, where they start off in Kuala Lumpur before proceeding overland to Perak (state) and onward to Penang, and leaving for Doha on the new Qatar Airways flight.

The new flights are a boon to Malaysia’s business events specialists too, opined Yap Sook Ling, managing director, Asian Overland Services Tours & Travel.
She told TTG Asia that the flights will “provide an opportunity to promote Penang for business events and to attract more international conferences”.

Arokia Das, senior manager at Luxury Tours Malaysia, agreed: “Penang is relatively new to the business events scene. Corporates and associations intending to have their event in South-east Asia will see Penang as a fresh option (due to the improved access).”

And because “Qatar Airways has a solid reputation and airfares are reasonable”, Arokia thinks it will be easier now to sell Penang to the European market.
He added: “For the leisure segment, we are looking at selling just Penang or combining Penang with East Malaysia, which has rich eco-tourism and cultural offerings.”

Longhaul buyers at ITB Asia 2017 are equally upbeat about the new air link.
Jesko Krengel, senior product manager, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore at TUI Deutschland based in Hannover, said: “Our (best selling) tours combine Singapore and Langkawi. The new flights to Penang will provide us with options in creating new itineraries for the northern region of Malaysia. Qatar Airways is known for its good service and affordability, so promoting the airlines and the new route will not be too hard.”

A new buyer to ITB Asia, Joe Calstas, director general, board member at the Institute of Journalism and Communication based in Geneva, Switzerland, said: “We are considering holding seminars related to journalism in Penang, and improved longhaul connectivity will certainly help.

“We will be meeting with the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau at ITB Asia to know more about the offerings in the state.”
Calstas shared that most of those attending his association’s events in Asia are Europeans.

But when asked if the new flights would boost Malaysia’s Middle Eastern footfalls, Ally Bhoonee, executive director at World Avenues, said he didn’t think so.

“Most Middle Eastern visitors to Malaysia are from Saudi Arabia, and in the past, many from Saudi Arabia used Qatar Airways. With the ongoing sanctions (placed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia), the new flights will only benefit Qataris and the expatriates living in Qatar,” he explained.
-TTG Asia.