Saturday, 31 March 2018

Tourism Malaysia Wins 2018 Tamil Nadu Tourism Award

PUTRAJAYA, 28 MARCH 2018: For the third consecutive year, Tourism Malaysia was presented with a Tamil Nadu Tourism Award in Chennai, India, recently. The award was for the “Best Other Country Tourism Office” category in recognition of Tourism Malaysia’s easy access and range of tourism-related assistance to the public. Besides, Tourism Malaysia was also supportive in enhancing flight connectivity from Chennai and Bengaluru to Malaysia. It also worked closely with Singapore Airlines to enhance connectivity from both Malaysia and Singapore to India.

The Director of Tourism Malaysia for South India and Sri Lanka, Mr. Noor Azman Samsudin, received the award given by the Regional Director of Ministry of Tourism India, Mr. Sanjay Shrivats, at Kamarajar Arangam, Teynampet.

The Tamil Nadu Tourism Award is an annual tourism event in Tamil Nadu, organised with the support from the government of India. Since its inception in 2015, it began to recognise industry players who demonstrated excellent performance.The award aims to encourage the development of tourism, and especially to position Tamil Nadu as a top tourism destination in India.

Madura Welcome, the top tourist guide book of Tamil Nadu, is the official host of the award presentation ceremony; it is a subsidiary of Madura Travel Service (P) Ltd in Chennai, India. This year, the award was telecast all over Tamil Nadu by Murasu TV and received wide coverage on social media.

The Tamil Nadu Tourism Award, which entered its third edition this year, was witnessed by over 2,000 guests. Among the guests of honour for that night included vice chancellors, celebrities, consul generals, and government officials of India.

Over 130 awards were presented to hoteliers, airlines, restaurants, tourism products owners, travel agents, tourism education institutions, the media and publishers.

The winners were selected based on online nomination and voting by the public as well as travel trade friends. In previous editions, Malaysia was crowned “Best International Tour Destination” in 2015, while Tourism Malaysia took home the “Best Other Country Tourism Office” award in both 2016 and 2017.
-Tourism Malaysia.

25.9 Million International Tourists Visited Malaysia In 2017

PUTRAJAYA, 29 MARCH 2018: In 2017, Malaysia received a total of 25,948,459 international tourists and recorded a 0.1% growth in tourist receipts, thus contributing RM82.2 billion to the country’s revenue. Meanwhile, the average length of stay (ALOS) in 2017 for foreign tourists decreased to 5.7 nights from 5.9 nights in the previous year.

Although tourist arrivals dropped by 3%, in terms of numbers, Malaysia was the second most-visited South East Asian country after Thailand, which had 35.3 million tourists in 2017.

The East Asia market showed a 6.3% growth, while other markets saw a decline, i.e. ASEAN markets dropped by -3.9%, Europe (-1.7%), Americas (-4.3%), Oceania (-5.4%) Central Asia (-6.4%), Africa (-7%), West Asia (-12.3%) and South Asia (-13.3%).

ASEAN or the short haul market dominated with a 75.1% share of total tourist arrivals and brought a total of 19,478,575 tourists to Malaysia. The medium haul market share was 19.1% with 4,948,123 tourists, while the long haul market share was 5.9% with a total of 1,520,389 tourists.

For the top 10 markets, Singapore with 12,441,713 tourist arrivals heads the list followed by Indonesia (2,796,570), China (2,281,666), Thailand (1,836,522), Brunei Darussalam (1,660,506), India (552,739), South Korea (484,528), Japan (392,777), Philippines (370,559), and Australia (351,232).

For China, the market surpassed the target to this region with an increase of 7.45% to 2.28 million arrivals, while an increase of flight frequency by AirAsia X made Kuala Lumpur and also Kota Kinabalu choice destinations for the Koreans.
Wars in Syria, Yemen and Qatar affected the Middle East markets, further impacting Malaysia’s tourism performance after Malaysia Airlines discontinued its routes to Dubai and Kuwait in 2016.

Despite the decline in overall arrivals, Tourism Malaysia is optimistic that Malaysia’s tourism performance will improve. The increase in the number of visa applications from India and China as well as forward flight bookings, are positive indicators. Improved visa facilities in China and India are also making it convenient for more travellers to visit Malaysia.

Better connectivity from various key markets would also boost travel to Malaysia. Recently, Tourism Malaysia had announced during the ITB Berlin of its partnership with Condor Air to establish a thrice-weekly Frankfurt-Kuala Lumpur route beginning 5 November 2018 offering 960 weekly seats.

The Tourism Malaysia Integrated Promotional Plan 2018 – 2020 has also been formulated and implemented to tackle existing challenges and improve Malaysia’s tourism performance. Meanwhile, the kick-off of Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign in various markets this year, targeting 36 million tourists and RM168 billion in tourist receipts by 2020, is also expected to revive Malaysia’s position as a choice holiday destination.
-Tourism Malaysia.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Malaysia lays out recovery plans as 2017 tourist arrivals fall short of targets

Despite a weak ringgit that was perceived to boost inbound tourism, foreign tourist arrivals to Malaysia totalled 25.9 million in 2017 with a yield of RM82.2 billion (US$21 billion), a far cry from the targeted 31 million tourists and RM114 billion yield.

Last year’s arrival figures indicated a three per cent decline over 2016, although yield posted a marginal 0.1 per cent increase in 2017 to RM82.2 billion.
It was a mixed bag of performance for ASEAN, a key market source accounting for 75 per cent of total arrivals to Malaysia.

Regional markets that saw a decline in 2017 include Cambodia (-32.1 per cent), Myanmar (-14 per cent), the Philippines (-11.2 per cent), Indonesia (-8.3 per cent) and Singapore (-6.3 per cent).

On the other hand, double-digit growth was registered for other ASEAN markets such as Brunei (+19.4 per cent), Vietnam (+14.8 per cent), Laos (+27 per cent) and Thailand (+3.1 per cent).

Arrivals from India, another major market for Malaysia, tumbled 13.4 per cent from 2016 to 552,739 in 2017.

Keen to arrest the decline for India, whose arrivals have been on a downward slide since 2015, Tourism Malaysia has embarked on a six-month joint marketing and promotion campaign with Akqua Sun Group, a destination marketing company based in India.

The campaign, which runs from January to June, utilises a comprehensive promotion mix, implemented across print and online advertising, trade networking roadshows to meet top travel agents, participation in consumer and trade tourism fairs, workshops and product briefings on Malaysia, familiarisation trips and joint promotions.

Tourism Malaysia’s director-general, Mirza Mohammad Taiyab revealed there are plans to set up a Tourism Malaysia office in Kolkata, adding to offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. With AirAsia flying daily between Kolkata and Kuala Lumpur, the regional office will help to boost tourist arrivals from West Bengal and neighbouring states.

Mirza suggested that congestion at the entry points into Malaysia, especially during peak periods, as a possible reason driving tourists to consider other destinations.

To address the bottlenecks, the government has stepped up efforts to make entry clearances by land and sea faster and more convenient, especially during peak travel periods for the respective markets, said Mirza.

In January, the Immigration Department issued a statement that steps have been taken to ease congestion at the main gateway, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, by opening support counters for passenger inspection during peak periods.

The state government of Johor is also looking at ways to ease traffic congestion along the Causeway and the Second Link. Options being considered include increasing the number of toll booths at the Second Link, better traffic management at both checkpoints, which includes separating bigger and larger trailers from smaller lorries for faster clearance and increasing the number of security personnel during peak hours.
-TTG Asia.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

MATTA tidak setuju larangan surcaj kad kredit

KUALA LUMPUR 23 Mac – Persa­tuan Ejen-Ejen Pelancongan dan Pengembaraan Malaysia (MATTA) tidak berpuas hati dengan larangan surcaj terhadap pembayaran melalui kad kredit kerana boleh mendatangkan kesulitan kepada ahlinya dan orang awam yang melancong.

Presiden MATTA, Datuk Tan Kok Liang berkata, agensi serta syarikat pelancongan beroperasi dengan marjin yang rendah, tidak seperti kedai runcit di pusat membeli-belah.

“Disebabkan marjin rendah itu, surcaj perlu dikenakan ke atas pembayaran kad kredit hanya untuk mendapatkan semula kos Kadar Diskaun Peniaga (MDR) yang dikenakan oleh bank,” katanya dalam kenyataan di laman web MATTA di sini hari ini.

Menurut Kok Liang, cara mudah bagi agensi dan syarikat pelancongan adalah dengan memasukkan MDR ke dalam harga, namun itu adalah tidak adil kepada majoriti pelanggan yang membayar secara tunai, cek atau dalam talian.

“Ia akan memberi lebih banyak manfaat kepada pengguna apabila caj yang dikenakan adalah telus dan dengan serendah yang mungkin,” ujarnya.

Mengulas lanjut katanya, adalah lebih baik jika Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) meneroka kemungkinan untuk memansuhkan MDR atau mengurangkan kadar itu terutama bagi jumlah yang besar.

“Ini akan memberi manfaat kepada pengguna dan juga perniagaan yang besar, sekali gus meransang pertumbuhan pembayaran tanpa tunai di negara kita,” katanya.

Tambah beliau, ahli MATTA perlu mematuhi kod etika persatuan, termasuk menjalankan operasi perniagaan yang sah dengan cara yang adil dan telus.
-utusan online.

One-Stop Resource Centre For Tourism Industry-Related Knowledge

photo: PelanconganKini

PUTRAJAYA, 21 MARCH 2018: If you are looking for tourism industry-related information such as statistics, research and reference materials, then the Tourism Malaysia Resource Centre should be your first point of reference.

Established in 1972, this specialist library serves as a source of reference for those seeking tourism related information. Its repository of tourism publications comprise research studies, survey findings, statistical data and market intelligence. A large number of these publications are the intellectual property of Tourism Malaysia.

The Resource Centre has almost 20,000 catalogued units of reference materials (books, journals, tourism reports, statistical data, newspaper clippings, magazines, conference/seminar papers, etc.) and other sources of information, available in print or electronic modes of which 70% are related to tourism.

The Tourism Malaysia Resource Centre’s current location is on the spacious second floor of the Tourism Malaysia headquarters in Precinct 5, Putrajaya. With windows overlooking the beautiful Putrajaya lake, it offers a quiet and relaxing space for visitors to browse through the collection of publications and do their research or reading in peace.

Among the facilities available are computer usage with internet connection, wifi, access to external database of publications, linguaphone facilities to learn a foreign language, webopac system to search for catalogued materials, webinfoline system which is an information retrieval system of scanned publications such as newspaper clippings, poster collection, annual reports, etc.
With the collection of materials kept and documented by the resource centre, it is possible to go as far back as the 1970s in search of tourism industry news and information!

The resource centre is open to the public and they can also sign up for membership which provides them the following benefits: borrowing books, guided library tours, usage of computers with internet access and wifi facilities, special loans services, and interlibrary loan services.

Contact details:
Tourism Malaysia Resource Centre
No. 2, Tower 1, Jalan P5/6,
Precinct 5, 62200 Putrajaya
Tel: 603-8891 8198/8199(Circulation Counter)

Hours of operation:

Monday to Thursday: 8 am to 5 pm
Friday 8 am to 12:15 pm, and 2.45 pm to 5 pm
Closed on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays
-Tourism Malaysia.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Visit Miri campaign gets lift from Wings Air’s Pontianak flights

Miri wants to realise medical tourism potentials

Indonesian LCC Wings Air launched twice-daily flights between Pontianak and Miri on March 15, a timely addition amid the Visit Miri 2018 campaign.

With the only other international direct flight into Miri being AirAsia’s service from Singapore, the new Pontianak route is promising to lend strength to the travel industry’s push for the northern region of Sarawak.

Among the activities and attractions highlighted as part of the Visit Miri 2018 are the Borneo Jazz Festival (May 11-12); Miri City International Deep Sea Fishing Tournament (May 10-13) as well as its UNESCO accredited Mulu National Park.

Visit Miri 2018 is a tourism initiative by Miri City Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports; Sarawak Tourism Board; Miri Resident Office; Miri District Office; Sarawak Forestry Corporation and non-government organisations.

Sarawak Tourism Board’s acting CEO, Mary Wan Mering, added: “The new flights will also help attract more medical tourists from Pontianak to the three main hospitals in Miri actively promoting medical tourism – Borneo Medical Centre Miri, Miri City Medical Centre and Columbia Asia Hospital.

“The flights could also help the state of Sarawak achieve its arrival target for 2018, pitched eight to 10 per cent higher than the 4.8 million arrivals into Sarawak in 2017,” she said.

Indonesia represents an important market for Malaysia’s medical tourism sector, contributing more than 60 per cent of the segment.

Miri is the second international destination in Wings Air’s network, after the airline launched Kuching flights in January 2018.
-TTG Asia.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Sarawak memperoleh RM439,529 hasil cukai pelancongan

KUCHING 20 Mac - Sarawak mendapat RM439,529 daripada hasil cukai pelancongan yang dikutip kerajaan mulai 1 September hingga 31 Disember tahun lalu di negeri ini.

Menteri Pelancongan, Kesenian, Kebudayaan, Belia dan Sukan negeri, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah berkata, sebelum ini,  Kementerian Kewangan menyatakan setiap RM10 yang dikutip, RM1 akan diserahkan kembali kepada kerajaan negeri namun ia sudah dikaji semula.

Katanya, kerajaan kemudian bersetuju untuk memberikan RM5 daripada RM10 hasil kutipan cukai pelancongan warga asing yang menginap di hotel negeri ini.

"Dalam tempoh empat bulan itu, Sarawak mendapat kutipan berjumlah RM879,058," katanya dalam sidang akhbar selepas Mesyuarat Jawatankuasa Pemandu Pelancongan Sarawak(STSC) 1/2018, di sini hari ini.

Yang turut hadir, Menteri Muda Belia dan Sukan negeri, Datuk Snowdan Lawan.
Mengulas lanjut, beliau berkata, hasil diperoleh itu masih rendah jika dibandingkan dengan Kuala Lumpur, Sabah, Pulau Pinang dan Johor Bahru yang mempunyai banyak hotel.

Sementara itu, beliau memberitahu, pihaknya juga akan mengambil tindakan kontinjensi dengan melantik pemandu pelancong sementara yang boleh berbahasa Mandarin, berikutan kedatangan pelancong China yang meningkat sejak penerbangan sulung dari Shenzhen ke Kuching dilancarkan pada Disember tahun lalu.

"Kita mempunyai 200 pemandu pelancong di negeri ini, namun bukan semua dapat berbahasa Mandarin bagi menampung permintaan pelancong China yang ramai," ujarnya.

Beliau memberitahu, sejak Januari hingga Mac ini, sebanyak 20,000 penumpang telah menggunakan penerbangan laluan Shenzhen-Kuching dan Kuching-Shenzhen.
-utusan online.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

MATTA deepens trade links in lead-up to Visit Malaysia Year 2020

MATTA is also partnering ASITA to boost arrivals

The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has joined forces with the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) to develop a B2B and a B2C booking platform to help members better compete in the digital marketplace, one of its recent partnerships forged with trade associations.

Through the platform, MAH hotel members will provide inventory for MATTA member agents to purchase at competitive rates.

MATTA president, KL Tan, said: “This collaboration with MAH will benefit both parties. It will allow hotels and agents to compete more effectively with OTAs. 

Hotel inventory will also be more widely available to the 3,200 odd MATTA members and at good rates. The booking platform will empower agents to sell directly to consumers through the B2C platform. Eventually the system will incorporate the sale of tour packages as well as tickets to attractions and events.”

The platform, focused on promoting inbound and domestic travel, is timely as tourism industry players prepare for Visit Malaysia Year 2020 campaign, a national initiative spearheaded by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia which is expected to generate 36 million tourists and RM168 billion in tourism receipts.

On the development of the booking platform, Tan said: “We are collaborating with the National ICT Association of Malaysia for the design, development and operation. We hope to kick start the project by mid 2018 and for the platform to be operational in early 2019.”

Separately, MATTA has also partnered the Association of Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (ASITA) to boost visitor arrivals to Malaysia and Indonesia.

Tan said: “With more than 50 flights per week between Malaysia and Indonesia, MATTA and ASITA will be able to promote both countries as a single destination for longhaul markets. Such arrangement can be brought to a new level due to better air connectivity between both countries.”

Moreover, with Indonesia being Malaysia’s second top visitor source market contributing over 2.7 million arrivals last year, MATTA aims to grow the number to 3.4 million by 2020.
-TTG Asia.