Thursday, 31 May 2018

Popular travel fair to be held in Selangor

Syed Abdul Rahman (centre) with sponsors and strategic partners of 
the MATTA Fair Selangor Carnival 2018 in Serdang.

THE Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Selangor will introduce its inaugural MATTA Fair Selangor Carnival 2018 this July.

The upcoming consumers travel fair will be held at Malaysian Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS).

This will be the first time the travel fair is being held in Selangor, following other successful ones in Kuala Lumpur.

More than 40 authorised travel agencies, state tourism organisations and other tourism companies will be setting up booths at the three-day travel fair from July 27.

“We will promote various tourism attractions in Selangor and other states in Malaysia,” he said in a press conference at MAEPS in Serdang.

He said the first edition of the fair would feature 150 booths at MAEPS Hall D2 with 8,000sq m exhibition space.

“So far, 70% of the booths have been taken up,” he said, adding that they received encouraging enquiries on the fair.

In addition, he said, several airlines such as Malaysia Airlines, Firefly, Air France, Turkish Airlines and Thai Airways have been roped in to offer interesting travel packages to various destinations.

There will also be discounted offers on hotels to encourage travellers to plan their year-end holidays.

Syed Abdul Rahman added that the travel fair would include a food festival as well as travel and lifestyle activities in a carnival-like atmosphere.

“There will be 50 food trucks offering dishes from Kedah, Melaka and Johor, making it one of the interesting activities at the carnival,” he said, adding that the fair was expected to attract up to 70,000 visitors.

There will also be the Buyers Contest, where winners stand to win flight tickets, free hotel stays and holiday packages abroad.

Tourism Selangor promotion and industry development manager Khuzaimah Jamaluddin said they would support the fair by bringing in several tourism products from the state.

“For the domestic market, there are many interesting places in Selangor that can attract tourists such as the Sky Mirror in Kuala Selangor. There are only two Sky Mirrors in the world; one in Bolivia and the other in Malaysia,” she said.

Khuzaimah said they would also promote Sekinchan, popular for fishing activities, homestays and cycling in padi fields.

“We will also present handicrafts, customs, cultural performances and interactive activities of the Mah Meri indigenous people from Pulau Carey in Kuala Langat,” she said.

Tourism Malaysia (central region) director Mohd Akbal Setia said they would highlight unique tourism packages to attract the domestic and foreign tourists.

“In 2016, 66 million domestic tourists contributed RM48bil income for the country. We are hoping to attract 36 million foreigners to visit the country in 2020, which is estimated to contribute RM168bil to the country,” he said.

There will be trams to ferry visitors from their parking areas and shuttle services at ERL Putrajaya and Komuter station in Serdang for visitors to get to the fair.

The MATTA fair will be open from 10am to 10pm. Admission is free.

For details, visit the MATTA Fair official Facebook account Matta Selangor and official Instagram @matta_selangor
-thestar online.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Opera Cina @ MaTiC Kuala Lumpur ( 20 & 21 Julai 2018 )

PST2018 Siri III membawakan “Opera Cina” – menampilkan kumpulan Persatuan Peminat Opera & Muzikal Cina Totalmas Kuala Lumpur. Kumpulan yang diasaskan pada tahun 2000 oleh pasangan Encik Frankie Tan dan Puan Brendda Ooi ini dianggotai seramai 20 orang ahli. Pementasan Opera Cina diarahkan oleh Puan Brendda Ooi bertemakan cinta, kasih sayang, pengkhianatan, kepahlawanan, pemberontakan dan perebutankuasa; digabungkan dalam 3 Hikayat Legenda iaitu ‘Hikayat Puteri Chang Ping’, ‘Kisah Cinta Cheong Shang Dim’ dan Fung Go – Kisah Yang Belum Berakhir’. Apakah kesudahan kisah ketiga-tiga hikayat legenda ini?

Jom sama-sama kita saksikan!

Sila dapatkan tiket-tiket berharga RM50 (VIP) dan RM20 (Biasa/50% diskaun diberikan kepada warga emas, pelajar dan OKU) dengan menghubungi:-

HOTLINE: +6012-338 5033 / +6012-518 6452

PST2018 Series III brings "Chinese Opera’ will feature the TOTALMAS Association of Chinese Opera and Musical Fans troupe. PST2018 Series III brings "Chinese Opera’ will feature the TOTALMAS Association of Chinese Opera and Musical Fans troupe. The group, which was founded in 2000 by Mr Frankie Tan and Mrs. Brendda Ooi, comprises of 20 members. The Chinese Opera is directed by Mrs. Brendda Ooi, featuring the themes of love, affection, betrayal, heroism, rebellion and usurpation through three legendary stories; 'The Story of Princess Chang Ping', 'Cheong Shang Dim Love Story' and 'The Endless Story of Fung Go'. Let's find out what these stories are all about...

Tickets are priced at RM50 (Premier & Limited seat) and RM20 (Normal/50% discount is given to senior citizens, students and disabled), and can be purchased through:-

HOTLINE: +6012-338 5033 / +6012-518 6452
-JKKN Wilayah Persekutuan facebook.

Warna-warni Aidilfitri 2018 @ Kompleks Kraf Kuala Lumpur ( 1 ~ 10 Jun 2018 )

Kraftangan Malaysia akan menganjurkan Warna-Warni Aidilfitri 2018 (WWA 2018) bermula pada 1 hingga 10 Jun 2018, dari jam 9.00 pagi hingga 6.00 petang pada hari Isnin hingga Khamis manakala Jumaat hingga Ahad bermula jam 9.00 pagi hingga 9.00 malam bertempat di Kompleks Kraf Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Conlay Kuala Lumpur. 

Warna-Warni Aidilfitri kali ini akan menghimpunkan usahawan kraf dan usahawan perkhidmatan Aidilfitri dari seluruh Malaysia dengan mengetengahkan produk-produk bagi persiapan menyambut hari raya Aidilfitri.

Pelbagai aktiviti menarik seperti Pameran Produk Kraf Aidilfitri, Demonstrasi dan Interaktif Kraf termasuk Demonstrasi Masakan dan Kuih Raya juga Jualan Kraf & Perkhidmatan Aidilfitri menanti kunjungan anda. Semua dijemput.
-Kraftangan Malaysia.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Daughtry Live In Kuala Lumpur 2018 @ KL Live, Life Centre ( 13 July 2018 )

Multi-­platinum rocker, American Idol runner up, Chris Daugthry, is back to rock in Malaysia on Friday 13th July 2018, 8.30pm at KL Live, Life Center.

Daughtry will bring arena-style rock to Kuala Lumpur, performing some of their popular hits including "Home", "It's Not Over", "Feels Like Tonight", and their newest single, "Backbone".

As the frontman for the band bearing his name, Daughtry has become one of the most visible and consistent rock & roll torchbearers of the 21st Century. 

Since rising to prominence on the fifth season of American Idol, he has released four albums, all of which reached the Billboard Top Ten and have a combined sales over 8 million copies in the U.S.

One thing that has kept the fire burning for Daughtry has been the need to constantly challenge himself creatively. He has collaborated with artists from Timbaland to Vince Gill to Carlos Santana and took on the role of Judas Iscariot in the 2016 live television performance of The Passion, and even fulfilled a lifelong dream by drawing the cover of a Batman comic which was rated as one of the top 25 covers of the year by

Daughtry will be performing in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand on their Asian tour. Malaysia ticket sales will begin on the 21st May 2018 from 10am onwards. 

Early birds are entitled to a special rate of RM 258 only, limited quantity and on first come first serve basis only.

PGC Durian Fest Golf Tournament 2018 @ Penang Golf Course ( 24 June 2018 )

-Penang Golf Club facebook.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Branding Malaysia As A Wedding & Honeymoon Destination

PUTRAJAYA, 23 MAY 2018: The recent global attention on the Royal Wedding of the Year between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle goes to show just how big the wedding and honeymoon business is.

Big weddings are not just for the British royals, though, and Malaysia is keenly aware of the great potential the industry can bring to its tourism business especially from markets such as India where it is estimated that more than 10 million weddings are organised each year.

Tapping into this market, which is said to be a recession-proof industry, estimated to be around $40-50 billion in size, is one of Tourism Malaysia’s strategy to boost its tourism revenue. Recently, Tourism Malaysia invited six of India’s top wedding planners from Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi to see what Malaysia could offer as a wedding destination for their clients. Also invited were a wedding magazine journalist and a wedding photographer.

Their trip here included hotel and site inspections in Langkawi, Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh to see the variety of accommodation options, facilities and services offered as well as nearby tourist attractions. The group also learned about customs regulations and were introduced to Malaysian wedding planners, florists and caterers. They also had the opportunity to speak with several government agencies namely the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), Customs Department, Malaysian Immigrations Department and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), as well as Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia.

They also met with the Tourism Malaysia Director General, Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab and shared viewpoints on Malaysia’s potential as a wedding and honeymoon destination.

Further initiatives by Tourism Malaysia to continue such efforts of promoting the country as a wedding and honeymoon destination include the publication of promotional materials for the India market, B2B roadshows with Air Asia in Indore, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Ludhiana, Lucknow, Delhi, Raipur and Amritsar, as well as additional familiarization trips.
-Tourism Malaysia.  

Mencari kedamaian di Pulau Mersing

BOT turut disediakan kepada pengunjung untuk melihat dari dekat
beberapa gugusan pulau-pulau di Mersing.

MERSING 24 Mei - Sebaik sahaja menyaksikan keindahan pantai yang dihampari oleh butiran pasir-pasir putih halus, pasti menjelmakan perasaan damai dan tenang kepada pengunjung.

Disulami dengan deruan angin dan hempasan ombak, suasana di pantai gugusan kepulauan Mer­sing amat memikat pengunjung yang inginkan percutian mendamaikan bersama-sama keluarga dan kenalan.

Malah, dunia alam marinnya yang kaya dengan pelbagai spe­sies menjadikan percutian ke desti­nasi kepulauan ini tidak pernah mengecewakan.

Kejernihan air lautnya yang membiaskan warna firus membolehkan pengunjung melihat ikan-ikan kecil berenang di sekeli­ling terumbu karang di dasar laut.

Hembusan segar angin Laut China Selatan yang terbentang luas di hadapan mata pula meredakan kehangatan tropika gugusan pulau tersebut yang turut mendapat jolokan ‘Maldives Malaysia’ kerana keindahannya.

Lebih membanggakan, gugusan kepulauan Mersing yang merangkumi enam pulau, iaitu Rawa, Tinggi, Aur, Sibu, Pemang­gil dan Besar turut diletak di bawah Taman Laut Sultan Iskandar (TLSI) serta dianggap sebagai 'permata laut' negeri ini.

Setiap pulau berkenaan mempunyai daya tarikan dan keunikan tersendiri dan kunjungan ke situ pasti memberi pengalaman percutian berbeza.

Justeru, tidak hairan pengunjung mahu menyelami dan merasai pengalaman berkunjung ke gugusan pulau berkenaan yang amat kaya dengan khazanah flora dan faunanya.

Misalnya, Pulau Rawa amat digemari pelancong asing khususnya dari Eropah kerana nilai ‘eksklusif' pulau berkenaan yang mengawal jumlah tetamunya bagi memberikan kepuasan maksimum kepada pengunjungnya.

Bagi pengunjung yang mencari percutian bajet, Pulau Besar, Pulau Tinggi dan Pulau Sibu adalah destinasi sesuai menerusi rangkaian penginapan yang menawarkan harga berpatutan dan mengikut keperluan pe­langgan.

Menariknya di ketiga-tiga pulau ini, pe­ngunjung juga boleh menikmati suasana kampung dengan berjalan kaki atau berbasikal sambil menyaksikan perusahaan sokongan pelancongan yang diusahakan penduduk asal pulau berkenaan.

Jangan terkejut apabila melihat ratusan keluang bergantu­ngan di atas pokok-pokok sekitar Pulau Besar yang ‘jinak’ dan tidak membahayakan.

Justeru, bagi yang inginkan percutian menyeronokkan untuk keluarga dan kenalan, gugusan kepulauan Mersing menjanjikan pengalaman baharu dan mene­nangkan.
-utusan online.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Hotel investment sentiment on the upswing with Mahathir in PM seat

Kuala Lumpur (pictured) is one of two locations drawing strong
investor interest from the hospitality sector

Investor confidence in the Malaysian hospitality sector has surged following the appointment of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has made clear that he would foster a business-friendly administration, and welcome foreign direct investments from all over the world.

Business outlook has climbed with Mahathir’s assurance for a pro-business environment in Malaysia, as well as the setting up of a special taskforce to probe into the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal and retrieve assets from the misappropriation of funds under former leader Najib Razak, Zerin Properties CEO and founder, Previndran Singhe, told TTG Asia yesterday on the sidelines of the Hospitality Malaysia Conference in Kuala Lumpur.

He commented: “We are getting enquiries from foreign investors in Asia-Pacific looking for greenfield and brownfield investment opportunities to build hotel properties of 150 keys upwards.”

According to Previndran, Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu are two key destinations drawing strong investor interest; the former because it is the capital, while the latter is favoured for its good infrastructure and air connectivity to North Asia, alongside its diversity of natural attractions.

Naresh Mohan, CEO of Grand ION Delemen Hotel in Genting Highlands, said during the ‘Unveiling the Investment Road Ahead for Malaysia’ forum session that foreign hotel investors are also attracted to Malaysia due to robust growth projections in the tourism industry, driven by a new crop of attractions such as the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park in Genting Highlands.

“Once the theme park opens, demand for rooms in Genting will outstrip the supply,” he remarked. Currently, there are more than 10,000 rooms at Resorts World Genting.

But to keep foreign investor momentum high, the new government has to look into “improving air connectivity especially to tourist destinations”, Previndran urged.

“Langkawi, for instance, has the highest average room rates in Malaysia but there are not enough business class seats on domestic flights to Langkawi. 

Langkawi also attracts tourists from Russia during the year end, but there are no direct, scheduled flights from Russia to Langkawi and Malaysia,” he continued.

Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners executive director Shaharuddin Saaid, said the new government should focus on attracting more high-end hotel brands. He said: “We need to focus on increasing tourist receipts by attracting high-income tourists rather than tourist numbers.”
-TTG Asia.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Hopes high as Malaysian trade awaits details on zero-rated GST

While the GST removal is good news, stakeholders in Malaysia are seeking
details on the new SST in order to price their tours

With the Harapan Coalition now in power, Malaysia’s travel trade is looking forward to the promised reduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to a zero rate beginning June 1, down from the current six per cent, effectively scrapping the consumer tax implemented on April 1, 2015.

The GST will be replaced by the Sales and Services Tax (SST), which will only kick in after the government makes a decision on it, likely after the zero-rated GST is effected in June.

While welcoming the zero-rated GST, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) and Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners (MAHO) are currently seeking clarification from the Royal Malaysian Customs Department on details of the GST removal and implementation of the new SST system.

MATTA president, KL Tan, said: “It is not entirely clear whether GST needs to be charged for tours sold before June 1, 2018 but with a travel date on or after June 1, 2018.

Still, he expects the removal of the GST to ultimately grant a “discount” on the price of local tour and travel, which is likely to in turn boost the domestic travel industry.

Tan added: “The ‘zero per cent GST’ is bound to promote spending by both locals and tourist especially on Malaysian shopping and F&B, including tourist attractions, thus potentially increasing the price appeal of Malaysia as a travel destination and encourage more tourist spending.”

Likewise, MAHO’s executive director Shaharuddin Saaid expects the lower price of hotel rooms and services to buoy domestic and inbound tourism, in addition to spurring non-room spending in hotels in the interim period between June 1 and the introduction of the SST.

MATTA’s Tan added that the policy shift will also bring consistency in GST treatment between Designated Areas – Labuan, Langkawi and Tioman, which are tax free destinations, with the rest of Malaysian travel locations.

Meanwhile, Diethelm Travel Malaysia managing director, Manfred Kurz, expressed concern over the lack of information about the SST.

He said: “Contracts for 2019 have to be finalised by end of May because many tour operators in Europe start printing their brochures in July and selling in September. We cannot give them details about the SST such as how many per cent it will be because at this point – no one knows. What will it include – transportation, entrance fees to attractions? We don’t know at this time.

“Our strategy is to be very open with our partners. We have informed them that the GST will be zero-rated from June 1 and that the SST will be reintroduced at some point in the near future. We will keep them updated when we get more information, and advise them not to publish lower rates in their new brochures.”
-TTG Asia.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Double Bonanza Shopping Celebration!

PUTRAJAYA, 18 MAY 2018: For Malaysians, the coming weeks are highly anticipated as there is a double celebration of both Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival (MMSC) with Hari Raya together. To all avid shoppers out there, the mid-year Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival (MMSC) sale has kicked off officially on 15 May until 31 July. 

Major shopping malls in Malaysia have spread out their red carpet to welcome all visitors with super discounts and offers, and exciting family activities and competitions during this sale carnival with themes of Hari Raya Aidilfitri which is just around the corner. Check out the following events and happenings. 

Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex
For traditional craft lovers or those looking for festive gifts and apparel, Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex should not be missed as the premier craft outlet will be organising a Warna-Warni Aidilfitri event. Check out the Moving Out Sale, Sedondon Apparel, Quickie Mix & Match, Craft Painting Workshop, Puasa & Raya Promotion with many bargains offered from 1 till 10 June 2018 only.

Suria KLCC
A special shopping programme, Daily Raya Rewards, is taking place at the iconic Suria KLCC. Depending on amount spent, shoppers have a chance to bring home a 3-tier tiffin set or a Longines timepiece.
In partnership with the NGO We Care Journey, Suria KLCC will hold a charity Share the Care programme where shoppers can offer donations of RM10 towards young patients of Spinal Mascular Atrophy. This is the chance to do your bit for charity. As for cooking enthusiasts, there will be Live Cooking demonstrations by Chef Sherson in Chinoz and Svago, and food reviews at Madam Kwan, Melur & Thyme, Aseana Café and Mamasan.

Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
In line with its tenth anniversary, Pavilion KL is promoting the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival with the theme The Special 10. Be the top spender and stand a chance to win a luxurious RADO watch. Tourists will enjoy a world of privileges, special offers, discounts and gifts at more than 250 participating outlets. 

With the dual Mega Sale & Hari Raya celebration, Fahrenheit88 presents a Gaya Raya celebration filled with festive experiences with gifts, tourist’s specials and more. Lucky shoppers who spend RM100 may redeem a Batik handkerchief, and those who spend RM200 in a single receipt will be able to redeem a RM50 Carlo Rino voucher.
For Mega Sale, Mega Spin promotion, spend RM150 in a single receipt, and stand a chance to spin and win away attractive prizes. 
Also, tourists will be able to get their hands on a Batik craft for only RM10, or free of charge for the first ten who redeem the mall’s Tourist Privilege card. 

Avenue K Shopping Mall
With its Raya Madness Reward, lucky winners stand a chance to win prizes worth RM30,000! Not only that, qualified shoppers will be invited to test their luck with AK Raya Madness Vending Machine to win attractive prizes and no one walks home empty handed.

Plaza Low Yat KL 
In celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Plaza Low Yat is organising a Redemption Campaign. Get exclusive PLY Woven Bags & Raya Packets with a minimum spend of RM250, receive Weekend Giveaways to Shoppers, and on selected dates, enjoy traditional Malay dance performances at the main entrance. Raya-themed decoration is setup throughout the inner and outer parts of the mall, too. 

Sunway Pyramid 
Sunway Pyramid will launch The Radiance of Hari Raya with great deals and bargains for the festive needs, plus free Batik gift for lucky shoppers. Various activities including traditional games will keep you occupied and entertained during your shopping spree. Make your way to the free photo booth for a memorable keepsake.

Sunway Velocity Mall
At Sunway Velocity mall in Cheras, sports fans who support their World Cup team will be given the opportunity to win authentic signed jerseys or limited-edition Adidas balls. Enter the Go for Goal competition held during this carnival with a minimum RM50 spend. 
The mall’s Hari Raya craze continues with the Weaves of Raya Harmony programme, promising a traditional and beautiful décor that reflects the beauty of Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Event highlights include cameo appearances by animation characters Omar and Hana as well as Ejen Ali, along with kids’ workshops, silat performances, traditional dance performances, storytelling sessions, and congkak competition. As a bonus, many free redemptions are available for HSBC cardholders.
More activities and workshops for kids are available at Sunway Velocity mall during the Velokiddie Carnival. 

Sunway Putra Mall
Meanwhile, Sunway Putra is putting together a Summer Sama Raya campaign which welcomes shoppers with Moroccan inspired décor and offerings, plus a Marrakesh bazaar with a variety of delicacies. The World Cup Fever will also be celebrated at the Al-Ikhsan Football Fiesta, while the Shop, Spin and Win gives shoppers a chance to bring home great prizes.

Quill City Mall
Quill City Mall’s Yass Raya 2018 brings around a Raya bazaar entertained by 30 local celebrities, Yass 100,000 points AirAsia BIG Points Balloon Drop and 2X Big Points Redemption, Yass Lucky Grab and Yass Raya Grand Launch. The whole carnival promises big prizes such as television sets, Ipads, audio systems and many more under its Shop, Dine and Win 3.0 competition.

IOI City Mall
IOI City Mall with its A Season of Shared Happiness will hold a Spend & Travel competition that offers holiday packages to Macao and other prizes. In addition, the Rasa Sayang Aidilfitri competition will give away free gifts for customers.

Alamanda Shopping Centre Putrajaya
With its Shoppers’ Redemption Program, Spend RM1,500.00 and above, and shoppers stand a chance its Daily Raya rewards. Other family fun activities such as Dining with a Star session and contests such as ketupat weaving, greeting cards and batu seremban workshops will also be happening during this sale carnival.

Elsewhere in Malaysia
In other parts of Malaysia, Gurney Paragon Mall in Penang will offer a RM10,000 Grand Prize of Home Make-Over for a lucky shopper. Genting Highlands and Johor Premium Outlets are also participating, and promise a lot of goodies.
To know further details and dates of exciting events and happenings during the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival at our local major malls, log into the Miss SHOPhia website (, follow her IG @miss_shophia and like her Facebook page at
-Tourism Malaysia.

With a new government, Malaysian hotels urge review of tourism tax

Hotel associations had opposed the tax leading up to its implementation,
saying it impinges on the destination’s price competitiveness

With the Malaysian cabinet set for a refresh following Mahathir Mohamad’s landmark election victory and return to the post of prime minister, the country’s three main hotel associations are taking the chance to resurface their objections surrounding a tourism tax that came into effect in September 2017.

Diminished competitivenessespecially in the budget hotel sector and hotels’ unwillingness to be made “collecting agents” for the tax are among the issues highlighted by the Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners’ (MAHO), Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), and Malaysia Budget Hotel Association (MyBHA).

This comes as the government announces a reduction of a goods and services tax introduced in 2015 to zero.

MAHO executive director, Shaharuddin M Saaid, shared with TTG Asiathat the association will push for an overall review of the tourism tax so that it does not hurt inbound arrivals.

Shaharuddin said: “A RM10 (US$2.50) tourism tax per room per night at a budget hotel that costs RM50 to RM80 per room per night is too much for guests to pay. The budget hotels complain that they are losing business because of this tax.”

The association hopes to recommend putting a new mechanism in place to free hotels of the tax collection role they have reluctantly assumed.

In addition, the three hotel associations had last year proposed that the government introduce an exit tax that should be collected at the airports and borders and imposed on foreign tourists. Shaharuddin said: “We will most likely bring up this proposal again.”

Under the system, foreign tourists are charged a flat rate of RM10 per night and per room and Malaysian citizens and permanent residents are exempted from paying the tax.
-TTG Asia.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Niki Tuuli Joins SIC RACING TEAM In Moto2

14 May 2018: SIC Racing Team can today announce that Finnish rider Niki Tuuli has joined the Moto2 team and will make his debut on board the 600cc Kalex machine in Le Mans this weekend.

The twenty two year-old from Imatra in Finland, will contest the Moto2 Championship in replace of Zulfahmi Khairuddin, who decided to end his Moto2 career in order to concentrate more on his mentor role within the SIC-backed ‘Impian ke MotoGP’ programme.

Niki Tuuli enters the World Championship with an impressive racing background to date.

Riding minimotos from the age of nine, Niki’s progress led him to ride a 600cc bike for the first time in 2012 in the IDM Yamaha R6 Cup, a competition that he would end up winning.

In 2013 he would make the move up to the European SuperStock600 series, where over the course of three seasons he would claim five podiums and one victory, achieving fourth place overall in 2014 as best result.

2016 was also a noteworthy year for the Finn. After putting his sporting career on the backburner with the disappearance of the European SuperStock600 series and having to undertake mandatory military service in Finland, he participated as a wildcard at three of the final four SuperSport World Championship races, taking the podium in all of them. He also won the Finnish Championship that year.

His brilliant appearances in WorldSSP earned him an opportunity to compete as a full time rider for the 2017 season. Under the tutelage of Vesa Kallio (brother of Mika Kallio), Tuuli took two podiums and one pole position during that year, finishing 7th overall.

In 2018 he has participated in five WorldSSP races (he is currently 8th in the overall standings), before receiving the proposal from SIC Racing Team to start an exciting challenge together in the Moto2 World Championship.

Iftar@KL - Jalan Raja, Kuala Lumpur ( 26 & 27 May + 2, 3, 9 & 10 Jun 2018 )

Jemput hadir berbuka puasa beramai-ramai di tengah2 kotaraya mulai minggu hadapan! Tandakan hujung minggu anda!!!
Suburkan Ramadan dengan amalan mulia
-Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Negara facebook.

Friday, 18 May 2018

With Chinese millennials, travel marketers take generational leap forward

Panel at ITB China discussing Chinese millennials, with their fickle minds
and short attention spans, but who also make up the “fastest-moving market”

For travel marketers who have never heard of Douyin, chances are that their marketing strategies targeting the Chinese millennials are already falling behind, said industry players at a panel discussion at ITB China 2018 in Shanghai.

Estimated to number more than 400 million, millennials are a force to reckon with in China’s outbound travel growth. But marketing to this key demographic requires a close watch of trends and recognising the cultural nuances and complexities, key travel figures shared during the ‘Connecting destinations with Chinese millennials’ session yesterday.

Chinese millennials are hardly a uniform market, with each subset – post-80s, post-90s and post-00s, etc – displaying its own quirks and preferences, according to Roger Qiu, general manager of Europe, Middle East & Africa, destination marketing of Ctrip Group. “Each segmentation is complicated,” he added.

Filipe Silva, board member of Turismo de Portugal, agreed: “There are differences within the millennials group. For instance, the millennial profile in a first-tier city is different from those in second- or third-tier cities.”

Whereas live streaming was just in demand a few years ago, the digitally connected cohort has now swapped their short attention span to short social video site Douyin, said Qiu. As a result, Ctrip is constantly re-examining and evolving its marketing strategies according to millennial trends and preferences, he added.

Travel brands also have to ensure “authenticity” while making content “cool and quick” to appeal to Chinese millennials, who have demonstrated a keen willingness to adopt new mobile apps and websites, noted Kirsty Burkill, head of marketing – Asia at Merlin Entertainments.

To attract the attention of Chinese millennials, which Burkill said is the “fastest-moving market” compared with their regional and global counterparts, Merlin Entertainments has mapped out different marketing strategies for its brands, with Douyin account launched for Madame Tussauds to keep Chinese Gen Z 
updated of the latest additions to the wax musuems.

But fickle as they may be, this “confident” generation is on a constant lookout for “world-class wow moments”, noted Burkill, and herein lies opportunities for attractions and tourism boards to tap on.

Experiences are highly coveted by this rising collective, with faraway and less popular outbound destinations now seeing an uptick in demand from Chinese millennials.

Israel is one such beneficiary as a destination, having seen fast-rising inbound Chinese numbers in recent years, with the growth hitting almost 100 per cent in the last two years, shared Bora Shnitman, Israel Tourism attache at Israel Ministry of Tourism’s China office. The share of FITs for the Chinese inbound market, meanwhile, has grown to 50 per cent, up from just seven per cent a few years back.

“We attract Chinese millennials with travel experiences in other countries in South-east Asia and Europe, who now have international experience and want to go to ‘mysterious’ place like Israel,” said Shnitman. “They plan their travel in small groups of friends or by themselves on Mafengwo or Qyer.”

In South America, Brazil is also benefiting from Chinese youngsters’ curiosity about the world. Observed Alisson Andrade, general manager of competitive intelligence and market access, Brazilian Tourism Board: “Chinese millennials are more open to experiences than shopping in Brazil. They like to connect with locals, stay in communities and learn to play drums, etc.”
-TTG Asia.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

APAC airlines’ earnings climb on higher passenger volumes, load factor

Decline in passenger yields slowed in 2017

Asia-Pacific airlines achieved US$8.8 billion in net earnings in 2017, up 31.6 per cent from the previous year, underpinned by higher volumes and with load factors, according to preliminary figures released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).

AAPA revealed that Asian airlines recorded 8.6 per cent increase in international passenger traffic, expressed in revenue passenger kilometre terms (RPK), supported by the widespread availability of affordable airfares and continued expansion in network connections.

Passenger revenue increased by six per cent to US$135.6 billion. Intense competition led to a marginal one per cent decline in passenger yields to 7.9 US cents per RPK, although the decline was less severe compared to previous years.

Fuel costs rose significantly, by 19.6 per cent to US$40.6 billion, as global jet fuel prices climbed 24.5 per cent to average US$65.40 per barrel, while the share of fuel expenditure as a percentage of total operating expenses rose by 2.2 percentage points to 24.6 per cent.

Non-fuel expenditure also increased, by 5.6 per cent to US$124.4 billion, in line with higher traffic volumes, AAPA figures show.

Commenting on the 2017 financial results, Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general, said: “Nevertheless, the region’s airlines continued to face some significant headwinds in the form of stiff competition, and increased cost pressures from markedly higher fuel prices and rising labour costs.

“Reflecting the highly competitive business environment, the average operating margin was 6.6 per cent for the year, with net profits of just over US$6 per passenger.”

In addition to continued growth in passenger volumes going ahead, Herdman also forecasted: “Overall, Asian airlines continue to evolve in the face of changing market dynamics, implementing measures to increase efficiency and carefully control operating costs whilst seeking opportunities to maximise revenue. In addition, the region’s airlines remain focused on enhancing business performance through increased investments in new technologies and modern fuel efficient aircraft.”
-TTG Asia.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

New packages by MATTA in the works for diverse European market

Culture and heritage, adventure, along with other travel interests
considered in the development of packages

The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) is working with its members to create at least 50 inbound packages for its affiliate member, the European Travel Agents and Tour Operators Associations (ECTAA), to sell in Europe.

MATTA’s president KL Tan said these packages, which will be ready by August, will cover a range of activities and attractions to meet the diverse interests of holidaymakers from 27 European countries.

Tan said: “There are more than 700 million travelling consumers and we are barely scratching the surface. Last year, Malaysia attracted only 1.1 million tourists from Europe. Our main challenges are the lack of direct air connectivity and lack of awareness about what Malaysia has to offer.

“To address the latter and to expand the market, our packages will include culinary, eco and nature attractions, adventure tourism, shopping, theme parks, culture and heritage.”

Tan revealed that MATTA will again organise a pavilion for its members at ITB 2019, where Malaysia will be the official partner country. In 2018, 29 MATTA members exhibited at the MATTA pavilion at ITB Berlin.

Improvements in air connectivity are also afoot, especially in 4Q2018 when Germany’s Condor Air commenced thrice-weekly services between Frankfurt and Kuala Lumpur, and TUI Group launched its Fly & Cruise programme.

Tourism Malaysia has also initiated joint marketing efforts with foreign airlines that service both Europe and Malaysia through their hubs, namely Turkish Airlines, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Singapore Airlines.
-TTG Asia.

Birdwatching for experts and novices

RAUB: Fraser’s Hill, which has been designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA), consistently attracts bird lovers during the Fraser’s Hill International Bird Race event.

An annual event in the state’s tourism calendar since 1988, this year’s recently concluded edition was also one of the Revisit Pahang Truly Malaysia 2018 activities.

Tourism Pahang general manager Datuk Ishak Mokhtar said the objective of the event was to preserve nature and promote Fraser’s Hill as a bird sanctuary.
“Even though there are other bird-watching destinations in the country, Fraser’s Hill is still a preferred destination.

“This is because large species of mountain birds thrive comfortably in the most conducive habitats here and at certain times of the year, migratory birds make their presence felt, although briefly,” he said.

For the event, all that is needed from participants are patience, basic skills and knowledge in bird watching as well as a high interest and love of nature.
Ishak said the procedures as well as rules and regulation in the competition were simple.

Participants are given 24 hours to locate and view species of birds.
The winners are decided by the most number of birds recorded.

The birds are found in every corner of the hill, even in the centre of the small town, due to the undisturbed environment.

Ishak said there were students who took part in the competition, proving that the event was not only for seasoned bird lovers but also for those who wanted to learn more about nature and the habitats of the numerous species of birds.
The competition was divided into three distinctive categories.

The advanced category was for the experienced birdwatchers who habitually return to Fraser’s Hill at every opportunity to do trial field runs.

The novice category was for those who had just taken up birdwatching out of curiosity or as an academic hobby while the local category was for locals who know the whereabouts of the birds in Fraser’s Hill.

The event was launched by Natural Resources and Environment Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Azizan Ahmad.

In his speech, Azizan said the competition was a way to create awareness among the public on the importance of environmental conservation.

“The relatively undisturbed jungle and cool climate attract over 250 species of migratory and residential birds.

“The migratory birds fly to Fraser’s Hill from as far as Northern Siberia and the islands in north of Japan.

“They stop over here for a few months before flying south to New Zealand and Australia looking for warmer climate before making a reverse journey.
Fraser’s Hill was designated as an IBA by BirdLife International.

Fifty two teams of three participants each took part in the event.
International participants were from Hong Kong, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia and Sri Lanka while locals included those from higher learning institutions and primary schools.
-thestar online.