Thursday, 31 October 2019

Tourism Malaysia Organises Engagement Session With Sarawak Tourism Industry Players And Media Representatives

KUCHING, SARAWAK, 30 OCTOBER 2019 – Tourism Malaysia has organised an Engagement Session with Sarawak tourism industry players and media representatives today to share its goals and objectives for the tourism industry of Sarawak in conjunction with the soft launch of Visit Malaysia 2020 in the state. 

The networking programme, attended by about 100 industry players and media representatives from all over Sarawak, is a platform to bring together tourism operators with product operators and hoteliers as well as Tourism Malaysia under one roof to get the feedback and suggestions from everyone to enhance and improve the tourism industry of the state.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin bin Ketapi said, “This engagement session is a great platform for building close relationships and smart partnership between tourism industry players especially for new tourism products owners and hoteliers with government agencies, while contributing to the growth of the tourism industry in Sarawak.”

According to Datuk Mohamaddin, it is indeed timely for the government to leverage on this opportunity while stepping up promotions of Visit Malaysia 2020. Malaysia aims to welcome 30 million tourists from all over the world next year to experience the beauty and wonders of Malaysia. 

During the engagement session, Senior Deputy Director, Strategic Planning Division Tourism Malaysia Zakaria bin Mohd. Nani has briefed the audiences on GAMELAN Malaysia, the Malaysian Tourism Promotion matching grant fund followed by a presentation by Tourism Malaysia Director General Datuk Musa Yusof on the outlook for tourism industry in Malaysia. 

GAMELAN, is a RM5 million special tourism fund is aimed at assisting tourism industry players in their international tourism promotion and marketing programmes to increase international tourist arrivals, while boosting domestic tourism.
-Tourism Malaysia.

Ministry to launch VM2020 at year-end

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 -- The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry will launch the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 (VM2020) at the end of this year, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Deputy Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said the soft launch of the VM2020 would be held in each state beginning January 2020.

He said various efforts would be constantly made to further strengthen the VM2020 campaign with the cooperation of all parties including the media, international bloggers and MPs.

"The soft launch with the cooperation of each state is to increase the publicity of VM2020, and we will also host a reception at selected airports and national entrances to welcome tourists on the first day of VM2020.

"We will also host familiarisation programmes with international media, bloggers and influencers as well as travel agencies. A special briefing session on the implementation of the VM2020 campaign will be held on Nov 19," he said when replying to Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim (BN-Arau) during Question Time.

Muhammad Bakhtiar said the campaign would focus on promoting the country's racial unity and cultural diversity.

In conjunction with VM2020, he said the ministry, in collaboration with the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), had secured 38 international business events next year.

"Through this collaboration to promote VM2020, we will be able to witness the participation of 49,699 international and local delegates, and will generate an estimated RM590 million in economic impact.

Tourism Malaysia Organises Meet & Greet Session With SHELL MALAYSIA MOTOGP 2019 Riders

KUALA LUMPUR, 30 OCTOBER 2019  In the build-up to the Malaysian MotoGP race, which will be held from 1 to 3 November, Tourism Malaysia is organising a Meet & Greet Session with the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) 2019 Riders at Malaysia Tourism Centre (MaTic), here, today.

There will be talks and an exclusive meet-and-greet session with riders from the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team namely Franco Morbidelli (MotoGP), Adam Noorodin (Moto2), Khairul Idham Pawi (Moto2), John McPhee (Moto3), and Ayumu Sasaki (Moto3). Fans can also meet riders from Red Bull KTM Ajo Riders i.e. Brad Binder (Moto2), Jorge Martin (Moto2) and Can Oncu (Moto3). 

The Onexox TKKR SAG Team comprising Remy Gardner (Moto2) and Tetsuta Nagashima (Moto2) will also be present to meet fans. 

Among the objectives of the event are to create awareness about the motorsport events in Malaysia such as the MotoGP, FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC) and FIA World Touring Car Cup (FIA WTCR), as well as giving motorsport fans the opportunity to meet their racing heroes.

The Director General of Tourism Malaysia, Datuk Musa Yusof says that the event is part of Tourism Malaysia’s efforts to support the motorsport events in Malaysia.

Tourism Malaysia is happy to support MotoGP because of the huge potential it has in attracting spectators from all across the region and world. The Malaysian leg of the race has garnered a popular following both among Malaysians and international fans. MotoGP spectators attendance alone has achieved more than 1.81 million people from 1999-2018,” he adds.

According to him, Tourism Malaysia has partnered with Sepang International Circuit (SIC) to place sporting events as part of the Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) calendar of events. He believes events like these bring benefits not only to the tourism industry but also to the general economy in Malaysia.

A total of 13 exhibitors involving SIC, Onexox TKKR SAG Team, Royal Enfield, Satin Alpha Biker Club, WSF Motor Touring Malaysia, Mata Eyewear, DSL Setia, The Rift, Hype Hotel Port Dickson,, HJC Helmets, Ole-Ole and Redbull are also taking part in the event.

Visitors to the event will also have the opportunity to take part in the e-sport simulation game or virtual reality game as well as quizzes on domestic tourism.

Tourism Malaysia have worked with international tour agents to help promote and sell MotoGP packages in various markets overseas. A total of 5,467 MotoGP packages worth RM4.72 million have been sold this year.
-Tourism Malaysia.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Desaru Coast dives into lifestyle events market to boost visitorship

Desaru Coast in Johor, Malaysia, is being groomed as a lifestyle and events destination to attract more visitors; Desaru Coast Adventures Park pictured

Desaru Development Holdings One, the master developer of Desaru Coast, is grooming the young integrated destination in southern Malaysia to host events and festivals to attract visitorship and more eyeballs at a swifter pace.

While Desaru Coast is home to five-star international hotel brands, a conference centre, a water park, two championship golf courses, a retail village and a 17km pristine beachfront, it remains relatively unknown to overseas travellers, partly due to it being only a three-month-old development.

To promote the destination, Desaru Development Holdings One is working with partners to curate its own signature events, including the Desaru Coast Gourmet Series, which will feature an international food festival in 2020.

CEO Roslina Arbak revealed that plans are also underway for a series of concerts and music festivals featuring local and regional acts next year.

These events will join the Ombak Festival which debuted in July 2019 to celebrate local arts and culture. Coinciding with the launch of Desaru Coast, the Ombak Festival attracted 16,000 visitors, mainly locals. More activities will be presented in the second edition next year to attract a larger number of regional visitors.

Arbak added: “Our events strategy in future includes working with independent partners to host international events. This follows our recent success in welcoming the inaugural Desaru International Bike Week 2019. Held last month, the four-day event attracted more than 50,000 bikers over four days.”
The developer is committed to hosting the Ironman Multisport Festival Desaru Coast for the next three years, with the first edition commencing on April 17-19, 2020.

It is also leveraging the government’s national initiative, Visit Malaysia 2020, as well as the Johor state government’s Visit Johor 2020 campaign, to develop joint marketing activities to raise awareness of Desaru Coast, positioning it as a premium tourist destination.
-TTG Asia.

Friday, 25 October 2019

Tourism Malaysia Meet and Greet Session in Conjunction with Malaysia MOTOGP 2019 @ MaTiC Kuala Lumpur ( 30 October 2019 )

In conjunction with the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix 2019, Tourism Malaysia will be organizing the Tourism Malaysia Mini Carnival and Meet & Greet Session with the riders from Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team, Red Bull KTM Ajo Team and ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team.

Program details are as follows:

Date: 30 October 2019 (Wednesday)
Venue: Malaysia Tourism Centre (MaTIC) Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur

Tourism Malaysia Mini Carnival
Time: 10.00 am – 6.00 pm

Meet & Greet Session
Time 11.30 am – 3.00 pm

This event is part of Tourism Malaysia effort to enhance the promotion of Visit Malaysia Year 2020 through collaboration with Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team, Red Bull KTM Ajo Team and ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team.

The above teams mentioned teams will assist Tourism Malaysia to promote Malaysia globally through 19 MOTOGP race worldwide.
-Tourism Malaysia.

Discovering the beauty of Labuan

Batu Manikar beach in Labuan is a great place to relax and take part in recreational activities. — Photos: AZMAN GHANI/The Star

Ask any Malaysian if Labuan is high on their list of places to visit, and they may likely say no.

It’s a shame because not only is this quaint island off the coast of Sabah serene and beautiful, it is also steeped in history and culture.

A majority of its people comprise the Kedayan ethnic group and Malays of Bruneian descent, and they live together peacefully.

If you get the chance, I urge you to consider exploring this beautiful island. From the peninsula, you can fly to Labuan Airport and if you are heading from Sabah, a boat ride from Menumbok will take 20 minutes.

Cool water village

Kampung Air Patau-Patau is a fishing village in Labuan with 150 houses supported by wooden stilts buried deep within the seabed.

The village has an interesting story; “patau” literally means stilts in the local dialect, and the houses are connected by an extensive network of wooden bridges.

The Malays and Kedayans settled here in the 1930s and made their living as fishermen, a tradition that is being continued until today.

Norlela Kasim, who runs a homestay business here, said the village welcomed tourists on a regular basis.

“A majority of them are from the peninsula and Australia, though there are also tourists from other places.”

There are also plenty of interesting activities to look forward to.

“Visitors can fish here and have their catch cooked by the locals for a price.

“They can also rent a boat and experience first-hand how our fishermen catch fish and crabs.

Norlela charges her customers RM80 and RM65 per night for rooms with air-conditioners and fans respectively. 

Another homestay owner, Ardillah Arsat, hopes a cultural centre can be built in the village soon.

“The Bruneian Malay has many traditional dances that offer great potential as a tourism product.

“A cultural centre is a good place to showcase our tradition and culture.”

Unique food and culture

The traditional food of the Kedayans is ambuyat. It is made by gently mixing sago with hot water, and it is eaten using a pair of small sticks called candas.

Ambuyat is consumed with a special sauce made by mixing bambangan, a local fruit, with belacan, salt, sugar, lime juice and some vinegar.

It can also be enjoyed with other dishes.

Ambuyat is usually served at weddings, to honour guests, and during the padi harvest season.

Some Kedayans still practise the merukun — where their men sing and dance, while the women play the drums and gong.

Hasnah Sambas, 77, of Kampung Tanjung Aru runs a local performance group and is active in promoting the performing arts.

“It is important that this tradition is passed down to the next generation so that it is not lost to time.

“We also receive regular invitations to perform In Sabah and Sarawak.”

There are however some taboos related to merukun — it cannot be performed on Friday nights, during Ramadan, or on the nights of Israk and Mikraj (night journey and ascension of Prophet Muhammad) and Nisfu Syaaban (15th day before the start of Ramadan).

Merukun can only be held after the daily night prayer (Isyak) and must end before the dawn prayer (Subuh).

Historical legacy

The Chimney Museum in Tanjung Kubong provides great insight into Labuan’s history.This 32.5m structure was built at the height of the coal mining activity in Labuan in 1900 under the administration of the British North Borneo Chartered Company.

The name suggests that it was used as a smoke chimney but no traces of soot were detected inside the structure.

Some locals claim that back in the day it was built to provide ventilation to mining workers in the underground tunnel, but excavation works have also found no such tunnel.

Other locals claim it was a watchtower built to observe the arrival of ships. 

To this day, its use was never established, making it somewhat of a mystery.

Feel free to take your pick.

According to the locals, the word kubong refers to flying lemurs which were found here.

Pristine beaches

Yet undisturbed by excessive development, Labuan beaches offer an idyllic escape from the hectic lifestyle of city folk.

One such place is the Batu Manikar beach.

The rhythmic sounds of seawater splashing against the rocks, coupled with the cool breeze, are all you need to calm your mind.

Stretching over nine kilometres, Batu Manikar is an ideal spot to relax and take part in recreational activities.

Couples looking for a honeymoon spot will find this beach an ideal place to catch the sunset.

Keep in mind that Labuan runs out of daylight faster, so it is advisable to plan ahead.

The strong breeze here also makes for a perfect kite-flying spot.

If you are feeling adventurous, hop on the perahu larai and sail to your heart’s content.

This recreational boating service normally operates from 8am to 6.30pm and costs RM15 per person.

Iconic bird park

The Labuan Bird Park is not just a zoo for birds, it also serves as a conservancy and research centre for endangered bird species.

More than 600 birds are kept here, comprising 39 Bornean and 28 exotic species.

Labuan Veterinary Services Department director Dr Marysia James said the park aimed to stop the rapid decline in population of endangered species.

“We breed some of the birds before releasing them back into the wilderness.

“On average, we manage to breed 30 birds annually.”

It was also reported in StarMetro last month (“Bird park rebranded as new tourism spot”) that this 6.1ha bird park would receive 230 new birds from the Federal Territories Ministry.

Between April and July, some migratory birds will fly and build their nest here.

Visitors will have an opportunity to feed them at the 1km bird trail here.

Entrance fees are RM3 (adults), RM2 (children) and RM5 (non-Malaysians). 
 -thestar online.

VM2020 Launched In Tourism Expo Japan 2019

OSAKA, 24 OCTOBER 2019 – The Honourable Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi is leading a delegation of 35 Malaysian officials and private sector participants for the Tourism Expo Japan (TEJ 2019) in Osaka from 23 to 26 October 2019. The Minister is also accompanied by Datuk Ahmad Shah Hussein Tambakau, Tourism Malaysia Chairman and Datuk Musa Yusof, Director General of Tourism Malaysia. 

This year, TEJ 2019 is taking place in the city of Osaka for the first time. It marks the 42nd year of Tourism Malaysia’s participation in TEJ, as the agency maximises effort to publicise Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign in Japan.

Datuk Mohamaddin delivered a welcome speech at the ASEAN-Japan Tourism Investment Seminar on 23 October 2019. On 24 October, The Hon. Minister launched the Malaysia Pavilion at the International Exhibition Centre, Osaka, with media interview in the afternoon. On the same day, the Minister is expected to be a panelist in the 3rd TEJ Ministerial Round themed “Community Vitalization: People and Culture” - which is jointly organized by UNWTO and JATA - inviting Ministers of Tourism from all over the world and Executives from International Tourism Organizations. 

The Minister of Tourism of Cambodia made a courtesy visit to Datuk Mohamaddin with the main aim of this visit is to strengthen bilateral relations between Malaysia and Cambodia focusing on trade, education and specifically tourism.

Japan is a traditional and important market for Malaysia which contributed 394,540 tourists to Malaysia in 2018 with RM 1,670.1 million in tourist expenditure - an increase of 37.7% as compared to RM1,213.1 million in 2017 - making it among top 10 tourist generating markets for the country. 

From January to July this year, there were a total of 231,831 Japanese tourists who visited Malaysia, an increase of 5.9% as compared to 218,940 tourists in 2018. Through participation in TEJ 2019, Malaysia plans to attract a total of 480,000 Japanese tourists by the end of 2019.
-Tourism Malaysia.

MaTiC Fest 2019 expected to draw 10,000 people

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 -- The MaTiC Fest 2019, aimed at promoting Malaysia Tourism Centre (MaTiC) as a one-stop destination for tourists, is expected to attract some 10,000 visitors.

The MaTiC Fest 2019 programme will be held at MaTic Jalan Ampang here from Nov 1 to 3. It will be open to members of the public from 10am to 10pm.

MaTiC director Rudy Irwan Shukaime said the programme aims to introduce tourism and other cultural products to local and foreign visitors.

"There are various interesting activities offered to visitors for all groups and ages, such as combat archery, arm wrestling, the VM2020 Cultural run, Batik painting, 'Gasing' playing and many more," he told the media at the “Evening Ceremony with Media” in conjunction with MaTiC Fest 2019 here today.

"The centre hopes that this festival will attract the attention of tourists in the country to jointly promote the Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) campaign, which the government targets to bring in 30 million international tourist arrivals by next year,” he said.

Rudy Irwan said MaTiC Fest 2019 would be organised in collaboration with organisations such as the Department of Culture and Arts (JKKN), Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), Special unit of the Visit Malaysia 2020, Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas), Tourism Malaysia Central Region, Regency Hotel Kuala Lumpur, KL Hop-On Hop-Off, Touch 'n Go, First Time Around and Angry Bird Activity Park.

The activities and programmes featured in the festival will bring a unique experience to visitors in line with the 'Experience Tourism' approach, he added.

Experience Tourism is a set of activities in which individuals engage in their personal terms, such as pleasant and memorable places, allowing tourists to build their own travel experiences so that it satisfies a wide range of personal needs, from pleasure to a search for meaning.

Visitors will also be able to see many cultural dance performances such as ‘Wayang Kulit’, ‘Mak Yong’, ‘Dikir Barat’, ‘Guzheng’ and local music performances by the Pretty Ugly Group, The Rudean, Dewangga Sakti and Banyak Bunyik Republic.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

ATF TRAVEX 2020 to host inaugural business speed-dating session

ASEAN Tourism Forum 2020 will feature a new business speed-dating segment to
the TRAVEX programme

ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2020, set to take place in Brunei travfrom January 14 to 16 at the BRIDEX International Conference Centre, will boast a new business speed-dating component to the three-day TRAVEX programme.

Set to be held on the first day of the TRAVEX trade fair, all attending buyers and sellers will have the chance to meet and swap contacts in this fast-paced activity, prior to business appointments and exhibition days.

“We wanted to create additional lead generation platforms for delegates to benefit from the entire ATF 2020 experience. Each delegate can easily expect to exchange at least 60 business contacts during this period. This is on top of their pre-scheduled business appointments over the next two days,” said Darren Ng, managing director of TTG Asia Media.

TTG Events, the organiser of ATF TRAVEX 2020, is targeting a minimum 1:1 buyer-seller ratio, with confirmed representation of suppliers from all 10 ASEAN destinations.

Booth spaces are filling fast. Buyer hosting programme is still open and in its final phase with over 500 registrations received to date.
To register for ATF 2020 Brunei, visit
For more information and programme updates, visit
-TTG Asia.

AMAL Signs MoU with Tahira Air and Kawan International to Offer Chartered Flights to Saudi Arabia

Front row, left to right: CEO of Tahira Group Vincent Tan Kee Kim, CEO of AMAL Hazman Hilmi Sallahuddin and Chairman of Kawan International Travel Sdn. Bhd. Haji Mohd. Zahiri Dato'
Hj Maulud at the signing ceremony

KLIA, 23 October 2019: Amal by Malaysia Airlines, the pilgrim-centric service of Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) dedicated for Hajj and Umrah, on Monday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tahira Air Sdn Bhd and Kawan International Travel Sdn Bhd at TH Movenpick Hotel, Sepang.

The agreement was signed between Hazman Hilmi Sallahuddin, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AMAL, Vincent Tan Kee Kim, CEO of Tahira Air as well as Haji Mohd Zahiri Dato’ Hj Maulud, Chairman of Kawan International Travel Sdn. Bhd.

Through this partnership, the three parties expressed their intention to connect Muslim and leisure travelers from China to Saudi Arabia via Kuala Lumpur, following the recent announcement by the government of Saudi Arabia to offer tourist visas and visa-on-arrival services to more than 40 countries around the world, including China. AMAL, Tahira Air and Kawan International will be offering flights and tours to Jeddah and Madinah from Ningxia, as well as other provinces in China.
-Malaysia Airlines.

First green resort in the works for Club Med in Kota Kinabalu

Club Med to open its first green resort near Kota Kinabalu late 2022

Club Med will be opening its first green resort near Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state, in the northern part of Borneo island late 2022.

Located at Kuala Penyu Beach, Club Med Borneo Kota Kinabalu will feature 400 rooms, including 40 luxury suites, an all-day buffet restaurant serving international cuisines which also features a gourmet lounge, an a la carte specialty restaurant, a free-flow bar, a pool bar, and children’s club facilities.

Also available is a full range of Club Med facilities, including up to 30 types of land and water sports activities, and excursions to discover Kota Kinabalu and Sabah.

Club Med is collaborating with owners, Sabah-based Golden Sands Beach Resort City, to create the brand’s first large-scale sustainably-built BREEAM-certified beach resort in Asia-Pacific.

Club Med has been building resorts “with a focus on minimising the environmental footprint through efficient energy consumption, treating and recycling water, promoting renewable energy sources and waste recycling techniques,” said the company in a statement.

Its partnership with the Building Research Establishment for Club Med Borneo from the outset will create a benchmark for the hotel group to construct new resorts that meet stringent BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) standards.
-TTG Asia.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Malaysian Gen Zer’s glamping venture takes root in Sabah

Cabana Retreat has been dubbed “the first pop-up beach resort in Malaysia”

Flenny Wong Cheng, 22, was first introduced to glamping during the first year of her three-year Bachelor of Media programme at the University of Adelaide. She quickly saw glamping as a viable business opportunity in her hometown of Kota Belud, Sabah, where there were no similar offerings.

She pitched her idea to her parents who supported her decision to quit her studies and pursue her dream of setting up a glamping venture in Sabah.

“Besides, they missed me and were glad I was coming home for good,” she recalled. Her parents and siblings also provided her with financial support to kick-start this new venture.

It took months of planning and getting the ground work done before Cabana Retreat opened to the public on February 1. It is located on Rampayan Beach in Kota Belud, about 70km from Kota Kinabalu, the state capital.

While the homepage on the official website describes Cabana Retreat as the first pop-up beach resort in Malaysia, there are no plans as yet to relocate as Wong had leased the site for a five-year period from the land owner.

She has set up 24 cotton canvas luxurious tents, custom-made in China. The tents are equipped with lighting, air-conditioning, pillows and mattresses, side tables and most basic amenities guests would expect from a hotel stay, including free Wi-Fi and daily housekeeping. While there are no TVs, movies are screened under the stars at the open cinema.

Said Wong: “We provide a luxurious way to enjoy the outdoors, while staying connected to family and friends.”

Half a year since opening, Wong describes business as being hectic, with high occupancies usually on weekends, school holidays and long public holidays.

“Our guests are mainly locals, young couples and families, and stays range from one to three nights. International guests are mostly from China and Europe. 

They like Kota Belud’s nature and activities like jet skiing, paddle boarding, banana boat rides, ATV rides and local tours to see the fireflies, Mantanani Island, and river cruises.”

Besides marketing through its website and social media, Wong partners inbound tour operators. She also has plans to add more tents and to entice investors to develop more activities in Kota Belud.
-TTG Asia.

Tambur Festival: new tourism product for Lahad Datu

LAHAD DATU, Oct 20 -- The Tambur Festival, which showcases the arts and cultural heritage of the various ethnics in the sub-district of Tungku, has the potential to become a new tourism product for the Lahad Datu district.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi, who opened the festival here today, said it should be made an annual event and organised on a larger scale, maybe for three to four days, next year.

The Tambur Festival is held for the first time this year at Dataran Tungku, about 69 kilometres from Lahad Datu town.

Mohamaddin, who is Lahad Datu Member of Parliament, said the festival would also be included in the state tourism calendar.

Tambur is a traditional musical instrument and often played during cultural performances and in the sub-district of Tungku, there are seven ethnic communities, comprising Idahaan, Begak, Bajau, Dusun Silabukan, Dusun Segamo, Tidung and Bugis

Meanwhile, Sabah Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Assaffal P Alian said the Sabah Institute of Development Studies (IDS) had been appointed as a consultant to carry out a feasibility study on upgrading Tungku as a full district.

“We also want IDS to come up with a development roadmap for Tungku,” said the Tungku assemblyman, adding that a report would be tabled to the state cabinet after IDS had completed the study.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Malaysia Promoted As Destination For Indian Weddings

KUALA LUMPUR, 16 OCTOBER 2019 – To promote Malaysia as the top-of-mind wedding destination to the Indian market, Tourism Malaysia has invited a total of 19 wedding planners and two media representatives from India for a wedding seminar and product inspections from 12 to 17 October.

They attended the wedding seminar at the Quill City Mall, here, today, where they were welcomed by the Deputy Director General (Promotion) of Tourism Malaysia, Y.Bhg. Dato' Mohmed Razip Hasan who presented them with a certificate of appreciation.

Before the seminar, the participants had the opportunity to visit the Langkawi Island for a familiarisation trip and product inspections. Among the hotels and resorts they visited included the Westin Langkawi, St. Regis Langkawi, Aloft Langkawi and Meritus Pelangi Langkawi.

In Kuala Lumpur, they visited the Gold Coast Avani Sepang, Palace of the Golden Horses and Sheraton Imperial Hotel. They also got the chance to visit Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan during their stay here.

During the seminar, the participants were briefed by Malaysian wedding planner, Mr. Vinod Tirathai followed by a presentation by Malaysia Airlines. The wedding planner from India, Mr. Mahesh Verma and Ms. Ruchika Bansal also delivered a presentation to share the market outlook for Indian weddings. All participants were invited for a business matching session before heading to Hotel Sheraton Imperial Hotel, Kuala Lumpur for an official dinner and a late night function.

The wedding destination seminar is a result of collaboration between Tourism Malaysia and the leading Indian wedding planners.

In 2018, Malaysia welcomed 600,311 tourists from India. As of June 2019, tourist arrivals from India registered a total of 354,486, a double-digit increase of 15.2% compared with the corresponding period last year.
-Tourism Malaysia.

Foreign envoys explore Sabah’s tourist attractions

The visitors getting a feel of Sabah’s ethnic Kadazandusun Sumazau dance during the tour.

SANDAKAN: Malaysia’s ambassador to Thailand, Datuk Jojie Samuel, led a group of Bangkok-based foreign envoys to Sabah as part of efforts to draw tourists in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2020.

The ambassadors Dr Phil Hager Eva (Austria), Fransico Patto Vaz Cunha E Morais (Portugal), Fernando Julio Antonio Quiros Campos (Peru), Joseph Anthony Cotter (Ireland), Stansilav Opoela (Slovakia), Jean-Paul Ernest Senniger (Luxemborg) and Kees Pieter Rade (the Netherlands) together with their spouses spent four days, three nights exploring Sabah.

The envoys familiarisation tour also saw over a dozen entrepreneurs from Thailand joining in the trip with a 31-member delegation.

The visit was part of an initiative by Samuel, with assistance from Tourism Malaysia in Bangkok and Dynamic Tours Travel & Incentive Sdn Bhd.

The aim of the trip was in line with Tourism Malaysia’s Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign and generate more traffic flow from Thailand to Sabah.

Air Asia provides direct flights between Bangkok and Kota Kinabalu three times weekly.

During their visit, the group was taken to see Mount Kinabalu Park, the War Memorial in Kundasang, Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary and Sunbear Conservation Centre in Sandakan.

The group also visited the war memorials in Sandakan and Ranau
for soldiers who died at the tail end of World War 2, when the allied forces liberated Sabah from the Japanese occupation.

The march from Sandakan and Ranau by the allied prisoners of war is infamously known as the Sandakan Death March.
-thestar online.

Friday, 18 October 2019

15,000 expected to attend 2019 Deepavali Open House in Ipoh

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 17 -- The 2019 Deepavali Open House to be held in Ipoh, Perak on Nov 16 is expected to draw 15,000 visitors.

Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) secretary-general Datuk Isham Ishak said various cultural events would be held in conjunction with the event to give visitors, especially foreign tourists an overview of the country’s cultural diversity in view of the approaching Visit Malaysia Year 2020 (VMY 2020).

“It is hoped that tourists from all over the world will come to Ipoh and see firsthand how we prepare for Deepavali, how it is celebrated and the activities that are held and view the Indian handicrafts.

“We can see that the open house events held earlier were very successful, in terms of inclusiveness and achieving the objectives,” he told the media after launching the MOTAC Rangoli ‘Kolam’ competition, here today.

According to Isham, Ipoh was chosen as the venue of the celebration this year as the Perak state government came forward by offering MOTAC contributions in terms of manpower and finances to make the programme a success.

About MOTAC’s preparation for the approaching VMY 2020 which is only two months away, Isham said the ministry had a meeting with all the tourism, arts and culture state excos to discuss cooperation and strategies to attract tourists to Malaysia.

“We have agreed that we will not compete among the states, but instead will help each other in making this a successful agenda for the country," he said.

Isham said MOTAC also launched the official song for VMY 2020 on Sept 6 and the official video was expected to be launched soon.

He said various programmes were also planned for VMY 2020 to show the world that there are various interesting locations and activities to explore in the country.

"We also encourage people to keep Malaysia clean, especially the public toilets, roads and tourist areas because we want to showcase our Malaysian hospitality, our friendliness, cleanliness and go the extra mile to welcome tourists,” he said.

Penang eyes Singapore market with Experience Penang 2020 campaign

Penang launches Experience Penang 2020 campaign with Singapore as one of its target markets; Pinang Peranakan Mansion in Penang, Malaysia pictured

Penang Global Tourism is looking to snare even stronger arrivals from Singapore – among the Malaysian destination’s top three source markets – with its new Experience Penang 2020 campaign and soon-to-come travel promotions with airlines and online travel agents.

At its campaign launch event held at Parkroyal on Beach Road in Singapore on Tuesday, Penang Global Tourism’s CEO Ooi Chok Yan revealed that plans to further grow arrivals from Singapore next year include creating loyalty programmes, as well as working on joint promotions with OTAs and airlines that operate flights between Singapore and Penang.

Penang Global Tourism will also intensify its branding and destination marketing through print and online advertising.

Singapore outbound agents that TTG Asia spoke to at the event said that leisure and corporate travel demand for Penang has climbed on the back of attractive airfares, a weak ringgit and new products and attractions.

Otto Gerard Ree, business development manager at Cultural & Entertainment Holidays, observed rising interest among Singaporean youths who favour nature and soft adventures in Penang. Fuelling the demand are return airfares that are priced “as low as S$148 (US$108)”.

For Vincent Tham, director at D’Address, Penang enjoys “healthy interest” from business event groups that are attracted by the variety of business hotels and unique venues at competitive rates.

The number of church and student groups from Singapore is also on the rise, noted Lawrence Koay, owner & CEO of Penang-based DMC Tour & Incentive Travel. He added that durian lovers flock in too when the fruit is in season.

Yeoh Soon Hin, Penang State EXCO for Tourism, Arts, Culture & Heritage, hopes to keep the momentum going through Experience Penang 2020, which will highlight Penang’s diversity of culture, heritage, arts, food and scenic natural surroundings.

“Hence the tagline, The Diversity of Asia,” he explained.
-TTG Asia.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Malaysia Airlines launches FLY MALAYSIA Campaign

KLIA, 17 October 2019: Malaysia Airlines, today, launched a brand campaign in support of Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) called Fly Malaysia.

Fly Malaysia reiterates Malaysia Airlines as the national icon and flag-bearer of Malaysia and reminds Malaysians of its proud history of its warm hospitality, which is a representation of the country. For tourists, the Fly Malaysia campaign will further enable the airline, via partnerships with relevant tourism bodies, to promote Malaysia to the world.

Whilst Malaysian Hospitality remains at the core of its brand promise, Fly Malaysia will heavily promote Malaysia as the preferred destination as the airline will be working closely with Tourism Malaysia. This campaign also works to encourage Malaysians to play a part by participating in the airline’s several social media initiatives in promoting the country.

Malaysia Aviation Group Chief Executive Officer, Izham Ismail said, “Malaysia Airlines first started in the golden age of commercial air travel. We have been serving Malaysia for over 70 years and today, and we continue to serve the country by covering over 1,000 destinations via our airline partners. 

With Fly Malaysia, the Malaysian experience comes alive the moment a traveller steps onboard our aircraft and for Malaysians, it’s the familiar feeling of being at home, wherever their journey goes. As for the airline, Fly Malaysia simply means expressing our service through our culture and to always be Malaysian, for Malaysians.”

The Fly Malaysia campaign will be visible via advertisements and Malaysia Airlines’ social media channels throughout quarter four of 2019 until end of 2020. The airline’s ‘wau’ logo, will be fashioned with the airline’s iconic kebaya motif and complemented with a traditional batik design, which represents Malaysia’s rich culture, heritage and diversity.

Besides that, Fly Malaysia will see Malaysia Airlines embarking on more sales campaigns together with its sister airlines, Firefly and MASwings to encourage Malaysians to travel local and to connect tourists to Malaysia. The airline will also be participating and supporting more local scenes as it will be collaborating with Malaysia’s state tourism bodies in promoting domestic destinations.
-Malaysia Airlines.