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OVER 800 of the world’s best concierges are expected to converge here for the 61st Les Clefs d’Or UIHC International Congress in January 2014.
The Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (My-CEB) said in a statement that the successful bid was initiated by Society of the Golden Keys Malaysia.
The bid has the support of MyCEB, Kuala Lumpur City Hall and its hotel partners, said MyCEB chief executive officer Zulkefli Sharif, adding that the award of the contract would be the best opportunity for hotels in the country to showcase its level of service and professionalism, for both business and leisure tourism.
“At MyCEB, we support local associations and we encourage collaborations to attract more business events into the country.”
Society of the Golden Keys Malaysia president Ragu Kumarasamy said Malaysia was chosen due to its positioning as an emerging economy especially in the hotel and tourism industry.
Society of Golden Keys Malaysia acts as an association of professional concierges of hotels and resort hotels in Malaysia. It is an affiliate of the Union Internationale Des Concierges d’Hotels “Les Clefs d’Or”.
Its objectives are to establish and promote high professional and ethical standards among concierges of hotels in Malaysia.
(Sources: The Malay Mail, 31 July 2012, Tuesday)
YTL Hotels has started operating the first of its two planned luxury resorts on islands off Borneo.
The diversified group started operating the Gaya Island Resort on July 1, YTL’s first luxury property which it also owns in Sabah and Sarawak.
The resort, built at an estimated cost of RM75 million, offers a total of 120 villas and a two-bedroom suite.
Gaya Island Resort general manager Jeffrey Mong said the resort is targeting guests from the UK, Europe, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.
The resort is expecting to garner an average room rate of above US$350 (RM1,102) and an average occupancy of over 50 per cent in its first year of operation.
Mong in an e-mail interview with Business Times said the group expects the property’s performance to be comparable to that of Pangkor Laut Resort, which is an island off the main island of Pangkor in Perak.
The resort’s architecture respects Sabahan elements. It uses local materials which blends with the natural environment. Each of the 47 sq m villa features a spacious bedroom, a writing desk, a flat screen television with satellite channels, wi-fi access, a large open bathroom with an oversized bathtub and two vanity units, and an outdoor verandah with day beds.
The resort features one two-bedroom suite called Suria Suite, perched on sloping hillside. The ground floor of the 188 sq m unit has a lounge area, private dining room, a TV room, a powder room and a pantry which opens out onto a outdoor deck.
The first floor, meanwhile, has two separate bedrooms with walk-in wardrobes and vanity areas. It features an outdoor bath which leads onto the suite’s private balcony.
There are 52 units of Kinabalu Villa with views of South China Sea and 40 units of Canopy Villa which are located on the hillside.
Another 24 units called Bayu Villas are set amongst the tropical mangrove on sloping hill offering and yet a mere walking distance from the resort’s pristine sandy beach.
Gaya Villa, meanwhile, is also on the hill, offering a serene setting.
Other group hotels located in Malaysia include Cameron Highlands Resort, Tanjung Jara Resort and The Majestic Malacca. It will soon open the Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
Abroad, YTL group of hotels include MUSE Saint Tropez Ramatuelle, France, The Spa Village Resort Tembok, Bali, The Green Leaf Niseko Village, Japan and The Surin, Phuket.
According to Mong, all its properties are enjoying growth.
“At all our properties, we have increased the average daily rate (ADR) and occupancy numbers over the last several years as we have increased the awareness and level of experience offered at our hotels.
“We are always looking to improve our performance and are never satisfied with our results,” he added.
Currently, its best performing hotel asset is JW Marriott, Kuala Lumpur.
Meanwhile, the planned YTL resort on the infamous “Survivor” island Pulau Tiga, is still under development. This resort, like Gaya Island Resort, is located off Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
YTL’s Pulau Tiga is expected to have 65 sea-facing luxury one and two-bedroom villas, all with their own private pools and dedicated spa treatment areas.
Other amenities here are to include a Feast Village, tennis courts, a gymnasium, a lap pool and a dive centre complete with recreational options.
(Sources: New Straits Times, 31 July 2012, Tuesday)
‘Gorgeous’ is the theme of this work of art.
KUALA LUMPUR: A lecturer and students of Saito College’s art and design have created six sculptures for Sungei Wang Plaza’s 35th anniversary celebrations in conjunction with the 1Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourism Festival (1MCAT).
Sungei Wang Plaza senior manager of promotions and public relations K.K. Lim said the “Artistic 35″ exhibition was a platform to encourage students and lecturers to showcase their talents.
“The sculptures were designed by a Saito college lecturer and executed by five students. The works represent the mall’s 35 successful years of growth in the retail and shopping industry,” said Lim.
Each of the sculptures feature the number 35 and a theme related to the uniqueness of the country and the shopping centre – glory and pride, gorgeous, flourishing, brilliant best, elegant and magnificent.
The sculpture which bears the theme “glory and pride” envisions the country and the mall as a destination for all cultures and ethnic groups.
The theme “flourishing” indicates the humble beginnings of both the country and Sungei Wang Plaza.
“Brilliant best” refers to the country’s and the mall’s perseverance and stability all these years.
Tourism Ministry deputy director-general Datuk Azizan Noordin launched the exhibition.
The exhibition, which is in line with the ministry’s efforts to position the country as a destination for art enthusiasts, will be displayed at the concourse level of the mall until Sept 30.
(Sources: New Straits Times, 31 July 2012, Tuesday)
KUALA TERENGGANU, July 30 (Bernama) — Seventeen countries are expected to participate in the four-day Terengganu International Islamic Art Festival 2012 (TIIAF 2012) to be held at the Islamic Civilisation Park (TTI) here beginning Sept 14.
TIIAF 2012 Committee chairman Datuk Wan Ahamad Wan Muda said that the committee had so far received confirmation from 180 participants, including Asean countries, China, Japan, India and Pakistan for the international level khat (Arabic calligraphy) competition.
“This does not include participation from local khat calligraphers in the canvas, wood and metal categories, of about 350,” he told Bernama when contacted here today.
He said participants and visitors to this year’s festival would also get to see the unique Islamic art work, including music, from Egypt, Syria, Turkey, France, South Africa and Spain.
Wan Ahamad said the TIIAF 2012 would be held following the success of last year’s ‘Inspirasi Seni Khat’ programme.
KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 (Bernama) — Opening of the new low-cost carrier terminal, KLIA2, next year is expected to significantly boost air traffic, says MIDF Research.
“Regional air traffic remains resilient and this is evident from the double- digit growth of total passenger movements — Jakarta jumped 21.4 per cent year-on-year (Y-O-Y), Bangkok rose 14.1 per cent Y-O-Y and Changi was up 11.6 per cent Y-O-Y,” it said in a statement.
MIDF Research said the boom in Asia’s air travel also bodes well, mitigating the economic downturn in Europe.
The performance of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, however, lagged regional peers in terms of total passenger movements, with 4.8 per cent growth, derailed by the 10 per cent capacity cut by Malaysia Airlines (MAS), but was partly offsetted by foreign airlines filling up the capacity gap, it said.
LANGKAWI, July 30 (Bernama) — The Langkawi Development Authority (Lada) is holding a 2012 Langkawi Cultural Month on Nami Island, South Korea, in the effort to promote Langkawi to the Korean market.
Lada tourism manager Rosmina Yaakob said the cultural month, beginning July 20, targeted to lure 250,000 visitors.
“The response to the promotion is very encouraging,” she told Bernama, here, today.
She said the programmes included a photography exhibition, cooking demonstrations, traditional music performances and wood-carving demonstrations.
A total 20 people, comprising Lada officers, musicians, chefs and wood carvers headed by Lada chief executive officer Tan Sri Khalid Ramli, were participating in the promotion, she said.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Furniture Entrepreneur Association wants the Government to build bigger exhibition halls for furniture trade fair events.
Its president Edmond Chew said there was a limited number of big exhibition halls currently.
“They are not big enough for international shows,” he said after the Malaysian Furniture and Furnishings Fair 2012.
Chew said that although the Government had plans to build a big exhibition hall for Matrade, it was not known when this would be done.
He said Malaysia’s furniture export from January to May this year saw a 10% increase to RM3,163.1bil as opposed to RM2,867.6bil the same period last year.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said Malaysia only has four international standard exhibition centres with a total gross indoor size of 71,292 sq m compared to China with 97 centres and 4.4mil sq m.
“This clearly indicates that Malaysia needs more exhibition space to compete and attract more international standard exhibitions to be held here,” said Dr Ng whose speech was read out by the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Dr Ong Hong Peng.
“Malaysia is fast emerging as a choice destination for international conventions and exhibitions regionally and globally.
“Its growing appeal to convention and exhibition organisers is not surprising in view of the country’s easy accessibility from various parts of the world,” added Dr Ng.
Dr Ng also said Malaysia recorded a 14% growth of exhibition space from an estimated annual size of 265,000 sq m in 2010 to 320,500 sq m last year.
However, Malaysia had only 57 trade fairs last year compared with China’s 532, Hong Kong’s 101, Singapore’s 97 and Thailand’s 77, she noted.
Dr Ng added that growth in exhibition space sales this year was expected to be 2.5% which would result in space sales of 16.3mil sq m in total.
By LOH FOON FONG
(Sources: The Star, 28 July 2012, Saturday)
KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism Malaysia is targeting affluent travellers from key cities as part of its international marketing strategy.
Its international marketing division director for South Asia, West Asia and Africa, Zulkifly Md Said, said countries with large populations would be looked at.
“Indonesia, China and India are highly populated. So we can capture a larger market base.
“Through this strategy, we hope to get more tourist arrivals and hopefully increase the length of stay and tourist receipts,” he said during his presentation at the Malaysia Master Training Pro-gramme for South and West India Travel Agents held here yester-day.
Zulkifly described India as an important market as it was ranked sixth in Malaysia’s top 10 markets in 2010 and 2011.
“We had 690,849 tourist arrivals from India in 2010 and 693,056 arrivals in 2011,” he said.
From January to May this year, there were 299,478 arrivals from India compared to 277,791over the same period last year, which was a 7.8% increase.
Zulkifly said Tourism Malaysia had set up three overseas offices in India which reflected its seriousness in capturing the Indian market.
On the training programme, he said it was an initiative to bring in travel agents to explore the country’s tourism products and promote Malaysia as a must-visit destination among Indians.
“For the off-peak months of August to October, we are also working with MAS in a joint promotion called “Showcase Malaysia” whereby tourists in India who buy economy or business tickets will get a free night’s stay in Malaysia,” he said.
By WONG PEK MEI
(Sources: The Star, 29 July 2012, Sun)
SINGAPORE: From halal spas to prayer rooms at airport terminals, the global tourism industry is gearing up for a projected boom in Muslim travel over the next decade, experts say.
Their growing number and affluence means Muslims – especially from the oil-rich Middle East – are travelling like never before, and it is a trend that looks set to gather pace.
Spending by Muslim tourists is growing faster than the global rate and is forecast to reach US$192bil (RM614bil) a year by 2020, up from US$126bil (RM403.2bil) in 2011, according to a study by two companies specialising in the market.
The study was conducted in 47 countries by Singapore-based halal travel specialist Crescentrating, along with DinarStandard, a US-based firm that tracks the Muslim lifestyle market.
Crescentrating chief executive Fazal Bahardeen said Muslim-majority states such as Egypt, Malaysia and Indonesia were already favourite destinations, but non-Islamic countries are now “taking a serious look” at Muslim holidaymakers.
Malaysia, the number-one destination according to the findings, attracts Muslim visitors even during the ongoing fasting month of Ramadan.
Mohammed Ali Alali, 23, a petroleum engineering student from Dammam, Saudi Arabia, went there on honeymoon with his bride, a 20-year-old medicine student.
“It’s not that far from Saudi Arabia and it’s less expensive to travel here rather than Europe. It’s also an Islamic country so that helps in many ways, like to find a mosque and Arabic food,” he said after breaking fast at an Arabic restaurant in the capital Kuala Lumpur.
The availability of halal food tops the list of Muslim travellers’ requirements, according to the survey.
Destinations such as Thailand and Australia, especially the Gold Coast, are already taking into account these travellers’ needs in their services and facilities, Fazal said.
That includes prayer rooms at airports and hotels, halal restaurants and even spas adapted to religious requirements.
“Why not try Gold Coast for a cooler Ramadan this year?” says the tourism website of Australia’s Queensland state.
“With a long history of welcoming Middle Eastern visitors and a large resident community, facilities for Muslims in Gold Coast, Australia keep getting better every year.”
The Economist Intelligence Unit said in a March report that meeting the needs of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims is fuelling business opportunities in numerous sectors.
“From food and Islamic finance, the industry is spreading its wings into pharmaceuticals, fashion and tourism, among many other areas,” it said, noting more than half of the world’s Muslim population is aged 24 or younger, many of them well-educated.
Thailand is hungrily eyeing the Muslim travel boom.
Its tourism authority – which has an office in Dubai – is promoting halal spas for Muslim tourists, who require strict privacy for male and female clients.
It also organised a month-long festival of Thai cuisine in the United Arab Emirates from June 8 to July 7.
Gulf countries accounted for 37% of Muslim tourist spending in 2011 even though they represent a mere 3% of the global Muslim population. — AFP
(Sources: The Star, 30 July 2012)
Saya berminat menyertai perkhidmatan spa.
Apakah ia menyediakan masa depan yang cerah dan apakah langkah Kementerian Pelancongan untuk memastikan kualiti sektor berkenaan?
Tan Ah Ling
Georgetown, Pulau Pinang
Seramai 6,000 tenaga mahir diperlukan bagi memajukan perkhidmatan spa di negara ini sejajar kemajuan industri pelancongan.
Spa tidak memerlukan pekerja berkelulusan tinggi daripada universiti dan mereka mampu meraih pendapatan hingga RM5,000 sebulan.
Perkhidmatan itu mempunyai daya tarikan tersendiri dalam usaha meningkatkan kedatangan pelancong ke negara ini.
Perkhidmatan spa popular di kalangan pelancong dan seharusnya menarik penyertaan lebih ramai pengusaha tempatan. Bagi memastikan
kualiti sektor berkenaan dipelihara, Kementerian Pelancongan akan memperkenalkan sistem pemarkahan bagi setiap pusat spa berdaftar dan spa di hotel bertaraf
tiga bintang ke bawah.
Spa di hotel bertaraf empat dan lima bintang ada pemarkahannya sendiri. Kami juga menggalakkan spa mengambil kakitangan warga tempatan.
Datuk Seri Dr. Ng Yen Yen
Kementerian Pelancongan Malaysia
Sumber: Berita Harian, 27 Julai 2012