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MELAKA, Feb 3 (Bernama) — The media have been encouraged to give new ideas to promote thetourism industry, particularly in Malacca which banks on heritage and culture.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said their views were important for they could help attract more tourists as well as preserve national heritage for future generations.
“Efforts to uphold national heritage are important for the benefits of future generations, and the thrust of the historic city of Melaka’s heritage management is preserving heritage sites in the interest of preservation and protection of its legacy,” he said.
He was speaking at a dinner in conjunction with the All Ladies Treasure Hunt organised by the Association of Women and Wives of Bernama Employees (Benita) at Bayview Hotel here last night.
Bernama acting general manager Datuk Yong Soo Heong was present.
Two hundred women travelling in 50 cars took part in the hunt from Kuala Lumpur to Melaka, yesterday.
The contestants vied for prizes, including RM10,000 cash, and diamond and pearl pendants worth RM2,000 from Habib Jewels.
Mohd Ali said the state government would give priority to preservation and protection of its historical heritage sites in line with the recognition accorded by Unesco on July 7, 2008.
He also urged stakeholders, including building owners and residents, to help preserve the state’s heritage and culture.
GEORGE TOWN, Feb 3 (Bernama) — A total of 25,032,708 foreign tourists visited Malaysia last year, surpassing the figure of 24,714,324 arrivals in 2011.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said the total tourist arrivals yielded RM60.6 billion in revenue in 2012 compared with RM58.3 billion in the previous year.
She said the double digit growth in tourist arrivals was largely contributed by Iraq, Nepal, the Philippines, China, Japan, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan.
“The Asean market contributed the most number of tourists with 75.1 per cent following various competitive offers by low-cost carriers such as Air Asia, Mandala Airlines, SEAir and Tiger Airways besides the existence of new tourism products such as the Johor Premium Outlet and the Legoland Theme Park,” she said.
Dr Ng disclosed this to reporters after attending the ‘My Beautiful Malaysia’ programme, at the Teluk Bahang National Park, here today.
She said the growth in tourist arrivals was in line with the target of the Malaysian Tourism Plan 2020 to achieve 36 million tourist arrivals and a tourism revenue of RM168 billion by the year 2020.
Ng said Malaysia targeted a total of 26 million tourist arrivals this year and her ministry would implement an effective strategy to woo more tourists to stay longer in this country.
Meanwhile, 10,000 people participated in the voluntary programme officiated by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop.
MEDIA ATTENTION: State to sponsor race leader’s yellow jersey featuring Visit Terengganu Year 2013 theme
KUALA TERENGGANU: THE state will promote its tourism spots through the Visit Terengganu Year 2013 (VTY2013) event which will be featured prominently in this year’s edition of the Le Tour De Langkawi (LTDL).
The promotion will be in the form of a RM2 million sponsorship of the yellow jersey by the state government.
The yellow jersey is worn by the general classification leader, which is the rider with the lowest overall time at the end of each stage.
Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said said this was the best way to promote VTY2013 because of the wide coverage given to the annual race by local and international media.
“The yellow jersey will feature the Visit Terengganu Year 2013 theme prominently and this provides immense branding for the state.
“The VTY2013 theme will be highly visible during LTDL as the leader of the race will be attracting a lot of media attention, thus providing the impact that we require in promoting Terengganu.”
He said this at the presentation ceremony of the sponsorship at Wisma Darul Iman here yesterday.
Also present were LTDL 2013 organising committee deputy chairman Datuk Abdul Jalil Abdullah, Malaysian National Cycling Federation president Datuk Abu Samah Abdul Wahab and LTDL 2013 chief operation officer Emir Abdul Jalal.
Ahmad said Terengganu will receive further promotion as the host of the final three stages of the race.
“The final three stages will receive three hours of continuous media coverage by local and international television stations.”
Ahmad added that the 18th edition of the LTDL was tied to an agreement with the Eurosport channel, which would broadcast the event to more than 600 million people worldwide.
“Such a huge coverage will not only raise the profile of the race but also promote the sponsors’ brands.”
He said there would be economical benefits for the people of Terengganu when the LTDL reaches here on March 1.
“We have a number of plans to welcome LTDL here. This includes the launch of the cycling month tomorrow, with rides to all the districts of Terengganu, and a week-long carnival to be held at Dataran Syahbandar.”
Ahmad said there would be many Terengganu-born cycling talents taking part in LTDL 2013.
“Apart from the Terengganu ProAsia Cycling Team (TSG), there are a number of other Terengganu cyclists representing different teams in LTDL 2013.
“TSG is the new UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) Asia Tour champions and I believe they are capable of making a mark in this year’s edition of LTDL.”
Meanwhile, Emir said the fight for the yellow jersey will be more open this year after four consecutive years of South American domination.
“I can see more than 20 potential winners from all five continents in the provisional start list and only two previous overall winners are competing.”
(SOURCES: BERNAMA – 31 JAN 2013, THURSDAY)
By SATIMAN JAMIN | firstname.lastname@example.org
RECOGNITION OF ECONOMIC STRENGTH: RM2.5 billion project to create jobs, opportunities
KUALA LUMPUR: PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak last night unveiled the next landmark in the federal capital when he launched the first Four Seasons Place in Southeast Asia.
Najib said the project by Venus Assets Sdn Bhd and many other similar projects reflected investors’ recognition of the underlying strength in the Malaysian economy.
“It is against this backdrop that I am pleased to see Four Seasons Place project coming to fruition.”
Najib said the RM2.5 billion project was a significant development and one which would bring real benefits to the economy in the form of jobs and opportunities in construction and commerce.
He said the launch of the Four Seasons Place project was in line with last year’s third quarter trend, which saw the services sector grow by seven per cent and construction sector by 18.3 per cent.
“We want to put Malaysia at the heart of the 21st century global economic infrastructure, a country at the heart of the world’s strongest growth markets, fluent in finance and sustainable development, bridging the gap between East and West.
“Not only does it typify the kind of growth that will steer Malaysia to Vision 2020 and beyond, but it also speaks of the confidence which investors place in our capital, our country and our economy,” he said in his speech.
Venus Assets chairman Tan Sri Syed Yusof said the development, encompassing 1.5 million sq ft, was expected to be completed in four years and would open up various job opportunities.
“It will also have a spiralling effect on other industries, including suppliers, contractors, architects, engineers, lawyers and bankers, as this bodes well for the economy and the nation.”
Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah witnessed the launch.
Present were the prime minister’s wife, Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen and Kuala Lumpur Mayor Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib.
The 65-storey integrated development project consists of more than 300,000 sq ft of luxury retail space, with 231 hotel rooms, as well as hotel service apartments and residences ranging from 1,300 to 12,000 sq ft in size per unit.
It is expected to be completed in four years.
(SOURCES: BERNAMA – 31 JAN 2013, THURSDAY)
KOTA KINABALU, Jan 30 (Bernama) — The BIMP-EAGA Malaysia Business Council has applauded the Indonesian and Malaysian government’s for giving approval to Maswings to fly into Balikpapan, East Kalimantan (Indonesia) from Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.
The flights will begin on Feb 1 this year.
Its Chairman Datuk Roselan Johar Mohamed said: “For businessmen, doing business within their own country is not enough. We must go beyond our common borders.
“Maswings has opened up new doors to new territories which were previously difficult to reach.
“Both governments had promised to facilitate business opportunities and this approval is to be applauded by all concerned.
“Maswings has gone further by introducing a promotional return fare of only RM372 from Kota Kinabalu to Balikpapan.”
He told Bernama, here that Maswings will fly thrice weekly to Balikpapan on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Roselan said with the opening of this route, travel to other airports of Indonesian Kalimantan has been made easier, faster and cheaper.
“Balikpapan is the hub for Kalimantan and we can make our flight transfers now with ease,” he added.
By Newmond Tibin
THE Government aims to designate a premier shopping district for the country in its quest to become a high-income nation by the year 2020, said Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin.
“The district is none other than Bukit Bintang and KLCC (BB-KLCC) and where Harrods Hotel will be located,” he said, adding that this was in line with the nation’s Tourism National Key Economic Area (NKEA).
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for Harrods Hotel held at the Seri Melayu Restaurant in Jalan Conlay yesterday, Nong Chik said with Kuala Lumpur ranked the fourth best shopping destination in the world and second in Asia-Pacific, there was no doubt that the country would continue to attract huge investors like Qatar Holding to the country.
“Generating RM58mil in tourism-related receipts through 24.7 million visitors, Malaysia offers a fruitful and growing investment opportunity.
“The emergence of Qatar Holding acts as a catalyst for future investments and this is a good sign. This shows that our initiatives to make Kuala Lumpur an international class city under the Greater Kuala Lumpur-Klang Valley NKEA have been worthwhile,” said Nong Chik, adding that the ministry would fasttrack large-scale developments in the city provided they met the requirements of Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
He said with such global recognition, the country’s tourism sector would see even more foreign investments, generating revenue that would in turn spur economic growth.
Also present at the groundbreaking ceremony were Qatar Holding vice-chairman Dr Hussain Ali Al-Abdulla, Jerantas Sdn Bhd corporate representative Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Ismail and Tradewinds Corporation Bhd group chief executive officer Shaharul Farez Hassan.
In his opening speech, Dr Hussain praised the stability of the Malaysian Government and its pragmatic policies that had created a conducive investment environment for institutions such as Qatar Holding.
“Malaysia is an attractive tourist destination and this convinced us that Kuala Lumpur is ideal for a Harrods Hotel,” he said, adding that the abundance of skilled and highly-trained workforce as well as the country’s rich agricultural commodities were also part of the reasons for their investment.
The integrated development of Harrods Hotel spans 5.48 acres and will comprise two residential towers, an office building and a retail podium, with direct connectivity to the award-winning Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.
The hotel will be strategically located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle — at the intersection of Jalan Raja Chulan and Jalan Conlay.
By S. PUSPADEVI
(SOURCES: THE STAR – 30 JAN 2013, WED)
JOHOR BARU: The world-famous Pinewood Studios is set to make Johor an international film-making hub for the Asia-Pacific region in May.
With its state-of-the-art facilities, the new Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios (PIMS) in Nusajaya is targeting production projects worth RM3.8bil between now and 2020, said PIMS chief executive officer Michael Lake.
The budget includes spending on about 9,500 full-time and freelance workers, use of studio space, film production equipment, logistics, food and beverages, lodging and purchase of construction and office supplies.
Lake said RM1.9bil of the RM3.8bil budget would be spent in the local economy.
He was briefing the media on the latest developments in the project at a joint press conference with Iskandar Regional Development Authority chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim at the studios yesterday.
The 20ha PIMS complex includes 9,300sq m of film stages.
The biggest stage at 2,800sq m will have a water tank for production that requires work on or under water.
There are also two TV studios, each at 1,100sq m.
Pinewood Studios is a major British film studio situated in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, about 32km west of central London.
It has played host to many film and television productions over the years and is well known as the home of the Carry On , Superman and James Bond film series.
(SOURCES: THE STAR – 30 JAN 2013, WED)
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will reach a milestone in its growth history when it joins oneworld global alliance on Friday.
To mark this significant event, a two-day celebration has been lined up for the airline.
In a statement yesterday, MAS said final preparations were being put to a massive communications programme to highlight the development, which was a key element of the flag carrier’s turnaround strategy, coming on the heels of its 40 years of history in delivering its unique brand of Malaysian hospitality to the world since it first took to the skies as MAS.
“oneworld enables its member airlines to deliver more services and benefits to their customers particularly frequent flyers than any airline can on its own.
“For MAS, joining the alliance will strengthen its competitiveness, enabling it to offer customers an unrivalled alliance global network served by the highest quality partners from each of the world’s key regions,” group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said.
Post-oneworld addition, MAS’ Enrich frequent flyer members will have their privileges extended to flying with any oneworld member airline worldwide, including the ability to earn and redeem Enrich reward points throughout the alliance’s global network.
Enrich Platinum and Gold members will be able to use the 550 airport lounges worldwide offered by oneworld member airlines whenever they fly with any of the alliance’s carriers.
Meanwhile, as part of the celebrations, senior executives from the existing partners of the award-winning global alliance will be flying into Kuala Lumpur to welcome MAS as the newest member of their airline family.
On Friday, representatives from all oneworld member airlines will join Ahmad Jauhari and his top team at KL International Airport to welcome passengers on the airline’s first departures offering oneworld services and benefits.
MAS’ addition to oneworld will expand the alliance’s global coverage to about 840 destinations in 155 countries, served by some 9,000 departures a day operated by a combined fleet of some 2,500 aircraft.
(SOURCES: THE STAR – 30 JAN 2013, WED)
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 (Bernama) – Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has started the final countdown towards joining the oneworld global airline alliance on Feb 1.
“It is a key element of the Malaysian national flag carrier’s turnaround strategy and comes as it marks 40 years of delivering its unique Malaysian hospitality,” the national carrier said in a statement today.
MAS said it will stage two days of celebrations to mark its addition to the world’s premier airline alliance.
“Senior executives from the existing partners of the award-winning global alliance will be flying here to welcome MAS as as the newest member,” it said.
MAS group chief executive officer, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, said on the first day as part of the alliance, all representatives will join him at KL International Airport to welcome passengers on the airline’s first departures.
“Joining the alliance will strengthen MAS‘ competitiveness and enable it to offer customers an unrivalled alliance global network served by the highest quality partners from each of the world’s key regions,” he said.
MAS said it will fly alongside best known brands in the world airline industry such as airberlin, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and Russia’s S7 Airlines.
The airline said its addition will expand the oneworld coverage to over 840 destinations in 155 countries, served by some 9,000 departures a day operated by a combined fleet of some 2,500 aircraft, carrying nearly 340 million passengers a year, with annual revenues of US$110 billion (US$1 = RM3.07).
MAS Enrich frequent flyer members will have their privileges extended to whenever they fly with any oneworld member airline worldwide,” it said.
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 (Bernama) — The tourism industry needs to re-look at what it wants to achieve and focus more on quality than on tourist arrivals, said former Tourism Minister, Tan Sri Sabaruddin Chik.
He said based on recent statistics, while the number of tourist arrivals had increased substantially over the years, the occupancy rates in hotels had remained relatively unchanged.
“We need to focus on creating jobs for our people. This is what we should be focusing on and not just on the number of tourist arrivals,” he said at the Kuala Lumpur Tourism Association tea reception in conjunction with its Golden Jubilee celebration.
Former managing director of Malaysia Airlines, Tan Sri Aziz Rahman, said the tourism industry needed to ensure that tourists will have a pleasant experience and continue to remember their stay in this country.
“The tourism industry in this country also need to upgrade skills. The government and private sector can team up to upgrade them,” he said.
Aziz said another key issue was security and safety.
“A tourist that got pickpocked, things snatched or lost belongings in the hotel room is a bad experience and the news will spread fast,” he said.