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PETALING JAYA, Nov 6 (Bernama) — Malaysia’s healthcare has attracted more foreign patients, including from developed countries such as the United States and Japan, due to the high-quality care and reasonable rates on offer.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the number of foreign patients to the country showed a 48 per cent increase in 2011, to 583,000 arrivals from 393,000 in 2010.
“Malaysia is fast being recognised for the quality of its orthopaedic treatment, with the top most sought-after procedure being knee replacement, followed by cardiac care and cancer treatment,” he said when opening the International Healthcare Travel Expo 2012, here, Tuesday.
A total knee replacement performed in Malaysia would cost about US$8,000, a heart bypass at US$10,000 and a health screening package at US$200, he said, adding that the domestic healthcare sector revenue was expected to reach about RM548 million this year.
Liow said the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) care line had been established to answer queries from all over the world on healthcare facilities available in Malaysia.
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 (Bernama) — The homestay programme in the country has received recognition in Asean as a successful programme which could help raise the income of the rural community.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said the programme also succeeded in encouraging homestay operators to promote their villages to tourists.
“We have been recognised, the programe was extremely successful in assisting poor rural residents to raise their economic level,” she said when winding up the 2013 Supply Bill at the Dewan Rakyat, here Tuesday.
Ng said a village wishing to participate in the homestay programme need to have at least 10 houses and the condition is that the houses must be clean and also obtain support from other villagers.
“We assist through repairing the bathroom and toilet to ensure that the house is clean,” she said.
Malaysia is hoping the launch of its first online training programme for UK agents will help boost UK arrivals in 2013.
The destination saw UK arrivals increase 5.9% in the first six months of 2012 to 196,738 visitors and expects to maintain that level of growth for the second half of this year.
The director general for the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, Dato’ Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, told Travel Weekly: “We are targeting a total of 422,500 UK visitors in 2012 and in 2013, we are expecting that to go up to 450,000.”
The figures place the UK as Malaysia’s eighth biggest international market, a position the director general believes the UK can improve to 7th in the coming years.
The driver will be activity leading up to and around Visit Asia Year in 2014 which Malaysia is going to promote strongly in the UK because of the capacity in airlift available.
Asked about the new ‘Master Malaysia’ training course, which is on the Travel Weekly/Travel Uni platform, he said: “The first thing is to create awareness. The senior travel agents know about Malaysia, but the young ones seem to be ignorant of what Malaysia really is and what it offers. They are bombarded with information on so many places and seem to know about the Maldives and Mauritius, so we need to shout louder and create a database of those agents who are really engaged in learning about Malaysia and sending their clients on holiday there.”
The director general added: “Malalysia is such an easy place to visit and we find that most of our visitors are repeat visitors so if we can get agent to get their customers there once, our job is one. They will come back again.
“Malaysia has so much happening – Visit Malaysia year will be huge and we are currently negotiating special packages with all the hotels. Legoland opened in September, we have a new water park and a new Hello Kitty attraction opening as well as duty free shopping in Kuala Lumpur available. We are going to create some real hype which should help establish huge success.”
Malaysia’s training programme can be accessed here.
(Sources: http://www.travelweekly.co.uk, 6 NOV 2012, TUESDAY)
PETALING JAYA (Nov 6, 2012): Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is consolidating its air-side and land-side hotels at the KL International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang under a new brand name, “Sama-Sama”.
The airport operator is also in the process of upgrading its two existing hotel facilities there.
MAHB said this is part of its plans to position its airport hotel services as a specialised product brand and expand the offerings to the overseas airport market.
“(The move is also) in line with our focus to grow our commercial business as outlined in our five-year business direction (2010-2014).
“We feel that the time is right to set a new direction for the future growth of our hotel business,” it said in a statement yesterday.
For starters, all three of its hotels at KLIA — the land-side Pan Pacific KLIA, the KLIA Air-side Transit Hotel and the KLIA2 Air-side Transit Hotel, the latter of which will be ready in May next year — will assume the new brand name.
“The new hotel brand will be ready for operational launch by Jan 1 2013, starting with Pan Pacific KLIA,” said MAHB.
“With this new brand identity, (MAHB’s) subsidiary KL Airport Hotel Sdn Bhd (KLAH) and Pan Pacific Hotels Group have mutually agreed not to extend the management agreement for the land side hotel beyond Dec 31 2012.”
MAHB’s management also gave assurance that all staff of Pan Pacific KLIA will see no change in their employment status as a result of this transition, as all staff remain legal employees of KLAH.
“This new direction that the group is taking also means new opportunities and possibilities of career growth for the hotel associates in the future, as it expands its business beyond Malaysia in the overseas ventures and offerings,” said MAHB, adding that the internal announcement to the staff was “well received”.
Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) recently launched its brand new campaign named “Malaysia — Asia like never before.” Targeting global corporate and incentive markets, the integrated campaign is supported by the new Corporate and Incentive Guide as well as a series of print and digital advertisements campaign.
According to general manager, Sales & Marketing of MyCEB Ho Yoke Ping, “The campaign focuses on four themes namely Team Building, Theme Events and Experiences, Unique Venues and Corporate Social Responsibility for corporate and incentive clients planning an incentive trip to Malaysia.”
She said: “The campaign aims to showcase Malaysia in a different light by introducing the four creative and unique themes. The informative Guide is essential for all corporate and incentive planners who are looking for new and unique programmes to experience in Malaysia”.
Furthermore, the campaign is designed to embrace the spirit and essence of Malaysia which is often referred to as a true microcosm of Asia. “Clearly, what makes Malaysia unique is definitely its diversity of cultures where one can get a taste of all of Asia and all its other unique and rare elements, in a single destination.
“At MyCEB, we constantly try to promote this idea to our clients internationally and think of innovative ways on how to bring this experience to life. If you are looking to ‘wow’ your client, look no further and bring your event to Malaysia,” she said.
The Corporate and Incentive Guide is currently available in English and Mandarin versions, and soon in Korean.
To learn more about the campaign, meeting and incentive planners are invited to view or download the guide online at www.myceb.com.my/corporate-
(Sources: The Star, 21 November 2012, Tuesday)
MELAKA, Nov 5 (Bernama) — Perlis should promote popular local dishes more aggressively to boost the state’s tourism industry, said Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Putra Faizuddin Jamalullail.
He said dishes like mi rebus Arau, laksa Kuala Perlis, gulai rebung Utan Aji, ikan pekasam masak lemak Jejawi and pulut sibak could fascinate visitors.
“Perlis should have its own identity in promoting tourism products by providing the best package for each product, including appropriate facilities and accommodation,” he said when launching the Perlis cuisine and cultural promotion at Seri Malaysia Hotel here Monday.
The one-week promotion organised by Tourism Malaysia Perlis in collaboration with Perlis and Melaka Seri Malaysia hotels was aimed at promoting Perlis culinary and cultural elements to tourists from Melaka and abroad, especially from Singapore.
Urging Perlis tourism industry players to learn from Melaka’s success in attracting tourists, Tuanku Syed Putra Faizuddin said both parties could create strategic alliance.
Tourism Malaysia Kedah/Perlis director Roslan Othman said revellers could sample between 80 and 90 dishes, appetizers, main meals and desserts during the promotion at RM35 for lunch and RM38 for dinner.
Present were Raja Puan Muda of Perlis Tuanku Hajah Lailatul Shahreen Akashah Khalil.
（菲律賓‧馬尼拉4日訊）國際知名的旅遊雜誌康泰納仕（Conde Nast Traveller）讀者評選亞洲10大最佳島嶼，我國的浮羅交怡和婆羅洲區（東馬）進榜。
SEPANG: AirAsia X, the long-haul low-fare airline affiliate of AirAsia Bhd, believes that moving to KLIA2, the country’s new low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT), will provide it with a tremendous opportunity to grow bigger and stronger.
The move will allow the airline to offer more flight transfer, or “Fly-Thru”, services to more destinations, said its chief executive officer Azran Osman Rani at AirAsia X’s fifth anniversary celebration, here, on Friday.
Currently, the service enables passengers to connect AirAsia Malaysia and AirAsia X flights at the LCCT using only a single booking itinerary and travelling on a single ticket.
Azran said last year, about 45 per cent of AirAsia X’s passengers used the Fly-Thru services. Of those, 36 per cent were connected from AirAsia to AirAsia X flights and the balance from AirAsia X to AirAsia X flights.
The service is available for all AirAsia X flights departing from China, Taiwan, Australia, South Korea and Japan when connecting via LCCT to four domestic Malaysian destinations, namely Penang, Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.
“This is something that we have pioneered. Before us, no other low-cost carriers tried to do this,” he said.
Azran believed that AirAsia X’s cost structure in terms of airport fees will remain the same following its move to KLIA2. The new terminal is expected to be ready by end of April next year and start operating in May.
“Certainly, the contractual agreement is until 2014. There isn’t a revision as I understand it. After that, maybe it’ll be a sort of cost inflation-type adjustment,” he said.
Meanwhile, AirAsia X is not shaken by the entrance of new rival Malindo Airways, which is Malaysia’s second low-cost airline.
Azran said besides having the first-mover advantage, AirAsia has a powerful short-haul feeder network and a long-haul arm network.
“Any other airline that does not have the depth and long-haul model as well as international hubs must surely find it extremely difficult to even catch up. One thing that is very clear in the low-cost industry all over the world is that first-mover counts,” he said.
By Bilqis Bahari
(Sources: New Straits Times, 5 November 2012， Monday）
KUALA LUMPUR: Desaru Coast, an up-and-coming development on the east side of Johor, will not only satiate the affluent’s taste in luxury holidays but also the desire to own a holiday spot.
The group behind the development, Destination Resorts & Hotels (DRH), said Desaru Coast would flourish into not just a luxury travel destination, but also a resort township for recurrent holidaymakers.
“It’s all part of our intention to make Desaru a resort township. The residential part of it will be more likely holiday homes or second homes for those who can afford it,” managing director Nadziruddin Basri told StarBiz.
He believed that with facilities already available in a neighbouring township, the resort township would be able to leverage off the necessities rather than having another set of its own facilities.
“If you look at the proximity between Desaru and Bandar Penawar, the latter is where the mass population is and has all the facilities like schools and hospitals,” he explained. “So when we look at the Desaru plan, we think it makes sense to keep it a resort township, not a full-fledged township.”
DRH is in partnership with UEM Land Bhd for its residential development in Phase 1. UEM Land owns 51% of the residential development, which will be a mix of mid- to high-end semi-detached houses, bungalows, villas and low-density condominiums.
Nadziruddin noted that the residential component was still in its preliminary planning stage but the projects would be launched “precinct by precinct,” depending on buyers’ responses and the economy.
“There will also be a need for base population and this is when we look at Petronas’ development in Pengerang, which would be complete about the same time as our Phase 1,” he said, noting that Petronas would likely bring in over 20,000 staff.
“There will always be the need for housing so the potential is there, even if we can lock in 10% of its staff,” he said, noting the strategic location close to Singapore and Iskandar Malaysia.
DRH, through subsidiary Desaru Development Corp Sdn Bhd (DDC), is also in talks with UKAS to obtain facilitation funds for infrastructure development. If obtained, DRH could get up to 10% of total infrastructure capex.
As for opening up equity ownership in some of the components, Nadziruddin said although it was welcomed, DRH would maintain a majority share in all projects carried out so that it ccould ensure the original luxury travel theme was always retained.
“We want the whole area to blend in well with the concept of a luxury holiday. With the names we are bringing in, we are prepared to invest to maintain the township because the operators have no qualms moving out if we are not up to standard,” he said.
Phase 1 will offer four premium resorts operated by Sheraton Resorts and Hotels, The Datai, Aman Resorts and another yet to be named for the plantation hotel. There will also be marine and water parks, Ocean Quest and Ocean Splash, which feature the world’s biggest salt water wave pool.
Phase 2 and 3 have yet to be finalised as DRH has decided to plan them according to market demand in the coming years.
“We are a catalyst developer so we have to take a long-term view of the development,” Nadziruddin said of the 15-to-20-year timeline set for the three phases of Desaru Coast.
“We have to make sure not to overdevelop Phase 1 even though our investment is big, because we need it to benefit from Phase 2 and 3 too,” he added.
Desaru Coast covers 3,900 acres along a 17-km stretch of pristine coast.
By LIZ LEE
（Sources: The Star, 5 November 2012, Monday）