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KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 (Bernama) — Asian accommodations are amongst the most optimistic about their business prospects in 2013, says travel site, TripAdvisor.
The finding arose from a survey conducted on its behalf by an independent research firm, StrategyOne, and involving more than 35,000 travelers and accommodations globally.
In a statement Monday, TripAdvisor said the report showed 73 per cent of Malaysian travellers planning to increase their travel spend this year, which is well above the Asia regional average of 49 per cent.
“Accommodations in Asia are able to look back at last year with satisfaction, as 79 per cent of the over 1,600 accommodations in the region surveyed for the “TripBarometer” survey, reported that 2012 was economically successful for them.
“In fact, 24 per cent of the accommodation owners went so far as to describe 2012 as very profitable,” it added.
TripAdvisor said the findings reported that Asia is in a strong position compared to other regions, and accommodation owners in Asia are amongst the most bullish in the world, with 72 per cent stating they are optimistic about their probability this year, which is slightly above the global average of 68 per cent.
Travellers from the Middle East (75 per cent) and South America (58 per cent also plan to spend notably more on travel this year and globally, 50 per cent of travellers expect their travel spend to go up this year.
“The TripBarometer reveals that 69 per cent of travellers globally use travel review websites when researching and planning their trips.
“It revealed useful insights into what global travellers are planning and shone a light on areas where accommodation providers can do more to meet guests’ expectations,” said President, TripAdvisor for Business, Christine Petersen.
She said with travellers choosing digital channels for their travel planning and research, traditional word of mouth has been amplified and online booking has become the norm across the globe.
“The next logical step is mobile, especially considering that travellers in some emerging markets are bypassing desktops and getting online for the first time using mobile devices,” she added.
KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 (Bernama) — The Asean aviation market will grow significantly in the next few years following the development of ‘open skies’ policies in various regions of South-East Asia, an analyst said.
Frost & Sullivan Asia-Pacific, aerospace & defence, consulting analyst, Neil Dave, said considerable increases in infrastructure investment and planned policies will boost air travel and growth.
“Consumers will look to benefit from increased choice of destinations, routes and greater affordability with rising standards of living and cost savings passed down from airlines due to improved efficiency and profit maximisation,” he said in a statement Monday.
Dave said the demand for a well-knit air travel infrastructure system and the increasing demand for low-cost travel were the main drivers for the implementation of ‘open skies’ policies in the region.
However, the implementation of these policies may adversely affect aviation growth, especially in countries with a developing aviation industry, he said.
“Stiff competition from mature, foreign players may eventually squeeze out smaller players from a developing aviation industry leading to loss of aviation-related jobs,” he said.
Dave said India and China had been experiencing rapid growth in air transport services and domestic aviation infrastructure and were major competitors in the market.
He said other Asean countries will be forced to improve their air transport services across the region to stay competitive.
“The current lack of infrastructure in developing Asean countries to support the change in policy may lead to overcapacity of airports,” he said.
In the long run, Frost & Sullivan predicted that the implementation of ‘open skies’ policies will bring about real and spill-over benefits to various industries.
“The ‘open skies’ agreements will look to boost economic and trade growth,” it said.
PETALING JAYA: Events in Lahad Datu have had a negative impact on tourism, with hotels and tour agencies receiving cancellations from holidaymakers.
MATTA Sabah chapter chairman K.L. Tan hoped tourists would defer their holiday plans instead of cancelling their bookings.
“Several foreign countries have advised their citizens to avoid coming here (to Sabah) without taking into account that the intrusion occurred only in a remote area,” he said.
Tan noted that businesses had been affected due to the unfounded rumours and even staff members had gone missing while on duty, leading to temporary shutdowns.
“Local tour operators play an important role in disseminating accurate information to overseastourists and should organise trips to show that the situation is under control,“ he said.
Among the tour operators doing this is Ooi Chin Hock, who believes Sabah’s attractions will overcome the negative impact of the intrusion.
“There may be people who are still too afraid to visit other places in Sabah but for many, it is business as usual,” he said.
Hoteliers are also pulling their weight to help improve the situation by assisting tourists reschedule their plans.
Sepilok Jungle Resort director Johnny Lim said hotels and other businesses were operating as usual.
“We are currently diverting tourists, who are already in Sandakan, to do tours elsewhere instead of heading to Kinabatangan,” he said.
Sandakan’s Sabah Hotel sales and marketing director Anthony Kong said the first week of March was usually busy but cancellations had been pouring in since the intrusion.
SOURCES: THE STAR – 10 MAR 2013, SUN
BOOMING BUSINESS: Festivals set to draw more tourists
KUCHING: THE Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) is expecting a fruitful 2013. Last year, the state recorded 4.7 million tourist arrivals, a 7.2 per cent increase from 2011. Foreign arrivals recorded a 12.4 per cent increase.
STB chairman Datuk Rashid Khan said the Visit Sarawak Year campaign would surely draw more visitors.
“Our main attractions have always been music festivals and major conferences. This year, Sarawak will host the Asean International Film Festival and awards at the end of this month.”
The two main music festivals are the Rainforest World Music Festival from June 28 to 30 and the Miri Jazz Fest on May 10 and 11.
In January, STB was awarded the Hospitality Sales Marketing Association International’s Adrian Awards 2012 in New York.
Rashid also said the media had played an instrumental part in promoting tourism in the state.
This year, STB’s media appreciation luncheon was themed “Healthy Lifestyle”, with an organised bicycle ride for attendees.
By DOREENA NAEG | firstname.lastname@example.org
(SOURCES: NST – 11 MARCH 2013, MONDAY)
KUCHING, March 8 (Bernama) — The country’s tourism sector’s preparation for the Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014 will not be affected by the armed intrusion by Sulu militants in Sabah, DeputyTourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos said today.
He said his ministry through Tourism Malaysia and other relevant agencies were already on the ground to conduct promotions and marketing initiatives, both at home and overseas, as their VMY strategies were already in place.
“I hope the intrusion crisis can be resolved as soon as possible but it will not affect the tourism sector in Malaysia because tourists visiting the country have many choices,” he told reporters after attending a VMY 2014 briefing and dialogue with the Sarawak state tourism industry players here.
Citing the case of European tourists, who had been advised by their leaders to avoid visiting conflict areas, he said, at present they had chosen to divert to Langkawi, where they could also enjoy many attractions available in Sabah, including coral diving.
He said Sarawak, which targetted tourist arrivals of six million during VMY 2014 was also one of the safest places to visit, with unique selling points that appealed particularly to European tourists.
Last year Sarawak recorded an increase in tourist arrivals of 4 million which generated RM60.6 billion in tourism receipts from RM3.4 million tourists and RM49.5 billion in earnings in 2008, he said.
On the national aspect, Dr Dawos said, VMY 2014 was expected to see an increase of 7.5 percent intourist arrivals of 28.89 million and 16.8 percent in terms of receipts at RM81.89 billion from a projected 26.88 milion tourists and RM70.10 billion in revenue this year.
Last year, Malaysia recorded 25.03 million tourists which brought a total earnings of RM60.56 billion for the country.
A number of tourism development projects had also been put in place to achieve 36 million touristarrivals and RM168 billion tourism receipts by 2020 under the Malaysia’s tourism tranformation programme, Dawos added.
KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 (Bernama) — The Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014 has been strongly promoted by the Malaysian Delegation led by Tourism Malaysia Director-General, Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab at the 47th International Tourism Exchange (ITB) Berlin, Germany which will end on this Sunday (March 10).
With the theme “Celebrating 1Malaysia Truly Asia”, theVMY 2014 promotional campaign was launched last month by Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and includees a series of year-long special events and activities leading to VMY 2014.
Tourism Malaysia in a statement Friday said the five-day annual travel trade show offered Malaysia an excellent platform to market and create awareness of VMY 2014 and its promotional campaign this year to the travel trade fraternity and media in Germany and Europe.
The Malaysian delegation comprised 91 participants from 48 organisations, including 24 hotels and resorts, 17 tour operators, the country’s national carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS), the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), as well as the other representatives from state governments.
Malaysia’s presence at ITB 2013 marks the country’s 39th year of participation in the event, which clearly showed its continued interest and focus on the German and European markets.
At the ITB, The Malaysia Pavilion was officially opened by the Malaysian Ambassador to Germany Datuk Ibrahim Abdullah to showcase the best of travel products, destinations and services in Malaysia.
He also hosted a Malaysia Evening on March 7 (Thursday) at Steingenberger Hotel to show the country’s appreciation to Germany and international travel trade fraternity and the media for their continued support on tourism promotional effort.
With the presence of international media, ITB helps generate more publicity for Malaysia and further strengthen the presence of the country as a top-of-mind holiday destination.
In addition, Tourism Malaysia also seeks to promote Malaysia as a business tourism destination, in line with the Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan 2020, aims to acheive its target of 36 million touristarrivals and RM168 billion by the year 2020.
Last year, tourist arrivals to Malaysia continued to enjoy an upward trend, reaching 25 million, which was an increase of 1.3 percent compared to the previous year.
In 2012, a total of 131,277 German tourists visited Malaysia.
Correspondingly, receipts from German tourists had also increased on last year by 7.7 percent to the tune of RM397 million.
This year, Malaysia has set a target to attract 145,000 Gernam tourists to the country.
PUTRAJAYA – Syarikat penerbangan tambang murah baharu, Malindo Air bakal beroperasi 22 Mac ini melalui penerbangan sulung ke Kota Kinabalu, Sabah dan diikuti hari seterusnya ke Kuching, Sarawak.
Tambang penerbangan meliputi semua kos ke Kota Kinabalu ialah RM68 manakala tambang ke Kuching pula hanya RM38.
Berdasarkan harga daripada laman web pesaing, harga yang ditawarkan Malindo Air lebih rendah kira-kira 20 hingga 50 peratus bagi kedua-dua laluan.
Ketua Pegawai Eksekutifnya, Chandran Rama Muthy berkata, syarikat penerbangan hibrid pertama di Malaysia itu akan berpangkalan di Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur, Sepang, Selangor.
“Operasi syarikat akan bermula lebih awal daripada jadual asal iaitu Mei ini bagi memberikan pilihan dan pengalaman baharu kepada rakyat Malaysia menaiki pesawat kami.
“Bukan sekadar menawarkan tambang murah, kami turut menjanjikan keselesaan dan kualiti perkhidmatan terbaik kepada semua pelanggan,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas majlis penerimaan Sijil Pengendali Udara di sini semalam.
Oleh FAHAMI AHMAD
SUMBER: KOSMO! – 8 MARCH 2013, FRIDAY
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is set to become a top destination hub for tourists from Wuhan, China, with the start of twice-weekly charter flights from the city to Kuala Lumpur next month.
The deal was signed by AirAsia and Hubei New Airline International Travel Service in Wuhan’s Chuhehan Plaza, witnessed by several Tourism Malaysia officers.
In a statement, Tourism Malaysia said the agreement was in line with Tourism Malaysia’s efforts to promote the country in Wuhan and the chartered flights are expected to run for the next two years.
“Tourism Malaysia supported this effort as there are no direct flights from Wuhan to Malaysia currently,” it said in the statement.
The signing ceremony was followed by a luncheon organised by Tourism Malaysia to promote Visit Malaysia Year 2014, which was attended by several Malaysian delegates and 30 Wuhan travel agents.
SOURCES: THE STAR – 7 MARCH 2013, THURS
Malaysia-Singapore Studying Several Matters To Finalise KL-Singapore High-Speed Rail Link Project – MustapaMarch 31, 2013 on 10:31 pm | In News Section | Comments Off
SINGAPORE, March 6 (Bernama) — Malaysia and Singapore authorities are jointly studying several matters to finalise details for the KL-Singapore high-speed rail link project, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said here, Tuesday.
He said both sides are “very serious” about the project and are mutually supportive to see the rail link was a success story.
The ambitious project, jointly agreed to by the Malaysian and Sinagpore governments, is slated for operations in 2020.
Upon completion, it will take only 90 minutes for travellers from Kuala Lumpur to reach Singapore and vice-versa.
Both sides were working closely to sort out the details as the rail link was crucial to Malaysia and Singapore to further enhance their bilateral and trade relations, he told Malaysian journalists after ending his working visit to the republic.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his Singapore counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, announced the multi-billion ringgit project after the “Leaders Annual Consultation” in Singapore last month.
Najib and Lee had said the high-speed train project was a “strategic development” to enhance bilateral relations between the two neighbours.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha had said five new railway stations would be built in Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Malaysia for the high-speed train service.
Mustapa was in Singapore yesterday to promote Kelantan as an investment and tourism destination.
He held a roundtable discussion with 300-odd Singapore investors before launching “Let’s Go To Kelantan, Malaysia by Firefly” promotional campaign.
Some 700 tour and travel agency operators and tourist guides from Singapore attended the launch.
KUALA LUMPUR: Social media will be part of the Tourism Ministry’s education programme for tour operators and travel guides.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said social media must be included to ensure the travel industry is up to date with current trends.
“When they apply for a licence to operate, they need to undergo a two-day compulsory training course while those who want to renew their licences have to attend a one-day continuous education course.
“So, the social media aspect will be included in both these courses as it is important in improving the services and products provided to tourists,” she said after launching the two-day 2nd Malaysia International Tourism Bloggers Conference and Awards 2013 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre yesterday.
Dr Ng pointed out that the ministry had come out strong in utilising social media in its promotional activities with the Cuti-Cuti Malaysia’s Facebook page receiving 1,365,925 likes.
On another matter, Dr Ng gave an assurance that Sabah was not affected by the Lahad Datu siege, and that tourists could still travel there.
Dr Ng added that she received news from Malaysia Airlines that tourists are still coming but were changing their destination to places like Langkawi instead of Sabah.
In a travel advisory posted on the Sabah Tourism Board’s website, its general manager and boarddirector Datuk Irene Benggon Charuruks said all islands in the state are open and safe to visit.
By WONG PEK MEI