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KUALA LUMPUR: It may be a year away but the Tourism Ministry and Tourism Malaysia are all fired up about wooing 28 million tourists for Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014.
It will start off with a bang, as 500 drums from the various ethnic groups will be sounded simultaneously when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak launches the promotional campaign for VMY 2014 at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium here at 8.30pm tonight.
The launch is part of a three-day tourism carnival, which kicked off at the stadium yesterday, to create awareness of the economic importance of VMY 2014.
“The curtains for 2013 have just been raised, and all of us at the Tourism Ministry and Tourism Malaysia are meticulously and excitedly preparing for VMY 2014 in a big way,” said minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen in a statement.
She said the launching of the promotional campaign for VMY 2014 signalled the Government’s reinforced promotional and marketing efforts overseas.
“It is also a gentle reminder to every Malaysian of the vital role we need to play at home as host in welcoming the world.
“It is actually you my dear Malaysians who truly are the front-liners in welcoming tourists to our shores and in making their stay here memorable and an enjoyable one,” Dr Ng said.
She encouraged Malaysians to be warm hosts by greeting visitors with a smile, ensuring clean surroundings and toilets as well as offering delicious food and comfortable accommodation.
The tourism carnival is set to be all abuzz with various exhibitions and bazaars, where visitors will be able to learn about the Malaysian tourism industry and how it has performed over the years.
Visitors will also get to know about exciting tourism events such as the 1Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourism Festival, Parks and Gardens, 1Malaysia Green, 1Malaysia Clean and 1Malaysia International Shoe Festival.
One of the highlights of the carnival includes a bicycle and big bikes marquee, set up to promote cycling and biking tourism in the country.
Bike enthusiasts can marvel at a collection of 1,000 super bikes from brands like Harley Davidson, Ducati, BMW and GIVI, as well as custom-made choppers at the booth.
Over 2,000 prizes worth a total of RM450,000 are also up for grabs at the event, including a Chevrolet Orlando as the grand prize.
The winner of the multi-purpose vehicle will be chosen by Najib via a lucky draw.
Other prizes include a Naza Blade 250cc motorcycle worth RM18,000.
Visitors will also stand to win a total of RM13,000 in cash prizes and other gifts in five different competitions organised during the tourism carnival, ranging from karaoke to band competitions.
For those who like to dance, there will be a Gangnam 1Malaysia Truly Asia competition.
Those eager for a getaway may also find their perfect holiday package at the tourism consumer exhibition, which has over 200 booths set up by hotels, travel agents and tourism product operators.
Throughout the three-day event, visitors will be treated to performances by artistes such as Ella, Khatijah Ibrahim, and Azlan and the Typewriter while children can enjoy themselves at a special Kid Zone.
At the 1Malaysia Food Court, visitors will be able to savour mouthwatering local and ethnic dishes from all over the country including yong tau foo, rojak, mee rebus, chicken rice, char kuey teow and nasi lemak.
Free medical check-ups will be provided by the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council and the National Heart Institute at the carnival.
The hosting of VMY 2014 as well as the designation of 2013 as a preparatory year is timely as the Asia-Pacific region has recorded tremendous growth and is poised to have even more in-bound tourists over the next few years.
VMY 2014, to continue over the next two years, will help ensure Malaysia will be at the forefront to receive a huge inflow of tourists and meet its target of attracting 36 million tourists and RM168bil in tourist receipts by 2020.
The tourism carnival is open to the public until tomorrow. Admission is free and is from 10 am.
VMY 2014 is also supported by other ministries and agencies, including the Youth and Sports Ministry, Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry, Higher Education Ministry, and the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry.
Visitors are advised to come early as parking at the stadium is limited.
Visitors can go to Technology Park Malaysia where parking is free. Shuttle services are provided from there for visitors to the carnival.
Alternatively, the public can take a train along the Ampang-Sri Petaling Line to the Bukit Jalil station. Train services to the Bukit Jalil station are available for free today from 6am to midnight.
By YUEN MEIKENG
(SOURCES: THE STAR – 19 JAN 2013, SATURDAY)
KUALA LUMPUR: All Malaysians have a role to play in ensuring foreign tourists here get a tourist-friendly Malaysian experience, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said the government targeted to receive 28 million tourists next year under Visit Malaysia 2014, an additional three million to the 25 million foreign tourists received last year.
“Every Malaysian needs to make the success of this campaign a national project and mission, and everyone should show a tourist-friendly attitude to let tourists feel that when they visit Malaysia, they are accepted with polite and friendly treatment from locals,” he said when launching the Visit Malaysia 2014 promotional campaign carnival at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium here Saturday.
Also present were the Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, and deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit.
Najib noted that despite the promotional work being done by the government ministries and agencies, the best advertisement for the country was the experience of tourists.
“Their sharing of experience to their family and friends back home is what will encourage more people to visit, so we must prepare to give them a Malaysian experience that will leave a lasting impression in their hearts and minds,” he said, adding that Malaysia’s uniqueness rested in its successful combination of Eastern and Western values.
At the launch, the campaign’s theme song, Celebrating 1Malaysia, Truly Asia, was also premiered by Malaysia’s rock queen, Ella. The song will be used worldwide to promote the campaign.
Earlier, Dr Ng said the campaign was already garnering attention as there were 56.3 million online searches on Visit Malaysia 2014.
The launch was part of a three-day carnival, which ends today. The carnival presents a variety of events, including music and dance competitions, performances by popular artistes Datuk Khadijah Ibrahim, Jimmy Palikat and Azlan and the Typewriter, and lucky draws with over 2000 prizes.
Visitors can also buy holiday packages from over 200 booths manned by hotels, tour agents and tourism product operators at the carnival, besides learning more about local tourism programs like the Malaysia Homestay program and the 1Malaysia International Shoe Festival.
By LOSHANA K SHAGAR
(SOURCES: THE STAR – 20 JAN 2013, SUNDAY)
KUALA LUMPUR, 19 Jan (Bernama) — Menteri Pelancongan Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen berharap semua rakyat Malaysia bersedia memberi imej positif kepada pelancong bagi membantu menjayakan Tahun Melawat Malaysia 2014.
Beliau berkata 2013 dipilih sebagai tahun promosi, dan inisiatif itu adalah bagi memastikan 28 juta rakyat Malaysia bersedia untuk menyambut pelancong dengan sikap yang baik, selain pemandu teksi memberi perkhidmatan terbaik.
Katanya, rakyat Malaysia boleh menjadi penyumbang penting kepada kejayaan dan sasaran negara untuk menarik lebih ramai pelancong pada 2014.
“Kempen ini adalah permulaan yang proaktif dalam memastikan rakyat Malaysia bersedia untuk bersama-sama menjayakan tahun melawat Malaysia,” katanya ketika berucap pada majlis pelancaran kempen promosi Tahun Melawat Malaysia 2014 oleh Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak di Stadium Bukit Jalil.
Turut hadir isteri Perdana Menteri Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Menteri Penerangan Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim dan Menteri Dalam Negeri Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
Dr Ng juga berkata kempen promosi itu tidak mungkin berjaya tanpa sokongan padu semua agensi kerajaan, badan bukan kerajaan dan penggiat industri pelancongan.
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 (Bernama) — Malaysia’s recent selection by Crescentrating as the most halal friendly holiday destination is most fitting as the country provides extensive facilities for Muslim tourists.
Malaysia Bumiputra Tourist Guide Association president Zulkifli Ismail said Malaysia deserved the title as there were many facilities and Islamic tourism products in the country.
“Besides easy access to halal food, Malaysia is a country that makes it easy for Muslim tourists to perform their prayers no matter where they are, including shopping malls and airports,” he told Bernama.
According to surveys by Cresentrating, a Global Muslim travel consultancy, Malaysia was chosen by Muslims travellers as the most halal friendly holiday destination in the world ahead of Egypt, Turkey, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Singapore.
Malaysia scored 8.3 out of 10 points while Egypt ranked second with 6.7 points, followed by the UAE and Turkey both with 6.6 points, Saudi Arabia (6.4 points) and Singapore (6.3 points).
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 (Bernama) — Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Friday launched their Mother Nature Tour Trail in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 (VMY) Promotional Campaign in Bukit Jalil here.
The tour package makes UPM the first university to offer the tourism package by allowing tourists to explore the university’s vast natural surrounding located at its campus in Serdang.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Prof. Datuk Ir Dr. Mohd Salleh Jaafar, said the package offered was not the usual tour packages in the market.
“There are seven locations selected specially for the package that offers from half day tours up to three days and two nights,” he said.
Dr Mohd Salled said the packages were priced between RM 99 to RM 370 per person. Three tour agents will start promoting the package, namely TM Tours and Travel, Mitra Kembara and Poto Travel and Tours.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, who launched the tour package, said 30 UPM students had been trained for the tour package and this would help expand the tourism industry further by exposing UPM students to the industry.
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said, the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 must be turned into a national mission involving all parties, including the people, in order to achieve the target of receiving 28 visitors for the year.
The Prime Minister said the government project not only involved the Ministry of Tourism but every ministry, agency and state government, to ensure its success.
“All of us have a role to play to make Visit Malaysia Year 2014 a success. From the entry point, Immigration officers who stamp the tourists, passports, Customs officers, taxi drivers, hotel staff, business people, tour operators and the Malaysian people.
“We must show our warm welcome. We must give them the feeling that if they visit Malaysia, they will be treated with warmth and courtesy from all of us.
“So we not only need the physical infrastructure but soft infrastructure as well, which is, Malaysians who are always cheerful, courteous and helpful so that visitors experience a truly memorable time here. This is the meaningful impact we want,” he said while launching the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 campaign, here Saturday night.
Also present were the Prime Minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim and wife Datin Seri Masnah Rais and Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and his wife.
Najib said Malaysia has its own unique features which are not found elsewhere, among them its fauna and flora, among the best ecosystem in the world, cosmopolitan cities, fourth best location in the world for shopping and more.
“Malay, Chinese, Indian, Iban, Kadazan, Orang Asli and other cultures can all be experienced here. These are Malaysia’s selling-points, which other countries cannot compete with. “Furthermore, the peace and stability here makes our country very attractive as a travel destination,” he said.
He also said the government would continue encouraging the tourism industry which is targeting 36 million visitors by 2020.
Najib said the government realised that the tourism industry provided 1.8 million jobs and contributed RM168 billion to the national gross income.
Malaysia’s ranking as the 10th friendliest country in the world and the World Bank’s recognition as the 12th competitive showed that the national transformation programme implemented by the government has borne fruit and gained global recognition, he said.
“This year, we’ll implement all programmes, spruce up, plant trees and prepare everything. We must have all this in place. If we do this, I believe and am confident that 2014 will be a successful year,” he concluded.
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 (Bernama) — Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen tonight hoped Malaysians will be ready to help make the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 a success by projecting a positive image to tourists.
She said 2013 was chosen as the promotion year to ensure that the 28 million Malaysians were ready to warmly welcome visitors, besides taxi drivers providing good service.
“The campaign is a proactive start to get Malaysians ready for the event next year,” she said at the launch of the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 promotion campaign by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the Bukit Jalil Stadium here.
Also present were the Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Information Communications and Culture Minister Dr Rais Yatim and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
Ng also said the promotion campaign would not succeed without the support of all government agencies, non-governmental organisations and tourism industry players.
“Culture will be a major component for tourism, while national security and support and cooperation from other ministries are essential to ensure the campaign is a success,” she said.
At the ceremony, the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 song titled, ‘Celebrating 1Malaysia…Truly Asia’ was performed for the first time by local rock queen, Ella.
The launch was celebrated grandly with colours, songs and cultural performances involving more than 3,000 participants.
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will use this year’s annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, to build a strong case for Malaysia as a preferred investment, trade, education and tourism destination in Asia.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, would market Malaysia’s branding based on the success of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) since its launch in October 2010 at the forum, where the world’s political and economic elite would gather.
Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, said with the congregation of over 2,500 of the world’s most powerful and influential investors, business leaders and policymakers, the WEF was the best platform as it has a wider global audience.
“In light of the growing competitive environment, Malaysia needs to raise its profile by highlighting the success of the ETP and the country’s business-friendly environment,” he told a press conference here today.
He said despite the prime minister’s busy domestic schedule, more so with the impending general election widely expected to be called in March this year, “work must go on to woo investments, grow the economy and generate jobs.”
Najib would leave on Wednesday leading the Malaysian delegation to the WEF from Jan 23-26.
The WEF is one of the most important and high-profile annual business gatherings in the world.
The theme for this year’s forum is “Resilient Dynamism” and global leaders will be discussing how, in an increasingly inter-connected world, nations and businesses could build risk resilience and adapt to meet new social and economic demands.
As the leader of a nation that has been bucking global trends as well as undergoing a bold transformation programme, Najib would take the opportunity to engage with other world leaders and help shape the global agenda in 2013.
Mustapa said the prime minister’s programme would include meetings with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.
He would also take part in a televised session on “The Economic Malaise and Its Perils”.
Here, Najib would talk about global economic issues along with panellists including Ali Babacan, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Financial Affairs of Turkey and Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland.
There would also be a session on “Asean: Resilience in Diversity” where he would be joined by Asean politicians, including Philippines President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.
Najib would also be in the spotlight during a one-on-one conversation with renowned CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria where he would touch on Malaysia’s economic transformation as well as global issues.
Mustapa said Najib would also be meeting with international media and thought leaders as well as chief executive officers (CEOs) of prominent global corporations.
Besides Mustapa, Najib would be accompanied by several other Cabinet members and CEO of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit Datuk Seri Idris Jala.
Others in the delegation include prominent Malaysian businessmen as well as heads of agencies.
Najib will also host the Malaysian Night, a soiree that aims to gather government leaders and corporate captains to showcase the best of Malaysian culture, business, economic potential, food and in general, the country and its people.
Top corporations attending the WEF include Sapura, Peremba, Khazanah Nasional, YTL Group, Felda and AirAsia.
By Mikhail Raj Abdullah
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 (Bernama) — Destination Resorts and Hotels (DRH) has joined over 1,600 delegates at the 32nd Asean Tourism Forum (ATF), one of the biggest travel trade events within the region.
Its Director Nadziruddin Basri said that the participation was part of the country’s ongoing initiative to boost the leisure and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) industry in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.
DRH, established by Khazanah Nasional Bhd, is a catalyst for the continued development of Malaysia’s luxury leisure and tourism sector.
Its current key portfolio comprises Desaru Coast, the regions’s first integrated luxury destination, Little Red Cube at Puteri Harbour luxury waterfront and Legoland Hotel Malaysia, all in Johor, and Teluk Datai in Langkawi.
From Jan 21-24, 2013, DRH will exhibit at booth L26 in the Tourism Malaysia Pavilion at Lao International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre, Vientiane, Laos.
“For over 30 years now, ATF has played a pivotal role in Southeast Asia’s tourism development.
“This year’s theme ‘Asean: Hand in Hand, Conquering Our Future’ resonates DRH’s role as tasked by the Malaysian government’s investment arm, Khazanah, to develop world-class integrated destination resorts that will not only sustain but also elevate Southeast Asia’s leisure and MICE industry in the future,” said Basri.
“As an investor, master planner and developer, we believe it is vital to offer a complete suite of tourism products and services that will provide the perfect setting for both work and play,” he added.
VIENTIANE, Jan 21 (Bernama) — Fresh from the launching of Visit Malaysia Year 2014 in Kuala Lumpur two days ago, the Malaysian Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen took the opportunity to promote the campaign at the Asean Tourism Forum (ATF), here.
She told the Asean Tourism Ministers’ Meeting about the campaign which coincide with Malaysia hosting next year’s ATF in Kuching in January.
“It will be a very good exposure for Malaysia as all tourism ministers from Asean, China, Korea, Japan and India will be attending ATF in Malaysia next year,” she told Bernama after attending the Asean Tourism Ministers’ Meeting, here.
She said travel agents, tour operators and media from all over the world would also be attending the ATF in Malaysia next year.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak launched the VMY2014 at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
Najib had wanted the VMY2014 be turned into a national mission involving all parties in order to achieve the target of receiving 28 million tourists next year.
The premier had said Malaysia needed not only physical infrastructure but also soft infrastructure as well, which is, Malaysian who are always cheerful, courteous and helpful so that visitors experience a truly memorable time in Malaysia.
Dr Ng said she had also invited tourism ministers from Asean as well as from China, Japan, South Korea and India to participate in the international travel exchange meeting to be held in Malaysia next April.
“We called on them to hold their respective country’s week during the meeting in showcasing their art, food and craft products. We want to position Malaysia as an international tourism centre,” she said.
On the major achievements of the two-day Asean Tourism Ministers’ Meeting which concluded today, Dr Ng said Asean and India have concluded a memorandum of understanding on tourism cooperation between them after three years of negotiation.
The conclusion mark the completion of tourism cooperation between Asean and its dialogue partners, she told Bernama after co-chairing the Asean-India Tourism Ministers’ Meeting, at a hotel.
Prior to this, Asean has inked tourism cooperation with China, Japan and South Korea.
She said the Asean-India tourism cooperation among others would look into the possibilities of introducing a common Asean visa for tourists where tourists would only need to get one visa instead of visa from respective 10 Asean countries when visiting the region.
“We will discuss further the matter with Asean secretariat,” she said, adding that the cooperation would also cover the exchange of human resources and media personnel in further promoting tourism by both sides.
Meanwhile, Dr Ng also expressed condolence for the demise of Thai Deputy Prime Minister Chumpol Silpa-Archa who is also the Tourism and Sports Minister.
Chumpol died of heart failure at Ramathibodi Hospital in Bangkok at 9.39am Monday.
From Jamaluddin Muhammad