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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 (Bernama) — Total tourism expenditure has increased to RM117.7 billion in 2011 from RM104.1 billion in 2010, mainly contributed by inbound tourism expenditure, according to the Department of Statistics.
In its latest release, entitled “Malaysia Tourism Satellite Account 2005-2011″, the department said total tourismexpenditure consisted of inbound, domestic and outbound tourism expenditures.
It said despite an increase in total receipts for inbound tourism expenditure to RM60.2 billion in 2011 from RM58.3 billion in 2010, the annual percentage change was reduced to 3.1 per cent in 2011 from 6.1 per cent in 2010.
The number of inbound visitors to Malaysia in 2011 recorded 32.8 million, an increase from 32.7 million in 2010, with the bulk of them especially from Asean countries, such as Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.
The department said domestic tourism expenditure expanded to RM36.2 billion in 2011 from RM27.6 billion in 2010.
SINGAPORE, Jan 14 (Bernama) — In its quest to attract more tourists from Singapore, Tourism Malaysia has identified various promotional programmes for this year.
These include participation in consumer fairs, trade and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) seminars and food promotions, said the new Tourism Malaysia director for Singapore, Noor Aine Ismail.
“At this juncture, we will implement the identified promotional programmes for 2013, approved by our headquarters,” said Noor Aine who has been working with Tourism Malaysia for 33 years.
She took over the new post from Zalizam Zakaria early this month.
Before this, she had been assigned to various divisions – Project Development, Marketing, Conventions and Industry Development.
“Singapore is a major tourist-generating market for Malaysia (54.1 per cent of total arrivals in 2011). We foresee a positive development, based on contributing factors such as the favourable exchange rate, making Malaysia a value-for- money destination,” she told Bernama.
Due to the close proximity, she said Malaysia was an ideal weekend getaway, and coupled with affordable/cheap airfares offered by many low-cost carriers, the country offered different kinds of tourism products for all market segments.
Noor Aine noted that Singapore tourist arrivals showed a drop of 5.1 per cent (9,257,587) for January-September 2012 (compared to the same period in 2011).
“We believe the ‘decline’ was due to the change in recording system by the Immigration Department, whereby from January 2012, arrivals were recorded by ‘nationality’ and no more by ‘country of residence’.
“Hence, a large number of arrivals of expatriates and foreigners (living in Singapore) lost out to their respective countries of origin/nationality.”
However, she said, with the upcoming promotional activities coupled with the Visit Malaysia 2014 campaign, Malaysia hoped to get three to five per cent increase in tourist arrivals.
Noor Aine, had served at the Tourism Malaysia Paris Office from November 1994 to July 2000.
From October 2007 to Jan 4, 2013, she was deputy director (overseeing Tourism Malaysia’s offices in Frankfurt, The Hague, Milan, Moscow and Istanbul) at the International Marketing Division (Americas/Europe and Oceania).
By Tengku Noor Shamsiah Tengku Abdullah
Vital link: An interchange connecting Federal Highway and Section 7 of Shah Alam is being constructed.
WHEN i-City was first presented to the Selangor state government about eight years ago, it saw i-City as a catalyst in the transformation of Shah Alam’s Section 7 into a vibrant urban centre. Then, activities in Shah Alam were anchored by the Bukit Rajah Industrial Estate in Section 7 and educational centres such as UiTM and Unisel.
Plans for the creation of a commercial centre in Shah Alam go back decades. In the 90s, there were plans by some Selangor state agencies to develop an exhibition centre, a world trade centre and shopping mall in Section 7, in-between the Bukit Rajah Industrial Estate and UiTM. Unfortunately these did not materialise and the land was eventually developed into residential and business premises.
Thus i-City’s plan to create both a MSC Malaysia Cybercentre as well as a tourism destination in this part of Shah Alam received strong support as it was in line with the state’s vision to be a knowledge city.
Now, the transformation is complete. The whole 72-acres of i-City has been certified as a MSC Malaysia Cybercentre by Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC). The first phase of the development has been completed with 500,000 sq ft of Cybercentre offices and the only Uptime Institute certified data centre in the country.
Although the number of MSC Malaysia Cybercentres in the Klang Valley has doubled from eight when i-City was first mooted to 19 presently, i-City remains the only MSC zone in Shah Alam. And i-City’s info structure that is based on the Cisco Connected and Smart Community platform remains the reference for new cybercentres to be set up.
Secondly, with five million visitors to i-City in 2012, i-City leisure attraction has been described as a runaway success by the state government.
The 25-acre theme park in i-City now comprises four precincts, namely City of Digital Lights with its million LED lights, SnowWalk with ice sculptures in a -5 degree Celsius environment, Waterworld with the first Tornado ride in South-East Asia and FunWorld with the Trick Art Museum as the anchor.
Shah Alam mayor Datuk Mohd Jaafar Mohd Atan said i-City has been recognised as one of the five growth centres of Shah Alam. and out of these, i-City is the only urban centre-type high-rise development.
The success of the 33-storeys i-Residence development and its benchmark price is another transformation milestone for i-City as it heralds an era of high-rise development in Shah Alam. The transformation of Section 7 is reinforced by the various supporting infrastructure developments by the state.
In this context, the state is constructing the i-City interchange connecting the Federal Highway with Section 7, Shah Alam. This interchange will provide an alternative route to enter and exit Section 7 from Kuala Lumpur. In addition, there will be an ingress to i-City coming from Klang.
The i-City interchange is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed by this September. According to PKNS, the contractor manager for the project, the interchange is estimated to cost RM58mil and will have a positive socio-economic impact on Section 7.
The i-City interchange was originally proposed by i-City but in view of the other socio-economic benefits, the state decided to take over the construction with contribution by the various developments affected by the interchange. This contribution is based on a formula taking into account both gross development value as well as traffic usage by the respective developments. Based on this formula, i-City’s contribution will amount to RM27.6mil.
Also on the drawing board is the mass transit system. The Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) has proposed for a station in i-City.
Also nearing completion is the 300-bed hospital on a 25-acre plot of land near i-City. In addition, MBSA has also designated land beside i-City for the development of a new police station as well as a fire station.
These new public infrastructure and facilities will ensure Shah Alam becomes more urbanised and plays a greater role in the Greater Kuala Lumpur masterplan.
(Sources: The Star, 14 January 2013, Monday)
KUALA LUMPUR: The Tourism Ministry is to rate foot massage centres beginning this year in an effort to promote them as a tourism product among tourists.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said foot reflexology centres would be called foot massage centres and given a silver, gold or platinum rating based on the conditions set.
“This is a new policy to enhance tourism,” she said yesterday after the launch of the Anggun Fusion Cafe, the first programme for the ministry this year.
Dr Ng said the ratings offered would not be compulsory.
“When they (foot massage centre operators) come to us, we can promote their centres through the ministry,” she said, adding that ratings would be made according to space and type of services provided.
Dr Ng said information would also be posted on the ministry’s website for feedback.
She said the ministry had also managed to get the cooperation of the Immigration Department to recommend foreign workers to the industry.
“If you want to get foreign workers, that is fine; but you must ensure the centres are properly run.”
However, a human resource plan will also be imposed to ensure more locals get trained and work in the tourism industry.
Ratings for spas began last year.
Dr Ng said tourists spent RM17bil on food and drinks last year and hoped the figure would continue to increase.
She also called for suggestions for three iconic food to be adopted this year.
Last year, yong tau foo, rojak and mee rebus were chosen as the iconic Malaysian dishes.
On whether Malaysia should stake a claim on yee sang, which is said to have originated from Negri Sembilan, Dr Ng said such effort would not make any difference.
“But how nice the flavour is and whether it’s value for money will make the difference.”
By LOH FOON FONG firstname.lastname@example.org
(Sources: The Star, 13 January 2013, Sunday)
SEPANG: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is spending about RM90 million to refurbish its landside and airside hotels under the “Sama-Sama” brand name.
MAHB chief financial officer Faizal Mansor said the company has allocated RM60 million for the refurbishment of Sama-Sama KL International Airport Hotel, which was formerly known as Pan Pacific KLIA Hotel; and RM5 million for the refurbishment of its existing transit hotel located at the satellite building of KLIA, called Sama-Sama Express.
The airport operator will spend between RM20 million and RM25 million for a new transit hotel at the new low-cost carrier terminal, klia2.
“The hotel will be called Sama-Sama Express klia2. It will be opened in conjunction with the official opening of klia2 (scheduled for June 28 this year),” Faizal told reporters prior to the official launch of Sama-Sama brand here, on Thursday night.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen represented Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the launch, which was also attended by, among others, MAHB chairman Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, MAHB managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid and Sama-Sama Hospitality Management president Hans Winsnes.
The Sama-sama brand, which translates into “togetherness”, comprises two distinct airport hotel products, namely Sama-Sama landside airport hotels and Sama-Sama Express airside transit hotels.
Faizal said MAHB expects the three Sama-Sama hotels will help the group increase the contribution from non-aeronautical revenue to 60 per cent by 2014, from the current 52 per cent.
In the last fiscal year, hotel operations – which is part of the non-aeronautical segment – contributed about RM100 million to MAHB’s RM2 billion revenue. Other sources of non-aeronautical revenue include retail and rental.
MAHB is optimistic of its hotel business as the hotels cater to air travellers, cabin crews and flight captains as well as those attending motorsports events held at the nearby Sepang International Circuit.
Faizal said the occupancy rate of Sama-Sama KLIA is anticipated to increase to more than 70 per cent, from the current 65 per cent.
The room tariff for the hotel, according to him, is typically among the top 15 hotels in Kuala Lumpur city centre and Klang Valley.
It ranges between RM350 to RM400 per night. During the peak season, such as major motorsports events, the room tariff is expected to be higher.
Faizal said there are plans to open more Sam-Sama hotels in the future, but currently, MAHB will focus on the three hotels at the KLIA and klia2.
Bursa Malaysia-listed MAHB currently manages and operates 39 airports in Malaysia. It also has operations in India and Turkey.
(Sources: Business Times, 12 January 2013, Saturday)
PUTRAJAYA: Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014 is still a year away but the Government isn’t going to sit and wait for it. It has instead invited all Malaysians to get ready and prepare to welcome tourists into the country now.
“This could be done in many ways,” said Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.
“Keep public places clean and offer assistance to tourists in need of directions,” she said.
She also urged industry players to begin adopting the welcome gesture introduced in the 1990s placing the right hand above the heart, smiling and giving a slight bow as they greet visitors.
“We are targeting 28 million tourists next year. Ensure security in Malaysia, invite tourists to join in our community events and festivals and participate in homestay programmes,” Dr Ng said at a press conference here yesterday.
A three-day tourism carnival will be held next week to kick-start the promotional campaign for VMY2014.
The carnival, to be held at Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur from Jan 18 to 20, will be launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on the second night.
The carnival will be from 10am to 11pm, except on Jan 20 when it will close at 7pm.
“Our Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia page on Facebook will provide information on these events.”
(Sources: The Star, 12 January 2013, Saturday)
WHILE 2014 may be still a year away, both the Ministry of Tourism and Tourism Malaysia are already making preparations for Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014, vowing to look into areas such as tourism infrastructure, security and next year’s event line-up.
A target of 28 million tourists has been set for the VMY campaign, two million more than this year’s goal of 26 million, revealed tourism minister Ng Yen Yen during a press conference today.
Having received the green light from the Cabinet for the VYM 2014 since July 2012, it was not until October that a secretariat for the campaign was set up.
Ng said: “We don’t want to rush into things. We want to do it well and prepare the country to welcome the world. Hence, this whole year, we will be preparing the nation for Visit Malaysia next year. Areas we will look at include tourism infrastructure, security, and introducing new events in 2014 and hyping up existing events.”
From January 18, a three-day carnival will take place at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur to create awareness of the economic importance of Visit Malaysia.
The promotional campaign, together with its logo and theme song, will be officially launched by Malaysian prime minister Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak on January 19.
S PUVANESWARY, KUALA LUMPUR
(Sources: TTG ASIA, 12 January 2013, Saturday)
PUTRAJAYA: Come Jan 19, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will launch a three-day promotional campaign for Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said the tourism carnival would be held at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur from Jan 18 to 20, to create awareness on the economic importance of VMY 2014.
“While 2014 may still be a year away, the tourism ministry and Tourism Malaysia will waste no time in making early preparations to woo the targeted 28 million tourists to visit the country next year. “We are kicking things off in a big way, with a grand tourism carnival to create awareness and gain public and private sector support for the VMY 2014.
“The rakyat has a pivotal role to play by uniting together, to project an excellent and positive image of the country and taking care of our tourism assets by ensuring their cleanliness and conservation, while the tourism service providers deliver their very best,” she told a press conference at the ministry here yesterday.
Dr Ng said the hosting of VMY 2014, as well as designating 2013 as a preparatory year, was timely as the Asia Pacific region had registered tremendous groWth and continued to see a surge in even more inbound tourists over the next few years.
“An intensive tourism campaign over the next two years will help ensure Malaysia is at the forefront to receive a huge influx of tourists and meet its target of attracting 36 million tourists and RM168 billion in tourist receipts by 2020,” she said.
On the three-day tourism carnival, the minister said visitors would get a chance to be familiar with Malaysia’s exciting tourism events such as IMalaysia Contemporary Art Tourism Festival, Parks and Gardens and IMalaysia International Shoe Festival.
(Sources: Borneo Post Sabah, 12 January 2013, Saturday)
MALAYSIA Airports Holdings has launched its new airport hotel brand, Sama-Sama, marking its entry into airport accommodation sector.
The airport operator will own and operate the five-star full-service Sama-Sama KL International Airport hotel adjacent to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) as well as the existing transit hotel – which will be rebranded as Sama-Sama Express KLIA. With the completion of KLIA2, Malaysia Airports will also operate its transit hotel, Sama-Sama Express KLIA2.
Said tourism minister, Ng Yen Yen, at the hotel launch yesterday: “It is heartening to note that Malaysia Airports is expanding on its repertoire of airport services to include hospitality with its Sama-Sama brand. It is always a proud moment to see a Malaysian brand grow from strength to strength and achieve success on the world stage.”
Malaysia Airports chairman, Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, said: “Not content with just providing world-class, award-winning airport services, Malaysia Airports had the vision to offer every passenger who lands at KLIA a seamless travel experience – from the aircraft to the airport and to the hotel room. We will provide the connectivity, the convenience, the facilities and our unique Malaysian hospitality to welcome them. And so the Sama-Sama brand is born.”
Malaysia Airports aims to launch the Sama-Sama brand in other markets where it plans to operate airport hotels, according to Wan Abdul Aziz. Malaysia Airports manages and operates 39 airports in Malaysia, and also has operations in India and Turkey.
In the Malay language, sama-sama means “togetherness” and “you’re welcome”.
(SOURCES: THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER – 12 JAN 2013, SAT)
PUTRAJAYA: A three-day tourism carnival will be held next week to kick-start the promotional campaign for Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014.
Although VMY 2014 is still a year away, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said the ministry would waste no time in reaching out to Malaysians on the importance of VMY 2014.
The carnival will be held at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 18-20 and will be launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak on the second night.
“We would like the rakyat to join us in welcoming the world as we are all hosts to this important year in tourism for the country,” Dr Ng said in a press conference at the ministry here Friday.
Highlights at the carnival will include booths offering special holiday packages, food and fruit bazaars, an exhibition on 1Malaysia Chopper Bikes, a display of more than 60 different
lanterns and lights, as well as various performances by local artistes such as Ella and Jimmy Palikat.
The carnival will be open from 10am to 11pm on the designated dates except on Jan 20, when it will close at 7pm.
The ministry has targeted 28 million tourists to visit the country next year.
By LEE YEN MUN
(Sources: The Star, 11 January 2013, Friday)