Monday, January 01, 2007

VMY 2007 Takes

Berjaya to invest RM60mil to upgrade facilities:
Berjaya Land Bhd’s hotels and resorts division has spent over RM60mil to upgrade its facilities in preparation for the influx of tourists.
Berjaya Hotels and Resorts senior general manager Foo Toon Kee said last year the average occupancy of its hotels and resorts Malaysia was about 60%.

Berjaya Langkawi Beach and Spa resortFor this year, he is confident that revenue would rise by 10% to 15%, largely thanks to more tourists being attracted to better facilities and upgraded services.

Vice-president of sales and marketing Lynn Oh said: “We’ve been doing some extensive marketing overseas for our Langkawi resort and also added rooms and upgraded some rooms at Berjaya Langkawi Beach and Spa Resort. We've also upgraded our chalets on land and over water. We invested RM28mil for this.”

At its Pulau Redang resorts, the company is adding 112 units, costing RM35mil, as well as putting in more efforts into their maintenance.

All upgrading works are expected to be completed by June.

“We’ve also seen growth in business for the resort in Pulau Tioman as well as in our flagship Berjaya Times Square Hotel & Convention Centre, which has a 70% occupancy rate now,” Oh said.

Major plans are also underway, including building a convention centre cum spa and resort in Bukit Tinggi, loosely called Chateau Spa Resort for now.

The convention centre is to fit from 800 to 1,000 people, and through that, Berjaya Hotels and Resorts plans to enter deeper into the highly competitive but potentially lucrative convention and conference market.

Oh said that she was confident of its success, following the success of its Langkawi property as a popular choice for large-scale conventions.

Berjaya Hotels and Resorts spends about 5% to 8% of its annual revenue on marketing in each financial year, according to Foo.

One major marketing effort involves its e-business. “It is a strong source of bookings of rooms,” Foo said, “As such, we are expecting to expand our e-business this year.”

The company also uses a global distribution system, getting ticketing agents to use dynamic pricing to help manage occupancy surges and low seasons each year.

Berjaya Hotels and Resorts’ Malaysian properties receive 30% of its total foreign guests from Europe, 10% from the Middle East and the remainder from the Asean region.

After the upgrade of its facilities, Foo believes the division will achieve a 10% to 20% growth in revenue this year, while margins are expected to improve from 35% to 40%.

Advertising group Integrated Strategic Communications (ISC) aims to project Malaysia as the most exciting place on earth in 2007, said president Austen Zecha.

“We developed a single-minded proposition called One Golden Celebration to showcase Malaysia to the world for Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2007.

Berjaya Langkawi Beach and Spa resortThe agency's proposition of One Golden Celebration aptly encapsulates the multitude of offerings, festivities and celebrations in Malaysia's year-long celebration to mark its golden anniversary.

All campaign materials will showcase an endless list of events and activities catering to tourists from all walks of life, from shopping and entertainment to cultural events and natural discoveries. ISC is one of Tourism Malaysia's advertising agencies, handling all markets except for the Asean and domestic sectors.

To promote Malaysia as the ideal destination for leisure travel in 2007, ISC made Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi the key spokesman delivering a message to the world and inviting them to the year-long celebration. According to Zecha, the television commercial (TVC) is already on air and would progressively be aired on CNN, Discovery, BBC, SkyNews, Euronews, Eurosports, CNBC, ESPN, MTV, National Geographic, StarTV and TVBI.

“So far, we have received positive feedback, citing the positioning of the Prime Minister as spokesperson as a nice personal and warm touch to the campaign,” he said.

ISC also wrote and composed an original theme song for VMY2007 based on the overall One Golden Celebration theme and ending with the Malaysia, Truly Asia signature tune sign-off.

The travel and tours business is in for a busy and prosperous year ahead – with the expectations of cash registers ringing incessantly and credit card swipe machines working overtime.

The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) president Ngiam Foon said the prospects were very bright for inbound and domestic tourism.

“We strongly believe domestic tourism will grow by double digits. I am sure achieving a 15% to 20% growth will not be an issue, with all the promotions carried out by the Government.

Matta members have been advised to leverage on VMY2007 in their tour packages and come up with new packages.

“We are also encouraging our members to help spread the good cheer by placing VMY2007 logo stickers on their vehicles and in all their communications, including e-mails,” Ngiam said.

Reliance Pacific Bhd executive director (travel division) Tan Sin Chong stressed that VMY was not all about attracting foreign visitors to Malaysia but more about promoting Malaysia to Malaysians.

“As we see it, Malaysians form the biggest bulk of tourists. In conjunction with VMY, Reliance will be launching a new line of travel products for Malaysians,” he said.

To be promoted under the brand name MALAYSIAWORLD, the product covers all aspects of what Malaysia has to offer – from hill resorts to beach resorts, bustling cities to tranquil villages, and family fun to romantic escapades.

These products will be distributed through the group's online shop (, 26 retail shops throughout the nation, and over 300 sales agents.

Tan said Reliance's objective in the international market was to focus on high-yield and big-volume products.

“As such, we have chosen to differentiate our products from others by introducing mass wedding/honeymoon packages in Malaysia. This product is currently being actively promoted in India and China,” he said.

A'Famosa Resort Malaysia is also waiting for the good times to roll as VMY2007 takes off this weekend.

Chief operating officer Lau Joo Liang said the resort had been preparing for VMY since last year and had been promoting Malaysia to countries like India, China, Taiwan, South Korea and the Middle East.

A'Famosa is a 520ha integrated resort which offers, among others, a 27-hole golf course, Animal World Safari, Water World Theme Park, equestrian club, resort hotel, villas and condotels.

Source : STAR
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