Tuesday, March 23, 2010

G City Club To Open On March 28

The G City Club, the latest boutique business hotel, will open its doors to local and international business travellers on March 28.

In a statement Tuesday, G City Club's Executive Assistant Manager Karen King said the hotel, situated in GTower, Malaysia's first internationally green-rated building, has strong environment-friendly credentials.

The 180-room hotel provides business facilities and is specifically designed for corporate and business executives.

King said each room is equipped with high-speed broadband, WiFi hotspots, IP telephony, IT Concierge, business secretarial services and had access to the exclusive private club on the penthouse floor of GTower.

She said the hotel would further add allure and dynamism to Kuala Lumpur's business hotel offerings befitting a city which is already one of Asia's top business destination.


G City Club Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Introducing the NEW global art of business travelling. Welcome to The G City Club Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

Now corporate travellers can mix art and business in Kuala Lumpur. The G City Club Hotel sets a new global benchmark for corporate and leisure C-level travellers visiting Kuala Lumpur. The hotel is located at a prime spot within the city’s business, commercial and embassy districts. It is adjacent to the Ampang Park LRT station, offering access to popular destinations in Kuala Lumpur and is within walking distance to KLCC, famous for its shopping and the Petronas Twin Towers.

Combining business practicality and convenience with quality and style, The G City Club Hotel offers a unique blend of home ambience, work-inspired spaces, and a classy interior d├ęcor for business travellers. All in-house guests are invited to The Club floor at Level 28 which comprises of a private bridge bar and lounge. Guests will appreciate the impeccable service and the warm, attentive hospitality that is truly Malaysian.

Club Rooms that ‘work’ for you

Executive club rooms overlooking the main central business district intersection includes plush king or twin size beds, marble finished bathroom with rain shower and a strategically placed work desk for work comfort complete with high-speed Internet access. Enjoy exclusive access to The Club and The Bridge Bar on The Club Floor, including secretarial services for business centre and IT concierge.

Guestrooms

CategoryUnitSize (Sq meter)Bedding
Executive Club Room15736-38King / Twin
Premier Club Room2241King / Twin
The Suite0192King

Amenities

  • 37” LCD Television and a 19” LCD Television in the bathroom
  • Coffee and tea making facilities
  • Complimentary hi-speed wired and wireless Internet access
  • Executive work desk
  • Mini Bar
  • Individually controlled air conditioning
  • In-room safe with charging socket
  • International Direct Dialing from room
  • Internet Protocol Television System
  • Internet Protocol Telephony System
  • iPod docking station
  • Iron & ironing board
  • IT concierge service
  • Satellite Television
  • VGA cable for notebook connection to Television screen on request
  • Walk-in wardrobe


Dining In

The Lounge provides a cosy yet formal atmosphere for casual dining and business discussions. Throughout the day, light snacks, cakes, sandwiches and specialty coffees are served.

The Pool Bar offers refreshing non-alcoholic drinks as you savour light snacks while taking in the city’s view.

The Club offers buffet breakfast and a wide selection of beverages which are exclusive to hotel guests and club members. It offers a quiet avenue for business and private conversations.

The Bridge Bar is built stylishly out of environment-friendly and recycled materials. Its warm relaxing ambience makes it a perfect place to unwind after a hard day’s work. Come relax and enjoy its wide variety of cocktails and wines.

The Rooftop Restaurant’s interior decoration reflects modern elegance while creating a dining-under-the-stars mood for patrons. Creative, exciting and always surprising, our chefs will delight all with new recipes and menus from time to time.

For those who prefer a quick bite in a casual atmosphere, head down to the lower ground floor where an array of specialty food outlets await you.




Address: 199, Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur
Phone number: +603 2168 1919
Website : http://www.thegcityclubhotel.com/index.php

Source : Bernama
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Royal Jordanian To Fly To Kuala Lumpur In June

Royal Jordanian airline will resume flights to Kuala Lumpur at the beginning of June this year.

The three weekly flights to Kuala Lumpur will be operated via Bangkok using the Airbus A330, the carrier said in a statement.

The airline also said the decision to resume service to the Malaysian capital, was made in light of signs of a recovery and increase in tourism and commercial activity, to Malaysia.

Malaysia is considered a family tourist attraction for Arab countries, according to Royal Jordanian.

On March 28, Royal Jordanian will inaugurate its direct service to Madinah with studies showing the importance of serving haj and umrah pilgrims, directly from Amman to the Saudi Arabian city.


Source : Bernama
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Dorsett Johor -- 3-star rating but 5-star service

DORSETT Johor Hotel may be a three-star property, but everything else, from its service culture to room facilities, would earn it an additional star or even two.

The hotel is in fact comparable to other five-star properties in Kuala Lumpur.

How so? For a start, the rooms are new and modern and its service standards impeccable.

This 252-room hotel has a very lean staff to room ratio of 0.35, which is an enviable one, as every employee not only executes his or her job efficiently but also multitasks.
Its 95 employees play their role in helping the hotel chalk-up a gross operating profit (GOP) of some 40-odd per cent.

GOP is gross revenue from rooms, food and beverage, laundry or business centre minus cost of operations like wages, electricity and amenities.

"We need quality staff and not an army," the hotel's, resident manager Tengku Ahmad Faizal Tengku Mohamed told Business Times when asked about its performance.

This two-and-a-half-year-old hotel located in Plentong, Johor, expects a GOP of 43 per cent in the year ending March 2011, as it hits an average occupancy of 75 per cent and an average room revenue (ARR) of RM130.

The jump in guest arrivals, from 65 per cent now, will be a result of an improving economy and the opening of the neighbouring Singapore casinos.

By March 31, the company's GOP is expected to touch 40 per cent.

"The economy has stabilised. Without a doubt, we can achieve 75 per cent occupancy," Tengku Ahmad said.

"We plan to tap into the opening of the casinos in Singapore from those who want to gamble but prefer to stay here," he said, quoting tourists from Thailand as an example.

He also expects Internet bookings to grow this year by up to a quarter of its bookings from about an eighth now.

Accordingly, Tengku Ahmad is hopeful that the hotel will be able see the return on investment within seven years.

The RM80 million hotel is owned by Hong Kong's Far East Consortium International Ltd. The hotel was originally part of an 11-block apartment called Prima Regency. One block comprising 47 units were converted into the hotel.

The hotel's guests are two-thirds corporate-based and predominantly from Malaysia and Singapore. It also gets a good response from the US, Europe and Australia.

It has some 50 rooms, which are on long-term lease and has a good 35 per cent of repeat guests.

Tengku Ahmad's winning formula also comes from his principle of "One should sell what the guests/customers want and not sell what the vendor or the hotel wants to sell".

Meanwhile, the hotel, which now shares the swimming pool with the apartment block, will have its own swimming pool within the next six months. It also plans to open a high-end spa.

Dorsett Johor had two weeks ago won the Gems Awards for Best Three-Star Hotel in Johor, which was awarded by the Johor state government. - By Vasantha Ganesan


Source : BTimes
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DORSETT International Hotels & Resorts may operate 2nd Hotel in Johor

DORSETT International Hotels & Resorts Sdn Bhd may own and manage a second hotel in Johor in the next three years.

The proposed hotel, to be developed by a subsidiary of Malaysia Land Properties Sdn Bhd (Mayland) - Mayland Austin Sdn Bhd in Mount Austin, Johor, will however be positioned differently from the existing Dorsett Johor Hotel.

"We are looking at a second hotel in Mount Austin within the Palazio development by Mayland," Dorsett Johor's resident manager Tengku Ahmad Faizal Tengku Mohamed told Business Times in an interview.

"The hotel should be ready within the next three to four years. The positioning of the hotel has to be different, maybe only about five to 10 minutes from the existing Dorsett Johor (in Plentong)," he added.
However, details on room inventory and cost of the new development have yet to be finalised.

Dorsett International is owned by Hong Kong's Far East Consortium International Ltd (FEC).

FEC deputy chairman and chief executive officer is Tan Sri David Chiu, the founder of Mayland.

The Far East group now operates hotels in Hong Kong, China, Macau, Japan and Malaysia. It has confirmed a hotel opening in Singapore.

Dorsett is also looking at growing its hotel portfolio in Malaysia. It was reported that Dorsett has been given RM500 million to either build or buy hotels in Malaysia.

While it is eyeing to expand into the Klang Valley, it is also looking to have representations in Sabah, Pahang and Penang.

It has confirmed of opening two hotels in the Klang Valley, one a 200-room business boutique hotel in Sri Hartamas, for an estimated RM100 million, and a three-star 300-room one in Cheras for between RM60 million and RM70 million.

Apart from Dorsett Johor, the group owns and operates four other hotels in Malaysia, namely the Grand Dorsett Subang, the Dorsett Regency in Kuala Lumpur, the Grand Dorsett Labuan and the Maytower Hotel and Serviced Residences.


Source : Btimes
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hotel Players Urged Not To Underprice, Under-Value Services

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has urged hotel industry players not to underprice or under-value their services.

He said their action may not necessarily bring in more business as high-end tourists did not mind spending.

"The hotel rates in Malaysia are the lowest in Asia-Pacific," Najib said at the opening the Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur here on Wednesday.

The five-star hotel, owned by Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) and managed by Boustead Holdings Bhd via Boustead Hotels & Resorts Sdn Bhd, cost RM200 million.

Najib said the country wanted tourists to have a "memorable and pleasant experience".

"In this respect, taxi drivers need to be always polite and friendly," he said.

He said the government would always give priority in the development of the tourism industry.

"In January, the tourist arrivals rose by 1.4 per cent. We hope that this year, the tourist arrivals will be higher than in 2009. Last year, the country managed to attract 23.6 million tourists," he said.

Meanwhile, LTAT chairman, Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor, said the company aimed to invest in valuable properties within the bustling city.

"The hotel complements our other properties, namely Bangunan LTAT and Chulan Tower which are both located within the radius of the Royale Chulan," he said.

He said Boustead Group's experience in managing a successful chain of Royale Bintang hotels would augur well for the group.

"We are confident that with their track record, the Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur will also be successful," he said.

Boustead Holdings group managing director, Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin said, the Royale Chulan was a jewel in the crown of the Royale Bintang group of hotels.

"Since its opening in April last year, the hotel is fast gaining an enviable reputation as the venue of choice for prestigious events locally and internationally," he said.



Source : Bernama
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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Positive growth in tourism to 23.6 million arrivals in 2009

Malaysia was one of seven countries to achieve positive growth in tourist arrivals last year when the rest of the world experienced a 4% decline because of the global economic crisis and H1N1 influenza pandemic.

Quoting data from the World Tourism Organisation, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said Malaysia recorded 23.6 million arrivals last year, up from 22 million in 2008.

“We are confident that as the global economy recovers, Malaysia can expect more visitors,” she said, adding that this year’s target would be 24 million arrivals with an estimated RM54bil revenue.

Tourism was Malaysia’s second largest economic contributor after manufacturing, she said.

Dr Ng’s speech was read by Malaysia Tourism chairman Datuk Dr Victor Wee at the Matta Fair March 2010 opening ceremony yesterday.

Launched: Dr Wee (left) having his hand scanned at the Matta Fair March 2010 opening ceremony yesterday while Matta president Datuk Mohd Khalid Harun looks on.

According to Dr Ng, more programmes would be introduced to attract international tourists, among them the Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, Malaysia International Shoe Festival and the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival.

“With more arrivals, revenue from the services sectors will be multi-fold,” she said.

The expectations of travellers had changed with the years and today’s tourists wanted experiential holidays filled with action, adventure, fantasy and exotic touches, she added.

At a press conference, Dr Wee said that despite Malaysia’s small population of 28 million, it had done well to be among the top 10 most popular destinations in the world.

The top five visitors to Malaysia were from Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei and China, overtaking traditional groups from Europe, he added.



Source : STAR
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Aiming to be the king of hoteliers

THE Kingwood Group has undergone tremendous growth in the last 20 years.

From the humble beginning of owning and running small family-style hotels in Miri, the group will soon become Sarawak’s largest privately-owned and managed hotel chain.

Comfortable and affordable: A guest room at Kingwood Resort, Mukah

In the late 1980s, Datuk Hii Yu Peng and his son King Chiong decided to diversify into the tourism industry from their core timber and construction business.

The decision led to the establishment of Rinwood Inn in Miri. The 49-room hotel has since changed its name to Kingwood Inn in line with the group’s brand.

After that, the father-and-son team has never looked back.

Unique: The lobby of Kingwood Resort, Mukah.

They have successfully expanded their hotel chain to Sibu, Kuching and Mukah. And each time, they built bigger hotels with better and more comfortable facilities for their guests.

“With the completion of the extension to Kingwood Hotel in Sibu in 15 months, our chain will have more than 700 rooms, making us the largest locally-owned and managed hotel chain in Sarawak,” Kingwood Group chief executive officer King Chiong told StarMetro in Sibu recently.

From Miri, the group set up its flagship hotel – the 168-room Kingwood Hotel in Sibu – which commenced business in 1993.

Luxurious: The Riverfront Cafe at Kingwood Hotel, Sibu.

Located on the bank of the Rajang River adjacent to the Rajang Esplanade, the hotel is now undergoing a major extension which will see an additional 250 rooms when it is completed in June 2011.

Work on the RM140mil extension is on schedule and more than 50% completed. The six-storey podium of the 18-storey new extension will be completed before October to cater for international conferences, accommodating more than 2,000 people.

Apart from being the largest hotel in Sarawak with 418 rooms, it will have the columnless Kingwood Ballroom which will seat 2,500 people and be the largest ballroom in the state.

Other new and outstanding features of the hotel are a multi-purpose hall that can accommodate 1,500 people, a four-storey car park with about 300 parking bays, a 929sqm supermarket on the ground floor and an esplanade fronting the hotel complex.

Impressive: Kingwood Resort in Mukah.

Twelve escalators and two lifts will be installed to serve guests and customers from the ground floor to the 5th floor of the podium. The new and old wings will be connected by sky bridges on the 7th and 9th floors while on the ground floor the two wings will be connected by a spacious common lobby.

King Chiong said the decision made 25 years ago to venture into the hospitality industry was the right move as the industry was growing at an encouraging pace in the state.

Sarawak, he added, was endowed with many natural tourism products and was also culturally rich.

“The trend in the last two decades have been on eco and cultural tourism and Sarawak is lucky that it has both products and the state is fully backing the development of tourism along these lines,” King Chiong noted.

In line with the state’s aggressive move into the tourism industry, the Kingwood Group spearheads its own expansion in the hospitality industry.

Its other hotel properties are in Kuching and Mukah.

In Kuching, Kingwood Inn at Jalan Padungan has 90 rooms. It was opened for business in May, 1991.

With the elevation of Mukah as a division in 2002, the Kingwood Group pioneered the development of two international-class hotels in Mukah.

Additions: Extension work in progress at the Kingwood Hotel, Sibu.

One is the 99-room Kingwood Resort and the other is the 200-room Kingwood Hotel.

The Kingwood Resort, located on a beach fronting the South China Sea 12km from Mukah Town, was opened in December 2005 while the 3-star Kingwood Hotel located in the town centre opened its doors for business in July 2008. It mainly serves business and corporate clients.

King Chiong said that Kingwood Resort had won a national and two international awards. It won the Malaysian Tourism Award for Excellence in Hotel Services in the 4-star category in 2006.

The international awards won were the Global Quality Management-New Millennium Award accorded by Trade Leader’s Club in Madrid, Spain, on January 28 last year and the Golden Award for Quality and Business Prestige given by Otherways Management and Consulting Association in Berlin, Germany, on March 30 last year. Since 1983, only eight resorts or hotels in Malaysia have won this award.

“These awards came as a surprise but they really help boost the image of our group and our resort in particular,” King Chiong said.

With the Sarawak Corridor Of Renewable Energy regional headquarters being located in Mukah, Kingwood Resort and Hotel in Mukah will certainly stand to benefit from the large influx of businessmen and professionals in the next decade.

Plans are on the drawing board to build more facilities at Kingwood Resort. These include several chalets, a spa and an international-class 18-hole golf course

On manpower, King Chiong said that most of the employees were locals with more than 70% of them bumiputra.

He said it was the group’s policy to give employment priority to the local people regardless of race and religion.

The five hotels under the group employ 315 personnel.

The Kingwood Group also runs a travel agency in Kuching and Sibu where it provides services such as airline ticketing and hotel accommodation for in-bound and out-bound tours.



Source : STAR
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MAS launches film contest

Local college and university students will have a chance to showcase their talents in making short films by participating in Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Detik-detik MH short film competition.

The contest, launched yesterday, is aimed at providing a canvas for creative talents to express their personal interpretations of Malaysian hospitality on film.

MAS communications senior general manager Indira Nair said the grand prize winning entry will be broadcast on the MAS inflight entertainment system across its global network.

“Also, the four winning teams (including the first and second runners-up and People’s Choice Award) will receive three return economy air tickets,” she said. The grand prize winners will get three return tickets to any destination of their choice.

The first runner-up, second runner-up and a People’s Choice Award winner will receive return tickets to any Asean and domestic destination. The school of the winning team will receive an award plaque.

“There are some great stories out there and we look forward to sharing them with the world,” said Indira, who is one of the six competition judges. The others are Tourism Malaysia chairman Datuk Dr Victor Wee Eng Lye, TMI Malaysia chief executive officer George Aveling and film directors Tan Chui Mui, Liew Seng Tat and Bahir Yeusuff.

Indira said the competition will be posted on www.mastraveller.com/detikMH, adding that the closing date for entries is April 16.

Participants can register as individuals or in teams of up to three members. The short film entries can be in English, Bahasa Malaysia or Chinese.



Source : STAR
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Carcosa Seri Negara stays OPEN to July 2010

ONE of the two mansions that make up boutique hotel Carcosa Seri Negara in Kuala Lumpur will continue to operate until July.

The government has appointed Peremba Sejagat Sdn Bhd's unit, Saujana Hotels & Resorts, to manage the property for six months from January.

The operator was selected pending a decision on the winner of the bid to upgrade and rejuvenate the heritage site. Bids were first called for in October last year.

Now that the tender has been cancelled, it is unclear what will happen upon expiry of Peremba Sejagat's contract in July.

Carcosa closed its doors on December 31 last year. It was expected to remain closed for up to two years pending the proposal for its redevelopment.

But, barely a few weeks after its closure, an announcement was made that the hotel would reopen for business.

Many had thought that a selection had already been made, not realising that the new operator would only manage the premises for six months.

In an interview with Business Times, Carcosa Seri Negara's hotel manager, Caroline Filtzinger-Win Lwin (picture), said that when Peremba Sejagat was brought in as an interim operator, it decided that it would operate just the Seri Negara building.

The hotel is essentially divided into two blocks: the seven-suite Carcosa and the six-suite Seri Negara. The two buildings sit on a 1.62ha site near Taman Tasik Perdana.

Carcosa, owned by the government, was leased to Landmarks Bhd in 1989 for a 20-year period.

The owners appointed General Hotel Management Group (GHM) in 2004 as a guardian for the heritage site until December 31 last year.

Filtzinger-Win Lwin said that Peremba Sejagat had invested money to spruce up the premises, including improving its security, electrical work, painting, carpeting and hygiene test.

Seri Negara was chosen over Carcosa as the latter's refurbishment would have required a much higher investment.

Filtzinger-Win Lwin said the company was committed to running the property in spite of the short tenure.

"The management wants to invest and brand itself," she said, adding that managing the well-known Carcosa provided the ideal vehicle for the purpose. It does not expect to recover its investment by the middle of the year.



Source : Btimes
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Friday, March 12, 2010

Golden Horses to launch Palace Residence this year

GOLDEN Horses Development Bhd (GHD), a private firm owned by Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew, aims to launch its RM600 million Palace Residence Suite this year and market its property to Asian investors.

Palace Residence is located at the Mines Resort City in Seri Kembangan, Selangor. It is being launched a year behind schedule due to the recession in 2009.

There are more foreigners now, setting their eyes on new properties here, said Golden Horse Palace Bhd (GHPB) executive director Dianna Lee.

"We have received a few enquiries on the property. There are people keen to buy. We are targeting foreign buyers and have appointed an international real estate agent," Lee said in an interview with Business Times recently.

GHD and GHPB are sister companies, which means that they are both owned by the same major shareholder.

GHD is targeting a June launch for the suites in Singapore, followed by Hong Kong, China and Malaysia towards the end of the year.

Palace Residence will offer 226 one-bedroom suites with a built-up area of 500 sq ft, and 156 two-bedroom suites, ranging from 1,100 sq ft to 1,400 sq ft, as well as four penthouses. The suites are selling for RM900,000 to RM1.4 million each.

The 19-storey Palace Residence, which is a combination of a hotel and condominium, will complement the 480-room Palace of the Golden Horses. Palace Residence will be built next to the five-star hotel and they will be connected by a bridge.




Source : Btimes
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Tune Hotels eyes London

Tune Hotels.com, a budget hotel company, and partner Queensway Group Ltd plan to invest about STG150 million (RM760 million) to develop and operate 15 hotels across Greater London by 2017.

The first hotel will be opened in Westminster this August with 79 rooms. Converted from an office building, it will add 30 more rooms next year.

Queensway is a UK-based private investment group owning and operating hospitality assets in the UK, Europe and United Arab Emirates.

"We believe Tune Hotels will significantly boost London's hospitality sector," said Mark Lankester, group chief executive of Tune Hotels in a press release on Thursday.
London will host the Olympic Games in 2012.

Tune Hotels provides no-frills rooms but it has a pay-as-you-use system for energy-consuming amenities.

It encourages guests to book early online to enjoy low prices. It is expected that the minimum charge for a room in its London hotel would be as low as STG9 (RM46).

Queensway managing director Nick Jivraj expects Asians to make up a major market for London's hotels.

"By leveraging on Tune Hotels' proven brand, team expertise, and operational model, Queensway expects that our investment into the brand will present significant growth in the near future," he said.

Tune Hotels currently operates nine hotels - seven in Malaysia and two in Bali, Indonesia.


Source : BTimes
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Foreign Ministry issues travel alert for Thailand

The Foreign Ministry has urged Malaysians in Thailand to be extra cautious in wake of the political situation there.

"Looking at the developments unfolding in Thailand, particularly in Bangkok, and the widely publicised march to take place on March 14, the Government advises Malaysians travelling and those already in Bangkok to keep themselves informed on the latest situation," its minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said in a statement Friday.

Anifah advised Malaysians in Thailand to monitor events closely via Thailand’s local media.

The minister also urged them to look after their personal safety, avoid premises and areas where rallies and demonstrations were planned and seek assistance from the Malaysian Embassy in Bangkok in case of an emergency.




Source : STAR
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Tadmansori Eyes RM2 Million In Hotel Revenue This Year

Tadmansori Hotel Resort Sdn Bhd, which operates the Nadias Inn Comfort Langkawi Hotel, expects its revenue to breach RM2 million this year.

Group Financial Controller of the parent company, Tadmansori Holding Sdn Bhd, Mohammad Hasbi Jaafar said the company had been experiencing steady revenue growth over the past three years.

"We recorded RM1.9 million in revenue last year and RM1.8 million in 2008," he said.

Hasbi said the target is achievable as Langkawi is a favorite tourism spot in Malaysia and Asia.

"Malaysians are still the major contributor in terms of tourists.However, there are several emerging segments like Singapore, China and Thailand.

"The most interesting segment for Langkawi is the Chinese market as the number of tourists from that country to Malaysia in general, is increasing yearly," he told Bernama in an interview, in conjunction with the MATTA Travel Fair 2010 at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) from today till Sunday.

Langkawi registered a whooping 32,000 tourist arivals from China in 2009 and this figure is expected to increase this year.

"With the expected increase in tourist arrivals from China, we are eyeing to capture at least 20 per cent of the total," Hasbi added.

On the hotel's occupancy rate, he said the management expects to register an average of 60 per cent this year, compared to the 54 per cent in 2009.

"In order to boost growth, we will be joining hands with the Ministry of Tourism for a presence at the Beijing International Travel Expo, next month.

"We hope to get positive and concrete feedback from the Expo and Chinese tourists, this year," he added.

Source : Bernama
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Malaysia Voted Asia's 2nd Best Destination By 'Go Asia'

Malaysia was declared the second best destination in Asia by 'Go Asia', a tourism marketing network specialising in Asia, which gave good marks to the overall facilities available for tourism in Malaysia.

In addition, the Frankfurt office of Tourism Malaysia was voted as the third best foreign tourist promotion office in Frankfurt, decided over a number of factors including staff response to queries and professionalism.

Azizan Noordin, Tourism Malayia deputy director-general, who is heading the large Malaysian contingent here including tour operators and hoteliers, told Bernama that he was "very happy" over the award.

The 'Go Asia' initiative was founded in 2003 to enhance marketing in German-speaking regions. IT currently has 28 members consisting of tour operators, airlines and tourism boards.

Malaysia has also been listed as one of the 10 top destinations of the world by Lonely Planet.

With the world economy rebounding, Tourism Malaysia has also increased its overall tourist arrival projection from 23.6 million to 24 million in 2010 with many experts in this part of the world saying that the number could be "easily crossed".

Tourism traffic from Germany posted a double-digit growth of 15 per cent last year to 128,288 arrivals.

Azizan said Malaysia's homestay programmes which are popular with Koreans and Japanese who stay for two to three days with Malaysian families to get a first-hand experience of living in a Malaysian home, would be marketed in Germany and other European countries.

German tourists to Malaysia stay for an average of 10.3 nights, far more than other nationals.

"We will be promoting high-end packages this year in the German market. We have organised some special events for this segment. The Grand Prix Petronas project is being organised in collaboration with Mercedes Benz.

"Another attractive event will be the International Shoe Festival in Malaysia. Jimmy Choo, the Malaysian shoe icon, will host this event.

"This will be followed by the Malaysian Contemporary Art Tourism Festival," said Azizan.

Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, accompanied by the Federal German Minister for Economics and Technology, Rainer Bruederle, on Wednesday visited the Malaysian pavilion which featured a Melaka kampung house.


Source : Bernama
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YTL Corp To Venture Into Ski Resort Business Via Acquisition

YTL Corporation Bhd is entering into an agreement with several parties which will ultimately see the company participating in one of Japan's finest ski resort destination.

The conglomerate, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, YTL Hotels & Properties Sdn Bhd (YTLHP), will acquire 496,184 shares, representing 100 per cent of the equity interest in Niseko Village from PC One Y.K (PC One), a Japanese limited liability company.

It has also entered into an agreement to undertake full repayment of outstanding amounts owned by Niseko Village to Citigrop Financial Products Inc.

YTL also entered into an agreement to purchase certain properties, owned by Kinki Investments Corporation Y.K., a wholly-owned subsidiary of PC One.

"The proposed acquisition at 6,000,000,000 Japanese yen, will result in Niseko Village becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of YTLHP and an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of YTL Corp," it said in a statement today.

Niseko Village owns Niseko Village Resort, located at the foothills of Mount Niseko An'nupuri and has the potential to be developed into a world class four season resort through luxury residential development and mountain retail development.

YTL Corp said the proposed acquisition was not expected to have an immediate material effect on the earnings, net assets and gearing of the group for the current financial year.

"However, the proposed acquisition is expected to improve the earnings of YTL Corp Group in the longer-term," it explained.


Source : Bernama
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MAS Offering Great Travel Deals At MATTA Fair

Malaysia Airlines is working with travel agents to offer great travel packages at the three-day Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair which will take off here tomorrow.

In a statement here on Thursday, the national airline said it will offer fares starting from RM250 to Bali, Indonesia; RM313 to Phnom Penh, Cambodia; RM649 to Perth, Australia; RM719 to Maldives and RM829 to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

For ground packages, MASholidays will be offering travel deals from RM264 per person for three days/two nights (3D/2N) to Bangkok, Thailand; RM424 4D/3N to Bali and RM816 for 4D/3N in Gold Coast Australia.

Apart from that, MASholidays is also offering umrah packages at RM5,600 per person for a 14D/12N tour to Madinah and Mecca.

The travel period for domestic destinations start on April 1, 2010 and ends on Oct 31, 2010, while international packages start on the same day and end on Dec 31, 2010.

Malaysia Airlines sales and marketing senior general manager Datuk Bernard Francis said the MATTA Fair provided a good platform for the airline to foster ties with its key partners to develop tourism resources for better travel options.

"Last year, we saw RM18.14 million sales from the fair. The top three destinations we foresee to be much sought after are London, Bangkok and Jogjakarta," he said.


Source : Bernama
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MATTA Fair 2010 To Enhance Langkawi's Tourism Sector This Year

The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents Travel Fair 2010, or popularly known as the MATTA Travel Fair, is expected to boost Langkawi's tourism sector, this year.

The Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) Tourism Manager, Megat Shahrul Azman Abas said three million tourists are expected to visit the historical island, this year.

"This is an increase of approximately half a million from the 2.5 million tourist arrivals recorded last year.

"Malaysians are still the major contributor to this figure and Thailand, Singapore and China, follow suit.

The MATTA Fair 2010 is being held at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) from Friday till Sunday.

In order to further boost Langkawi's tourism, LADA has come up with the "1Passport Langkawi". This is a document similar to a passport, which offers six major attractions in Langkawi at a single price.

The passport is being sold at LADA's booth at the MATTA Fair's Domestic Hall at RM40 for adults and RM25 for children.

The 1Passport Langkawi will cover the Langkawi Cable Car, Langkawi Wildlife Park, Langkawi Mahsuri Town, the Langkawi Craft Complex, the Underwater World Langkawi and "Galeria Perdana", a historical museum on Langkawi.

"It was launched at the MATTA Fair in September last year and we managed to sell about 1000 of it.

"As this is the second attempt, we are expecting to sell more than 2000 passports," Underwater World Langkawi Sdn Bhd's Assistant Manager for Marketing and Communications, Haizolsam Mustaffa said.

He added the passport has seen an increasing demand compared to the last fair and both the company and LADA are very confident of the sales target.


Source : Bernama
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Malaysia Aggressively Courts Tourists At Berlin Tourism Fair

The five-day Berlin Tourism Fair opened on Tuesday with a large Malaysian delegation headed by Tourism Malaysia deputy director-general Azizan Noordin aggressively courting tourists.

The delegation comprised representatives of 25 travel and tour operating agents, 25 hotels, four states (Terengganu, Penang, Langkawi and Sabah) and Malaysia Airlines and its sister airline, FireFly.

Azizan said Malaysia was eyeing the European tourism market because it held promise of providing business for Malaysia.

On an overall basis, Europe accounted for some 5.1 per cent growth in traffic to Malaysia in 2009 over 2008.

"We would like to further enhance our promotion efforts in the European market which posted good growth last year. Germany alone accounted for a 15 per cent growth with 128,228 tourists last year," Azizan said in an interview with Bernama at the Berlin exhibition hall.

Malaysia's huge pavilion consists of a large space filled with individual tables for each of the exhibitors to receive potential customers and discuss business in private.

The pavilion replicates Malaysia's landscape, depicting its natural setting as much as its contemporary landmarks.

Since the exhibition hall 26, where Malaysia and other Asean states are located, is bursting at the seams, Malaysia's pavilion has been expanded vertically -- it has an added upper storey where the staff of Tourism Malaysia can receive important visitors.

Malaysia is given good chances of attracting visitors from Europe, many of whom love its sandy beaches, flora and fauna, the night life in big cities such as Kuala Lumpur, culture and cuisine and the general warmth and hospitality of the people.

"Malaysia is an exciting place to visit even though some German news media have been incessantly highlighting some negative developments taking place in that country such as the recent caning of the three Muslim women who allegedly violated the Islamic laws," said Reinhard Berger, a Bavarian businessman who regularly visits Asian countries and claims to be "madly in love" with Borneo's fauna and flora.

Nevertheless, Malaysia has also benefited from a number of developments taking place in its neighbourhood, such as the Jakarta bombings and the Thai political upheavals, prompting many tourists to turn, instead, to Malaysia to spend part of their vacation there.

Like other Southeast Asian nations, Malaysia's attractiveness is greatly enhanced if it is offered as one of two destinations, the other being either Thailand, Singapore or Indonesia.

However, Azizan said that Malaysia was now graduating to the next level of tourism, where it was also interested in promoting luxury tours, cruise tourism, Malaysia My Second Home tourism, contemporary arts tourism."

With an eye on promoting contemporary arts, Malaysia is also hosting a gala evening on March 12, where Malaysian female conductor Ooi Chean-see will conduct a show which blends classical with ethnic Malaysian elements.



Source : Bernama
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Boosting Tourism With Footwear Fair

Besides scenic spots, culture, shopping and food, the Tourism Ministry is embarking on shoes as an attraction to promote Malaysia to the world.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said a three-day 1Malaysia International Shoe Festival would be held from April 2 to promote the country as the shoe capital of the East.

Malaysian-born world-renowned shoe designer Datuk Jimmy Choo will also showcase his 10 most successful shoe creations and deliver a talk at the event at the Putra World Trade Centre here.

Ng said the number of tourists who shopped for shoes in Malaysia increased by 19.9 per cent last year compared to 2008.

"We hope that this year, sales will increase by up to 25 per cent and will stimulate the Malaysian economy," she told reporters.

The event would be jointly organised by the ministry and the Malaysian Footwear Manufacturers Association.

Ng said Peter Chow, a renowned London-based trade buyer and owner of Davina Fashion Shoe boutique, would speak on how to attract more international buyers for Malaysian-made shoes.

The prime minister's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, would launch the festival, which would also feature the history of local shoes including Malay Royal Court shoes and intricately-designed beaded Nyonya shoes, she said.

"With the support from Jimmy Choo, we believe our dream to establish Malaysia as an international hub for shoe fashion and become a shoe-buying centre is possible.

"We believe this event will not only create an economic opportunity but will also attract more tourists to the country," she said, noting that Malaysian brands such as Vincci, Bonia, Carlo Rino and Lewre had penetrated the international market.


Source : Bernama
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Ministry targets 650,000 Indian tourists this year

The Tourism Ministry has again upped it mark for tourists arrivals from India, hoping to pull in 650,000 visitors to Malaysia this year.

With budget carrier AirAsia making plans to fly to more major Indian cities later this year and the swelling in outbound travel in India, tourism officials are optimistic that the new target can be easily achieved.

“India is a main growth market and the country’s outbound travel is booming. With AirAsia scheduled to fly to major cities soon, we can achieve a 10 per cent growth without any problems,” Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab Beg, Director-General of Tourism Malaysia, told the media here.

Despite the global economic recession last year, tourist arrivals from India were at a record figure of 589,838.

After China, India is the second top tourism generating market for Malaysia in the region.

Mirza is currently leading a mission to six cities in India — Ahemdabad, Bangalore, Cochin, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai — to promote Malaysia extensively.

The Tourism Ministry will also focus more on emerging second tier cities in India, where outbound travel is steadily rising, largely spurred by the increasing economic wealth.

Over 23 million visitors from around the globe landed on Malaysian shores last year.




Source : TMI
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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Subang airport-KTM Komuter link in the pipeline

Subang airport’s connectivity will be boosted with plans to link the terminal with the KTM Komuter service and shuttle buses.

KTM Komuter trains could start servicing Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport by next year, said Janardhanan Gopala Krishnan, chief operating officer of terminal operator Subang Skypark Sdn Bhd.

He added that the train stop would be located at Commercial Nexus, a proposed shopping mall across the road from the terminal, which is now an open-air car park.

“We have proposed to extend the KTM Komuter line (to the airport). There is already a spur line to the roundabout (on the way to the airport). Subject to approval, it should be ready in 15 to 18 months,” he told reporters recently.

Janardhanan said Skypark wanted to provide seamless transfer for passengers by improving connectivity to the airport.

He said shuttle buses connecting the terminal to the Kelana Jaya LRT station and KL Sentral should begin operating by the middle of the year.

“We are in talks with private operators. We are still speaking with RapidKL on (public) buses plying this area,” he said.

On the status of the RM150mil Commercial Nexus, he said they were finalising the concept design, and construction work was expected to start in the second half of this year.

He said the mall, with about 600,000 sq ft of retail space, would not only serve passengers but also the community in nearby areas such as Ara Damansara.

“We want to get away from the mindset that if you go to an airport, you are just sending or picking someone up,” he said.




Source : STAR
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Malaysian hotels reject proposed two-tier rate system

TWO hotel associations have poured cold water on the Tourism Ministry's recent proposal that hoteliers introduce a two-tier rate system.

Tourism Minister, Dr Ng Yen Yen, proposed having a lower rate for locals and a higher one for foreigners to allow hotels to raise their rates to reflect their service standards, without burdening domestic travellers.

Shaharuddin M Saaid, executive director of the Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners, said the system would not work since the cost of furnishing rooms and providing guest services were the same for all guests, irrespective of their nationality. He added that a two-tier system was open to abuse.

He proposed instead that Tourism Malaysia develop strategies to attract more high-yield tourists who would opt for five-star and luxury properties. "Once the (rates of) five-star properties go up, four- and three-star properties can move up as well."

Malaysian Association of Hotels vice president Ivo Nekvapil said market forces should dictate hotels' average room rates. He said the association had made a study last year on a two-tier system and the findings were not favourable.



Source : TTG
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