Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Air Asia FREE Seats - Domestic & International

20080129 AirAsia 300000 FREE Seats

29 January to 3 February 2008

AirAsia’s 300,000 FREE Seats

To thank you for your continuous support, we are giving
away FREE SEATS to your favorite holiday destinations.Take this opportunity to plan for your mid year holiday.
Grab them while they last.

Booking Period: 29 Jan - 3 Feb 08

Travel Period: 26 Feb -15 May 08

Departing from KLIA LCC Terminal

Domestic FREE Seats

Kota Kinabalu
Kuala Terengganu
Kota Bharu
Johor Bahru
Alor Star (Hat Yai)

International FREE Seats

Siem Reap (Angkor Wat)

For FREE Seats departing from other LCC Airports

- Sultan Ismail Airport, Johor Bahru

- depart from/to Kuching Airport

- depart from/to Kota Kinabalu Airport

Click HERE

Book your FREE Seat now at AirAsia

Click HERE Now!!

Source : shoppingNsales
[tags : ]

Concorde's Chinese New Year Deal

28 January 2008 onwards

Concorde Hotel Shah Alam

Chinese New Year Deal

RM88 nett

Stay Period

1 - 29 February 2008

Concorde Shah Alam

Tel : 603 5512 2220

20080128 Concorde CNY Hot Deal

Source : shoppingNsales
[tags : ]

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Shortage of rooms but hoteliers not complaining

A lion dance troupe is invited to perform at the opening of Bundusan Hotel.
A lion dance troupe is invited to perform at the opening of Bundusan Hotel.

There is a shortage of hotel rooms in Sabah during peak periods but hoteliers are not complaining.

While they may need an extra 6,000 rooms at such times, they are happy with the full occupancy that the shortage creates.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said it was a "happy problem" for hoteliers who had their hands full during peak periods.

He said that 4,000 rooms were being built, but this might not be anough to meet demand.

"On the bright side, it is not that bad a problem.
"It is a positive sign that indicates the progress of tourism in Sabah," he added after launching the 50-room Hotel Bundusan here yesterday.

Masidi said tourism arrivals last year surpassed the targeted 2.47 million with a 31.5 per cent increase in international arrivals.

"We are very happy as this augurs well for Sabah's image as an international destination," he said.

Source : NST
[tags : ]

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Penang gets ready for Malaysia’s first Hard Rock Hotel

Come 2009, the island of Penang will be rocking and rolling when Malaysia’s first Hard Rock Hotel throws opens its doors. The property, which is currently undergoing construction, will deliver a unique product which aims to infuse new excitement and energy into the popular holiday destination.

Hard Rock Hotel Penang is the third Hard Rock Hotel in Asia and also the third to be managed by HPL Hotels & Resorts, with the other two being Bali, Indonesia and Pattaya, Thailand.

Fronting the beaches of Batu Ferringhi, Hard Rock Hotel Penang will offer 252 musically-themed guestrooms, with most configured as deluxe rooms with sea, hill, and garden views; the lagoon view rooms come with direct pool access. There will also be nine studio suites and one Kings’ suite.

Four food and beverage outlets are planned for the resort, which will include a Hard Rock Cafe, an all-day dining restaurant and a bar/lounge. Facilities include a full service luxury spa, a fully equipped gym, a specialized Lil’ Rock Kids Club. Hard Rock Hotel Penang will also offer guests a main trademark of the Hard Rock Hotel experience, that is, an incredible oversized free-form pool totaling 2,400 square metres, complete with sand islands, water slides and poolside cabanas.

Source : TravelWeekly
[tags : ]

Monday, January 21, 2008

MAS on track with PSS implementation

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is on track with its Passenger Services System (PSS) implementation, having completed a number of its planned initiatives on time, since its launch in September 2006.

At a briefing to the media last week, MAS senior general manager Transition Management, Dr Amin Khan said, “Last year, working closely with SITA, we successfully rolled out several solutions for E-ticketing and also the Check in and Boarding functions of our operations. One significant milestone was the e-ticketing implementation with all 10 Global Distribution System (GDS) partners which commenced on 14 May 2007 and completed in early Oct 2007.”

By 15 January this year, 45 out of 67 MAS routes were enabled for ET and the remainder will be enabled in tandem with the roll out of ET handling capability at the airports. This is expected to be completed by end May 2008.

At present, MAS has signed 42 out of 80 Interline ET agreements with partner airlines to allow interlining, with the rest targeted for completion by end May 2008.

Apart from E-ticketing at travel agents and MAS offices, the online booking engines of the airline and its subsidiaries will operate under the PSS environment.

MAS also targets to cut-over the Web Check-In facility for its customers by February 2008. This facility will provide passenger another self-service capability to check in and select seats through the internet 24 hours before flight departure, doing away with the tiredness of rush and long queues at the airport.

Source : TravelWeekly
[tags : ]

Tourism to help change Sabah

With its rich natural beauty and mystique, Sabah has great potential to be a world-class tourist destination.

From being home to South-East Asia’s highest peak Mount Kinabalu to the diving haven of Sipadan, Sabah has many untapped natural attractions and with next week’s launch of the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC), tourism looks set to be the leading economic driver.

To the local industry players, tourism is the most sustainable economic sector compared with manufacturing or agriculture.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, who strongly believes that tourism will always remain a product that will bring in foreign exchange and provide steady income, said: “If you look at it, we have seen factories fold up and investors leave for cheaper labour markets like Vietnam or China, agriculture has its limits in terms of land available and locals hardly benefit from jobs in these sectors, unlike in tourism where the industry is driven by locals, basically in every aspect of the sector.

“This is where tourism will be sustainable and will bring direct and indirect benefits to the people in urban or rural areas,” Masidi said in an interview ahead of the launch of the SDC on Jan 29.

Currently the tourism sector employs 14,000 people directly and with greater focus on tourism under the SDC, the impact would be far reaching and affect other sectors particularly the service industry.

“The sectors that will feel the immediate effects are accommodation, food and beverage, transportation, entertainment and retail .

“The private sector is playing the lead role in developing the tourism sector while the state and federal governments are the facilitator and regulators by providing infrastructure, incentives and policy guidelines,” he said.

He noted that tourism in rural areas like Pekan Nabalu (near Mount Kinabalu) had benefited local folks who sold handicrafts, local fruits and honey. Sales of local handicraft amounted to RM138.7mil last year.

“This is the positive side of unreported expenditure and the money is returned to the local economy with great multiplier effect,” he added.

Remaining buoyant about Sabah’s tourism growth, Masidi said tourist arrivals increased by 14.4% growing from 1.8 million in 2004 to 2.2 million in 2007, he said, adding that they were targeting 2.6 million visitors by 2010.

Sabah has 115 direct flights a week from 15 cities across Asia and is now focusing on increasing the number of flights once the Kota Kinabalu International Airport renovation is completed by May 2009.

The state hopes to make its tourism products sustainable and open up more attractions for visitors to spend more time in the state.

The key challenge will be to increase physical development of appropriate tourism products especially in the rural areas to cater for the anticipated increase in arrivals.

“What is most important in our move to improve and beautify the environment is that we should be careful not to destroy coral reefs, wildlife habitats and ecosystems.

“Sabah’s tourism assets are its environment. We must preserve it for the long-term and we should not undertake environmentally damaging projects like the coal-fired power plant that could damage our coral reefs in Darvel Bay,” he added.

He said the state wanted to see more people investing in eco-tourism products of quality and value which not only protect and conserve the environment but generate employment and spin-off opportunities for the people.

“With the SDC, we are on gear five. We are on our way to become a major tourist destination with the heavy investments identified in the blueprint. We will be able to open up more islands in the east coast.

“There are 42 unexplored islands. We have more to offer than Sipadan,” said Masidi, adding that Sabah’s east coast tourism potential had hardly been exploited over the years.

Among the SDC’s highlights for development is to market Sabah as an exclusive holiday home destination, develop new tourism products anchored by signature resorts, encourage rural participation through community-based tourism, develop a one-district one-product programme, make the state a centre of excellence for tropical biodiversity research and to set up an arts and culture fund.

It has identified areas for immediate action, including providing basic tourism development infrastructure before moving into strengthening Sabah’s position as a premier eco-adventure destination through conservation, research and sustainable development of new tourism products.

The 18-year plan hopes to see Sabah being transformed into one of the most liveable places in Asia – a bustling metropolis in a tropical paradise.

Source : STAR
[tags : ]

Royale Adelphi to Royale Bintang in Seremban - Changes hands

THE award-winning Royale Bintang chain of hotels managed by Boustead Hotels and Resorts has added a new member to its expanding family: it has taken over the operations at the former Royal Adelphi hotel in Seremban.

Now renamed the Royale Bintang Seremban, the 345-room hotel, located in the Lake Gardens in the state capital, is set to follow in the footsteps of its sister hotels – the Royale Bintang KL and Royale Bintang Damansara – in carrying on the tradition of providing efficient, economical and comfortable service for both business and leisure.

Its general manager, Leo Kuscher, said the hotel’s proximity to the KLIA and Kuala Lumpur made it an ideal destination for business travellers as well as holidaymakers.

“The hotel has a lot of potential – we are looking into making the Royale Bintang Seremban a top destination for company team-building exercises as well.

“The Royale Bintang Seremban is also a great place for meetings and conferences as it's situated away from the noise and distractions of big cities,” he said, adding that response had been encouraging since the new team took over operations in November.

With its deluxe executive floors, large ballroom with capacity for 2,000 guests as well as flexibility and variety in terms of meeting spaces and services, the Royale Bintang Seremban was an ideal location for corporate events and staff functions, he said.

He said the official launch of the rebranded five-star hotel would be held on Feb 22.

Tasked with “revitalising” the hotel, Kuscher and his team have improved the food and beverage services and brought in new entertainment acts.

They have also set about reintroducing the hotel to the surrounding community.

“We have just embarked on a promotional blitz in and around Seremban to highlight the hotel’s facilities and services,” he said.

Kuscher said that Boustead Hotels and Resorts would be adding two more properties within the next two years, including the 396-room five-star Royale Chulan Hotel in Jalan Conlay.

Another 300-room establishment, the Royale Bintang Penang Hotel located at Weld Quay in George Town, will open in 2009.

Source : STAR
[tags : ]

2007 Tourist Arrivals Hit Record Peak for Singapore

THE hotel sector looks set to continue its spectacular rebound as room rates and visitor numbers hit record levels and the city-state unveils numerous attractions, experts say.

The inaugural Singapore Airshow, which bills itself as Asia's largest aerospace and defence event, starts the year off with thousands of foreign visitors expected in February.

About the same time the Singapore Flyer, the largest observation wheel in the world, is to open.

Events will peak in September when Singapore's first Formula One Grand Prix races through the city's famously pristine streets.

Even before the new attractions open, Singapore's tourist arrivals has hit fresh peaks, with record high visitor numbers every month last year, said Quek Swee Kuan, deputy chief executive for international operations at the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

“Similarly, the hotel sector has had an exceptional year, with hotel occupancy and room rates at an all-time high,” Quek said.

Latest STB figures showed 837,000 visitors in November, the largest number ever for that month, while average hotel room rates set a new milestone at S$226 (RM520) a night, up almost 30% over the previous year.

The average occupancy rate in November was 88%, meaning rooms were virtually filled every night, analysts said.

Some observers say the higher room rates should not deter visitors as accommodation at local four or five-star hotels are still cheaper than elsewhere in the region.

“Looking at the region, Singapore rates are not that high compared to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo,” said Chee Hok Yean, executive vice-president of property consultancy at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.

“It's still relatively affordable compared to some of the other markets.”

The experience of other Asian cities and even New York has shown that, as long as there are attractions to draw tourists, visitors will come even if room rates are high, she said.

But Jane Chang, a marketing communications executive with Chan Brothers Travel agency, said finding rooms at competitive rates for leisure travellers has become increasingly difficult.

“This is especially so as despite the increase in rates, booking volume remains high as demand from the corporate travel sector continues to grow,” she said.

The STB says arrivals will not be affected.

It says the government is working to address the need for more rooms with the release of 14 sites for hotel developments since August 2006. These new hotels are expected to add another 4,800 rooms, the STB said.

The tourism sector accounts for about 3% of Singapore's gross domestic product (GDP) but the figure could eventually rise to 10%, said Standard Chartered Bank economist Alvin Liew.

“I think Singapore rates pretty well as it has built up various attractions and types of tourism activity over the years,” Liew said.

Source : STAR
[tags : ]

Terengganu aims to double tourist arrivals

Under the umbrella of the East Coast Economic Region, Terengganu wants to double the number of holidaymakers visiting the state to 3.5 million this year from 1.83 million in 2005, focusing on big spenders during the Visit Terengganu Year 2008 (VTY08).

“Higher-spending tourists will bring in more revenue as they usually stay and spend twice as much as the average tourist,” said a source from Terengganu Tourism Development Board, in outlining its marketing strategy for this year after encouraging visitor numbers last year.

“The VTY08 promotional campaign can be considered as the initial step to a more integrated effort globally. Traditionally, domestic tourists are bigger in number than those from overseas. We hope more holidaymakers from overseas will have the state in their itinerary,” he added.

Some 2.5 million visited Terengganu by the end of October last year, suggesting that the targeted 2.8 million visitors for 2007 was within reach. In 2006, 2.3 million visitors came to the state.

Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh launched VTY08 simultaneously with the declaration of Kuala Terengganu as a city, the 12th in the country, on Jan 2 this year.

The Terengganu Tourism Development Board source said a RM10mil budget had been allocated for the promotion of VTY08.

Source : STAR
[tags : ]

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Woman Hotel Owner jailed, fined for allowing vice in hotel

A co-owner of a budget hotel was sentenced to a day's jail and fined RM20,000, in default six months' jail, by the Sessions Court yesterday after she was found guilty of permitting its use as a brothel.
Lai Phek Ping, 45, was charged with assisting in the management of the Khiaw Hin Hotel at 52, India Street here, which was allowed to be turned into a brothel, about 12.15pm on Feb 14, 2004.

The offence carries a maximum jail term of 15 years and a fine.

She was initially acquitted by the court at the end of the prosecution's case without her defence being called on Feb 26, last year.

However, on appeal by the prosecution, the High Court held it had proven a prima facie case against Lai and called on her to enter her defence in the Sessions Court.
According to the facts of the case, three sex workers and their clients were in their rooms while Lai was downstairs at the counter when the police raided the hotel.

During the trial, the three clients, who were prosecution witnesses, admitted that they knew the reputation of the hotel as one having prostitutes and had frequented the hotel to have sex.

Pleading for leniency yesterday, Lai's counsel, John Shek, said she was now a housewife with an 8-year-old son.

"After the death of her husband early last year, she has no other means of support.

"Her late husband was the owner of the 15-year-old hotel and she was his second wife. The hotel was closed down immediately after her husband died," Shek said.

DPP Fazillah Abdul Ghani Begum urged the court to consider the seriousness of the case as the offence was committed prior to the closure of the hotel.

After sentencing, Lai refused to go to jail, prompting Shek to raise the question of a stay of execution.

Sessions judge Rhodzariah Bujang denied the request, explaining that Lai only had to spend seven hours in the court lockup and by 5pm, she would be free, provided she paid the RM20,000 fine.

Lai paid the fine.

Source : NST
[tags : ]

Friday, January 18, 2008

More travel bargains at Matta fairs this year

 Ngiam Foon says domestic tourism is a big contributor to the tourism industry
Ngiam Foon says domestic tourism is a big contributor to the tourism industry

Malaysians and foreigners alike will enjoy even more travel bargains this year at the 12 Matta fairs the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) has planned.

State Matta chapters have been roped in to hold travel fairs in their states, in addition to the grand fairs in March and October.

With 85,000 visitors and an expected sales turnover of RM85 million this year, Matta president Ngiam Foon said the Matta Fair is big business for the domestic travel industry.

"Many have the impression Matta Fairs are more about outbound travel, but domestic tourism is a big contributor to the tourism industry."

Last year, the domestic tourism key performance indicator showed that local hotels enjoyed a considerable growth in the number of room nights booked.
"We've had over 30 million room nights booked in the last two years, and this is an encouraging trend," said Ngiam.

The states holding a fair this year are Selangor (next month), Perak (March), Pahang (April), Negri Sembilan and Penang (July) and Malacca and Johor (August).

Also on the list are Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak, but the state offices have yet to confirm the dates for the respective fairs.

The March fair will be held from March 14-16, while the September fair has been postponed to Oct 10-12 in view of the fasting month.

Tourism Malaysia, the biggest exhibitor this year, will mainly feature the attractions in Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan as these states are shortlisted in the "must visit places" on the tourism calendar.

"This year is Visit Kedah Year, Visit Kelantan Year and Visit Terengganu Year," said Tourism Malaysia domestic promotions division director Datuk Idros Mohd.

Source : NST
[tags : ]

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Singapore promise to stage a breathtaking Formula 1 race

The Singapore F1 Grand Prix scheduled for Sept 28 will not only be the biggest sporting event hosted by the republic but it will also be a much anticipated and much talked about affair.

Unique race: (from left) Singapore Tourism Board’s Chang Chee Pey, Singapore GP Pte Ltd’s Colin Syn and ESPN Star Sports’ Steve Slater looking at an artist’s impression of the Singapore F1 grandstand during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. – GLENN GUAN / The Sta
It is set to make history as the first-ever night race in F1 history and also the first street race in Asia.

The motorsports governing body, the FIA, gave the in-principle approval to Singapore recently for a proposed 5.067km street circuit that will offer multiple overtaking opportunities and challenging turns.

In a media briefing yesterday to coincide with the go-ahead from the FIA, the organisers positioned the event as the “Monaco of the East” and the circuit will be public roads around the Marina Bay area.

The race will take the drivers along Singapore’s historical landmarks, including the 100-year-old Anderson Bridge and the Raffles Boulevard. And what’s more unique is the setting up of a state-of-the-art lighting system.

Tests have been conducted at the Paul Ricard High Tech test track in Le Castellet, France, last October to study the system under real racing conditions.

And deputy chairman of Singapore GP, Colin Syn, promised that they would stage a breathtaking inaugural race for people to remember for a long time.

“We want it to be the highlight of the social calendar in Singapore as well as across Asia,” he said.

“There is a big difference between Singapore and Monaco, which is another street circuit. Our track will be much wider and faster offering more overtaking opportunities.”

Colin said that the lighting was designed to only shine from one side of the track.

“”This is to prevent the drivers from being disorientated in cases of spinning. The run-off areas will also be brighter than the track.

“The street circuit is no different from the evaluation FIA do on other tracks. In fact, it is stricter because they have to ensure the track is safe before granting us the licence,” he said.

Colin added that work on installing the lighting system was expected to begin three months before the event.

Source : STAR
[tags : ]

AirAsiaX flies to Hangzhou from Feb 4

AirAsiaX, the country’s first low-cost, long-haul airline will fly to Hangzhou in China beginning Feb 4.

Early birds will be able to set off to the destination from RM99.99 one way from Kuala Lumpur, excluding airport taxes, surcharges and fees.

Guests can book online at www.airasia.com to enjoy the special promotion fare that will be available until Jan 20 for travel between Feb 4 and March 28.

There will be five direct flights a week from Kuala Lumpur to Hangzhou.

AirAsiaX chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani said in a press statement that the latest service was the airline’s second long-haul destination after Gold Coast in Australia launched in November last year.

“The new service to Hangzhou, the capital of the Zhejiang province is part of AirAsia’s ongoing strategy to create and serve an extended network of cities in China,” he said.

“The launch also coincides with the Chinese New Year and offers the opportunity for people to renew social ties between families and friends during the festive period.”

Source : STAR
[tags : ]

RM580m Malaysia Airports target

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is targeting to achieve RM580mil in commercial revenue this year as part of the company’s goal of growing its non-aeronautical revenue to 50% by 2010, said managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad.

Bashir said the company was beefing up its facilities at KL International Airport (KLIA) in its efforts to boost commercial revenue.

“We are doing some renovation, which is expected to be completed this year,” he said after the launch of the Food Garden@LCCT-KLIA yesterday.

MAHB’s aeronautical operations are complemented by its commercial services division (CSD), which includes the management of commercial space for retail, food and beverage (F&B) outlets, lounges, offices, service areas, hotel, car park facilities and advertising and promotional activities.

For the year ended Dec 31, 2006, commercial services generated revenue of RM439mil.

Entrepreneurial and Co-operative Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin signing a plaque yesterday. With him are Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad (left) and chairman Tan Sri Dr Aris Othman
Bashir also said 17 parties were interested to set up their maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities at the Malaysian International Aerospace Centre (MIAC).

MAHB plans to develop the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah airport in Subang, which it had leased from the Federal Lands Commissioner for 60 years, into the MIAC.

“There is a programme that encourages foreign companies to set up MRO facilities at MIAC. We have 17 companies on the waiting list and we are allocating space one by one,” he said, adding that most were foreign companies from the aerospace industry.

Chairman Tan Sri Dr Aris Othman said the development of local small and medium enterprises would be part of the company’s ongoing corporate social responsibility efforts.

“Today’s launch (of the Food Garden) demonstrates our commitment to a memorandum of understanding we signed with the Entrepreneur and Co-operative Development Ministry in August last year,” he said.

Source : STAR
[tags : ]

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

AirAsia has no plans to go Private

Low-cost carrier AirAsia Bhd has no plans to be privatised, according to group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes.

“We have no plans to privatise. It’s not something that I am aware of,” Fernandes said yesterday.

He said this after a launch event which AirAsia co-hosted with CAE, a global provider of simulation and modelling technologies and integrated training solutions for the civil aviation industry and defence forces.

Asked on the firm’s share price, which has plunged more than 20% since October, he said: “I do think the market needs to understand AirAsia better.”

The airline has seen strong selling of its shares by foreign shareholders of late. The drop was “related to AirAsia’s fuel-hedging policy, which some parties considered excessively speculative,” OSK Research said last week. AirAsia shares closed 6 sen lower at RM1.52 yesterday in a generally weak market.

Datuk Tony Fernandes (left) exchanging documents with Jeff Roberts. Looking on is Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy

Separately, Fernandes said he was “happy” with the response for AirAsia’s Singapore-Kuala Lumpur services, which will start Feb 1.

“We are very happy with the response, business is very strong,” he said, adding that to-date, about 10,000 seats worth some RM1mil had been sold.

Meanwhile, at yesterday’s event, which was witnessed by Transport Minister Datuk Sri Chan Kong Choy, CAE announced that it had selected Kuala Lumpur as the location for its South-East Asian training hub.

The announcement follows CAE contract sealed in November to manage AirAsia’s Type Rating Training Organisation at the AirAsia Academy to provide training for AirAsia pilots.

The academy, which had so far seen an investment of RM200mil, was set to undergo further expansion, Fernandes said. “The second phase of the academy will be operational by June,” he said, adding that this would cost about RM40mil.

The academy now has three simulators – two CAE-built Airbus A320s belonging to AirAsia, and a Boeing 737-300 owned by CAE – and can train about 400 pilots a year.

CAE group president, innovation and civil training and services, Jeff Roberts said CAE would add an Airbus A320 simulator and an Airbus A330 simulator over the next one year.

Source : STAR
[tags : ]

JetStar to Fly to KL Daily

From February 1, 2008, Jetstar Asia will commence daily flights to Kuala Lumpur.

Passengers departing from Singapore get to fly from Changi Airport Terminal One and arrive in Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

To celebrate the launch, Genting is partnering with Jetstar to give away a one-night free stay at First World Hotel Genting to the first 200 bookings made online between today, January 15, and January 20, 2008.

For passengers flying from KL to Singapore, Nirwana Gardens Bintan is collaborating with Jetstar in giving 100 free room nights in the assortment of beach resorts owned by Nirwana Gardens for the first 100 bookings made online from January 15 to 20, 2008.

The promotional fare starts from as low as S$0.88 (US$0.62) one-way for passengers traveling out of Singapore and 1.88 Malaysian Ringgit (0.58) one-way from KL (all fares exclude surcharges and taxes).

Source : TravelWeekly
[tags : ]

Worker Killed at Trump Hotel-Condo

A crane accident at a Donald Trump hotel-condominium tower under construction in Manhattan's trendy SoHo neighborhood sent a worker plummeting 40 stories to his death and injured three other people, authorities said.

The worker's identity was not immediately released. The three injured were taken to a hospital, two with serious injuries, one with minor injuries, fire department officials said.

Construction is being overseen by Bovis Lend Lease, the main contractor handling the dismantling of a former bank building across from the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that caught fire in August, killing two firefighters.

A witness, C.J. Franzitta, said he saw Monday's accident from his office window. Part of the crane was holding steel beams and appeared to let go, he said.

Franzitta said the crane was about 40 stories up, and the accident caused one floor to collapse into another.

The crane "seemed to be going at breakneck speed -- up and down, up and down,'' he said. Inspectors from the city's Department of Buildings were at the scene investigating, spokeswoman Robin Brooks said.

The Trump site was cited for two high-risk violations Oct. 26, one for operating a crane in an unsafe manner and the other for failing to safeguard public property affected by construction operation, said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

"Why are we allowing this crane to operate when there's been no resolution to this violation?'' Stringer said. "I find that very troubling.''

Trump's executive assistant, Rhona Graff, referred inquiries about the accident to Bovis Lend Lease, which is also handling including the Sept. 11 memorial and a transit hub at ground zero.

Bovis spokeswoman Mary Costello released a statement saying the company was conducting its own investigation while working with local authorities to determine the cause.

"Our hearts go out to the family of the deceased concrete worker, and our prayers are with the injured workers,'' the statement said.

Source : STAR
[tags : ]

AirAsia ready to fly Bali-Perth and Darwin

Indonesia AirAsia (IAA) has announced its intention to open an additional operational base in Bali as the next step to establishing a regional presence for the carrier.

As reported in www.balidisovery.com, chief officer of IAA, Dharmadi, told Bisnis Indonesia that the new Bali home base will start operations in late March 2008, serving as a turn around point for new flights planned to Darwin and Perth.

The new Australian destinations are expected to start operating in September-October 2008.

Indonesia AirAsia's fleet of Airbus A320 and Boeing 737-300 aircraft will serve the new Australian services.

The Bali base is also expected to offer direct flight connections to Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.

Source : TravelMole
[tags : ]

The Top Ten Boutique hotels in South East Asia

Online hotel booking merchant, Agoda Company, has released its list of top 10 boutique hotels in South East Asia.

Agoda CEO Michael Kenny said an increasing number of travellers were moving away from chain hotels, preferring to book smaller, personalised alternatives.

"Agoda's analyses have indicated this trend is particularly evident among professional travelers between 25 to 40 years of age," Kenny said.

A boutique hotel is characterised by its size (usually less than 100 rooms) plush design and personalised service. Boutique hotels are also often independently-owned and have unique themes or design features.

The term 'boutique hotel' was coined in New York after the birth of the exclusive Morgan's hotel – opened by Ian Schrager and designed by Andrée Putman – on Madison Avenue in 1984.

The selection criteria for the Agoda Top 10 list included each hotel's popularity in terms of customer bookings and reviews.

Agoda's Top 10 Boutique Hotels in SEA are:

1. Kemang Icon Jakarta

If Conde Nast's Traveler included this hotel it in their Hot List 2007, you expect it to be hot, and Kemang Icon lives up to its reputation. This boutique hotel artfully combines contemporary modern designs with art deco in cool tones and textures. Eight Courtyard and four Edge Suites are all individually designed with personalised bathroom scents, accessories and amenities.

2. The Scarlet Hotel, Singapore

Dramatic, passionate and decadent are qualities at the heart of the Scarlet Hotel. Housed in a 1924 Art Deco building and a row of 1868 early shop houses on the historic Erskine Road are five themed suites with names like Splendour and Lavish, 26 Executive and 24 Premium rooms and 15 Deluxe and 24 Standard rooms. The hotel has gone to great lengths, decorating each room with specific personalities in mind.

3. Dream Hotel, Bangkok

From the bed to the bar, the Dream Hotel is pure glitz. The interior is covered with a generous selection of colours accompanied by ethereal lighting techniques, producing an outspoken extravagance. With 100 stylishly themed and pet-friendly guestrooms, this über trendy hotel offers personal shopper services and pre-loaded iPods and their Avatar Spa features a creative range of facials, massages, full body and Thalmer Thalasso SPA treatments.

4. AKA Hotel Resort & Spa - Hua Hin, Prachuabkirikhan

Fifty-one spacious villas amply secluded from one another, spread across 10 acres of tropical landscape, with natural lakes and a hillside backdrop. Drawing from the philosophy of the AKA, a hill tribe with origins in the Tibetan Highlands and Yunnan, China, the resort offers private infinity-edged pools, garden terraces, private courtyards and sala roof gardens.

5. Hotel de la Paix, Siem Reap

Designed by the renowned Bill Bensley, a combination of art deco and traditional Khmer styles distinguishes the Hotel de la Paix, which is built around a palatial inner courtyard with stone gardens and water features. This landmark in the heart of Siem Reap offers guestrooms and suites, categorised under five unique preferences and designs and accompanied by personalized assistance

6.S15 Sukhumvit Hotel, Bangkok

Smack in the heart of Bangkok's business and shopping districts, the new S15 Sukhumvit Hotel is 72 stylish rooms decked with Italian light fixtures, marble bathrooms and sleek, contemporary furniture. All public areas and guestrooms have Wi-Fi high-speed Internet access and the business center offer laptops and mobile phones.

7. Nagas – Luang Prabang

To enter the 3 Nagas is to enter three historical buildings protected by the UNESCO World Heritage Organisation. Restored to its original Laotian style, the hotel is of exotic, wooden floors, traditional torchis walls and clay tile roofing. A total of 12 rooms and 3 suites with their own unique designs make up this authentic hotel in the heart of Luang Prabang.

8. The Nam Hai, Hoi An

High ceilings, luxurious en-suite bathtubs, spacious bathrooms, raised platforms, split-levels coupled with unobstructed views of the South China Sea make up the 60 One-Bedroom Villas and 40 Pool Villas at The Nam Hai. Beachfront resort spa stretched across 35 hectares along Ha My beach. All villas are equipped with rain showers, iPods, 24-hour concierge and 24-hour in-room dining.

9. JapaMala Resort – Tioman Island, Malaysia

Eco-friendly, teak Sarang Villas, Sea Cliff and Tree Top chalets nestle in the lush jungles of Tioman Island. Guests can even make their own catch off the jetty and the hotel will cook the fresh seafood accordingly. A protected marine park, dive sites and furtive jungle surround this secluded, luxury resort.

10. Trisara, Phuket

Forty-two villas and suites have been given a clean, contemporary look with subtle traditional Thai touches where private infinity edged pools meet sweeping views of the Andaman Sea. Apart from massages, body treatments and facials, the Trisara Spa specializes in yoga and meditation and offers the Trisara Punti Purification and Revitalisation program in partnership with expert herbalists.

Source : TravelMole
[tags : ]

Monday, January 14, 2008

Majestically in Malacca

The historical seaside city of Malacca, holds many cultures and influences and with it many unique and beautiful heritage buildings were created over the years.

YTL Hotels decided to take over the famous Majestic Hotel and launched its first Classic Hotel in the city of Malacca. Present to officiate the opening was Yang DiPertuan Negeri Melaka, T.Y.T Tun Datuk Seri Utama Mohd Khalil Bin Yaakob and Y.A.B Datuk Seri Hj. Mohd. Ali Bin Mohd.Rustam.

At the grand opening of The Majestic Malacca, the grandson of the first Hotel Manager of Majestic Hotel was first to give a speech and recounted his memories of the old Majestic Hotel. Mr. Lim Fang Biau thanked YTL Hotels for preserving the heritage of such a unique building and for giving it new life.

The Majestic Malacca, was completed in 1929 as a private mansion of a prominent businessman, the mansion was then sold and converted into a hotel in 1953. The hotel closed down in 2000 and restoration works on the Majestic Malacca took place in 2006.

Like the other YTL Hotels and Resorts, this 54-room hotel on the river front is set to be placed amongst the world’s best, providing quality, service and absolute authenticity. With influences from the Portuguese, Dutch, British and Peranakan and with an architectural style that mirror’s Malacca’s multi-faceted colonial past, The Majestic Malacca offers you a truly unique experience.

The hotel underwent a 30 million makeover and its design integrates old with new. It is refurbished with teak wood fittings and leather furniture while the original Portuguese porcelain flooring and the European roof tiles have been preserved. Authentic artwork and antiques can be found throughout the building and the rooms come with four-poster beds and a vintage four-legged pedestal bathtub.

Dato’ Mark Yeoh, Executive Director of YTL Hotels and Properties introduced YTL’s first Classic Hotel saying “These exclusive properties harness the heritage of historical locations. Here we combine authentic reflections of the past with contemporary luxury services. In essence, the YTL Classic Hotels integrate the past and present, bringing new life into areas of historical significance.”

The culinary journey at The Majestic Malacca is also an adventurous combination of Portuguese, Dutch, English, and Baba-Nyonya cultures combined into an exciting menu.

The hotel also houses a Spa Village, like all the other YTL Hotels and Resorts. What is unique about Spa Village Melaka is that it is the only spa in the world, to base its therapies on the healing heritage of the Peranakan – a unique combination of Chinese and Malay influences.

The spa village not only takes pride in its treatments and therapies but also reflects a rich culture in the spa’s intricate traditional wood carving integrated with finely detailed porcelain wall tiles and traditional Chinese day beds.

In the city of rich culture and heritage with influences from Dutch, Portuguese, British Chinese, Indian and Malay, Malacca is truly a unique destination which one should savor in a truly authentic and luxurious manner.

Source : YTL
[tags : ]

Pangkor Laut Upgraded

HAVING done quite a bit of globetrotting for most of 2007, I ended the year with a three-day visit last month to one of the best resorts in Malaysia, Pangkor Laut Resort.

This multiple award-winning resort is a privately owned island and the gem in the crown of the YTL group. The late Luciano Pavarotti sang there and there is a suite named after him.

The large koi pond in the courtyard with small pavilions for private dining at the resort
It is about a four-hour drive from Petaling Jaya, Selangor. You need to take an hour's ferry ride to the island itself. The first 1½ hours via the North-South Expressway is smooth but the remaining two hours or so from Bidor (after exiting the highway) to Lumut (110km) is along some narrow, winding road that takes you to Teluk Intan and Sitiawan.

It can be a boring drive until you reach Manjung where you can spot several “swift hotels” created from renovated shop offices and stand-alone buildings. My children were intrigued when I pointed to the holes on the walls of these shop offices built to meet the booming demand for birds’ nests.

“Well, you are going to see lots of birds, including peacocks, at Pangkor Laut Resort,” I said, reminding them of our previous visit there three years ago.

Since last September, the resort has been reinvigorated after 10 months of upgrading work that included a yacht marina fronting the reception area.

There is also an extended beachfront stretching from the Sea Villas to the rocky outcrop and a nicely designed walkway to the reception area where guests are greeted with Roselle drinks and a cooling face towel.

Room interiors have also been upgraded and outdoor furnishings have been refreshed, bathroom surfaces refined, and living spaces made subtly larger through intelligent design. Guests can also surf the Internet from five computer stations. Four small pavilions furnished with silk cushion and bolsters offer a cosy environment for a lazy afternoon nap.

Pangkor Laut has also created a variety of serenely landscaped pavilions within an intimate courtyard setting, offering an ideal venue for weddings, ceremonies or an intimate diner with friends. There are also two smaller self-contained pavilions with its own barbeque area and private butler service and surrounded by lush greenery and overlooking a large koi pond.

What do I like best about this 22-year-old resort? It's not so much the white sandy beaches, spa village or chalets on stilts or villas in the gardens and hillside set amidst a two million year old rainforest. Rather it's the food! Yes, its culinary delights and gourmet experience!

The delightful new addition introduced since last September is the Feast Village. The concept is borrowed from the Feast Village at YTL's Starhill Gallery in Kuala Lumpur. It offers its own unique feast village or culinary experiences, replacing the previous Palm Grove cafe and Samudra restaurant.

This integrated dining concept allows guests to embark on a culinary tour of the world in one multi-faceted environment.

There are six different dining offerings, including a Japanese pavilion serving sushi and teppanyaki, a western grill pavilion, a middle-eastern pavilion, and a Chinese, Malay and Indian pavilion.

There is also a bakery, cafe and wine cellar where guests can select wines of their choice for consumption at the restaurant or to take home as a memento.

Like its Fisherman's Cove (with its signature fusion cuisine) fine-dining restaurant, the Feast Village also boasts not one but several open show kitchens, preparation areas and a display kitchen where chefs can mount displays of specific preparations and cooking skills. It can seat 170 people.

We tried out the different restaurants (except the Straits Restaurant, a new restaurant set against the rocks by the beach and serving some of the finest Straits cuisine) including Uncle Lim's, a Chinese-style restaurant serving traditional Hockchew and Nyonya dishes at Royal Bay and the Fisherman's Cove next door. The food and ambience are just great!

With a staff strength of 350 to 150 rooms, it's a ratio of two staff members to a room, a higher ratio than a hotel. It has 40 gardeners compared to three in a city hotel.

“We have 45 chefs in the seven restaurants. We need this number of chefs to provide the wide variety of buffet spread that you see at the Feast Village. We have a world-class product here,” said resort manager Jeffrey Mong.

A skimmer boat was acquired two years ago to clean up any debris floating in the nearby sea and this has helped to maintain the pristine condition of its beaches such as Emerald Bay.

Source : STAR
[tags : ]

Friday, January 11, 2008

AirAsia to give away 30,000 free seats

AirAsia is giving away 30,000 tickets between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to celebrate its “liberation” of the KL-Singapore route.

The airline will fly the route from Feb 1 and the free seats were made available since noon yesterday until Sunday via www.airasia.com for the travel period from Feb 1 to Oct 25.

Feb 1 will mark the success off a plan hatched some six years ago. Then, AirAsia began cheekily enticing Singaporeans with the tagline: “There’s a new girl in town, she’s twice the fun and half the price.”

The plans to introduce a KL-Singapore service, however, ground to a halt as some people were not amused.

But AirAsia chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes continued fighting hard to break the decades-old monopoly on the route enjoyed by Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines.

Thus his elation when AirAsia finally got the green light recently.

“It is indeed a major milestone in the aviation industry for both countries, and we are thrilled to fly to Singapore from our Kuala Lumpur hub starting from Feb 1,” he told Malaysian and Singaporean pressmen here yesterday.

AirAsia will fly twice daily – 10am and 7.50pm – to Changi and return at 11.30am and 9.40pm. Fares start at RM29.99 for one-way travel.

Fernandes outlined AirAsia's plans for the sector, saying: “We are confident that within five years we will be able to accommodate around five to seven million passengers on this route with 20 flights per day.

“To achieve this, we are planning to expand our fleet of aircraft. On average, we’re talking about adding 24 planes a year.”

Asked which terminal would be used at Changi Airport to accommodate the flights, he said this had yet to be determined.

“It will either be Terminal 1 or the Budget Terminal. We are in the midst of discussion but will come to a decision very soon,” he said.

He also said the new route would provide AirAsia X – the airline’s low-cost long-haul carrier – with greater access to newer markets.

“With an increase in flight frequency, perhaps in the future we could launch other destinations to Singapore such as from Penang, Kota Kinabalu or even Jakarta to cater to the huge demand,” he said.

Air Asia now competes head to head with two other budget airlines, namely Tiger Airways and Jetstar Asia Airlines – both of which were awarded the rights to operate a daily KL-Singapore service by Singapore’s Transport Ministry last month.

Source : STAR
[tags : ]

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tourist arrivals in Malacca up by 1.1m

The week-long ‘Festa San Juang and Festa San Pedro 2007’ celebrations at the Portuguese Settlement in Malacca.

The week-long ‘Festa San Juang and Festa San Pedro 2007’ celebrations at the Portuguese Settlement in Malacca.

More than 5.5 million tourists entered the state last year, an increase of 1.1 million from the previous year.

Of the total, 1.2 million were foreigners, representing an increase of 10 per cent from the year before. June, August and November saw the highest number of tourists last year, with over 500,000 recorded in each of the months.

This was largely thanks to the Ikan Bakar Carnival, Festa San Juang and Festa San Pedro (in June), the Kite Flying Festival, Merdeka celebrations (in August) and the school holidays (in November).

As such, Visit Malaysia Year 2007 is considered a success for the state, which is touted by the state government as the place "where it all began" with the tagline "Visit Historic Malacca Means Visit Malaysia". There are plans to turn the city into the country's foremost tourism destination by 2010.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said recently that the state had focused mostly on encouraging domestic tourism.
He said the state's efforts to explore "emerging markets" such as Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, India, the United Arab Emirates and South Korea had paid off handsomely.

"From a small state which saw tourist arrivals of about 1.7 million in 1999, we have managed to triple the figure to over 5.5 million, last year.

"Our tagline has worked miracles. I do not see any reason why the number of tourists arriving in the state should decrease in the future.

"In fact, we are moving forward in terms of tourism with programmes such as the Melaka River Festival, Melaka International Regatta, Melaka International Air Carnival, Melaka International Tourism Show and One District One Industry Showcase."

The largest number of tourist arrivals in Malacca was from Southeast Asia, followed by West Asia, which saw an increase of over 10,000 tourists last year compared to the previous year, and Europe which had an increase of over 10 per cent.

Besides culture, history and heritage, Ali said, the healthcare industry was another strong selling point for the historic city.

"Between 2001 and 2006, the number of people coming to Malacca to get medical attention increased by 60 per cent to 436,200."

Source : NST
[tags : ]

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Eye on Malaysia to stay till 31 Aug 2008

FOR those who missed the joy ride in the sky at Lake Titiwangsa in Kuala Lumpur last year, here is the good news.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor has announced that the year-long season of the Eye on Malaysia Ferris wheel will be extended by eight months till Merdeka Day this year.

Quiet time: The Eye on Malaysia is fairly quiet in the mornings.
The Ferris wheel was open to the public in January last year in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year 2007. The machine was supposed to be taken down last month but the ministry decided to extend the joy ride till Aug 31 this year.

During the whole of last year, more than a million people had taken the joy rides on the Ferris wheel.

Although the Ferris wheel is an attraction to tourists and local visitors from other states, the residents in the surrounding lake area are unhappy with it as the upmarket residential area has become crowded with vehicles and people, especially at night and during weekends and public holidays when special events are held there.

“Every time there is an event, party or celebration, cars are parked everywhere along the road causing a major traffic disruption,” said administrative assistant Mohd Hatta Ishak, whose office occupies one of the houses in the area.

Hatta said that the area was often crowded on weekends and public holidays but that did not affect the offices as they were closed on those days.

For resident Connie Wong, going out for dinner is an occasion she dreads as cars are often parked at junctions and along the roads in the residential area.

“When my family needs to go out for a meal or to attend other functions at night, we have to go out much earlier or else we will definitely be blocked by traffic chaos right in front of our home,” she said.

Wong fears that if there is an emergency she would definitely have a hard time getting out of the area.

During a StarMetro visit in the morning, the place looked fairly quiet with only a handful of busses and taxis waiting for passengers.

According to a visitor from Penang who just wants to be identified as Lim, the fares of RM15 for an adult and RM8 for a child are too high.

“For those with big families, it would cost them a lot to ride on the Ferris wheel,” he said.

Lim hopes that the fare would be lowered to encourage more locals to take rides on it instead of just tourists.

Lim said that the Eye on Malaysia should be taken to other states to allow more people to enjoy it.

Local newspapers had reported that residents in the area have no objection to the Ferris wheel staying on till Aug 31 this year but they want the authorities to take concrete measures to resolve the traffic chaos and problems like parking, vandalism, snatch thefts and the frequent break-ins to houses and cars.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) director-general Datuk Salleh Yusof said the DBKL would monitor the situation in the area and would look into the complaints by residents.

He said the DBKL would consider stationing officers in the area and provide more parking bays for busses.

Meanwhile, it is reported that the Federal Territories Ministry and the DBKL would hold a meeting with the residents on Jan 12.

Source : STAR
[tags : ]

Foreigners no longer allowed to serve customers directly at airports

Foreigners will no longer be allowed to serve customers directly at all airports in Malaysia, under a move to ensure that only local workers are the frontliners.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Cabinet committee on tourism that he chairs would issue the ruling to Malaysia Airports Berhad and operators of its outsourcing services soon.

“We will be informing them that only locals can provide services that call for direct contact with customers. We want these services, including those at the KL International Airport, to be done by locals,” he told a press conference after chairing the committee meeting yesterday.

Asked when the ruling would be enforced, Najib said it should be done “as soon as they can.”

“But we do note that they have to make some adjustments as currently, there are foreigners being employed for such jobs,” he said.

When met later, Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said the Government’s policy was that only locals should serve as frontliners in hotels, and that airports should practise a similar policy.

Meanwhile, at the press conference, Najib also said tourists coming to obtain medical treatment would now be able to stay for up to six months and be given a multiple-entry visa.

“We believe the new ruling, which takes immediate effect, will attract more people to choose Malaysia for health treatment,” he said.

Source : STAR
[tags : ]

MAS offers low fares from RM39 one-way till January 23 2008

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is offering travelers super low airfares for bookings effective immediately till 23 January 2008 through its Call Centre, ticket offices and online.

These promotional offers are for both domestic and regional air travel on the airline’s flights out of KL International Airport.

Customers can enjoy these low air fares for travel from January 14 to March 31 2008 on domestic routes and from January 9 to March 152008 for regional sectors.

The rock-bottom one-way fares start from as low as RM39 (US$12) for Malaysian domestic travel, RM 79 (about US$24) for ASEAN destinations, RM199 (about US$61) to China and RM399 to the Indian Sub-Continent.

All promotional airfares are for one-way economy class travel on MAS and exclude fuel surcharge and other applicable surcharges.

A complete list of destinations and fares is available on www.malaysiaairlines.com.

Source : Travel Weekly
[tags : ]

Monday, January 07, 2008

Ministry to target 'high quality' tourists

The Tourism Ministry will be targeting more "high quality" tourists this year in an effort to boost the country's tourism industry, said its deputy minister Donald Lim.

The Ministry hopes to target these tourists who spend RM4,000 to RM5,000 and who do not create problems to the country, he said.

To increase the number of tourists in this category, the ministry hopes to target more tourists from the Middle East, eastern China, Korea and Japan, he said.

Quality tourists also include the 5% of tourists who are here for meetings and it is hoped that the percentage will increase to 8% this year, said Lim after launching the Chinese Calligraphy and Painting Exhibition by famous artists from China here.

The Ministry hopes to increase tourists from other parts of Asia and the world from 15% in each category to 20% and reduce tourists from South-East Asia from 70% to 60%, he said.

"We are targeting 25.5 million tourists for this year and hope to bring in foreign revenue of RM50bil," he said.

It is also hoped that the average stay will increase to eight nights from last year's 6.7 nights, he said.

By 2010, the ministry hopes to achieve half of the tourists from SEA and the rest from other parts of the world, he said.

Source : STAR
[tags : ]

More Music Events & Festivals in Penang

THREE major music events will be held in Penang this year as part of the state government's efforts to woo tourists with music tourism.

Among them is the Penang World Music Festival which will be held from May 2 to 4.

Hot on the heels of the success of the inaugural Penang World Music Festival last year, the state government is in the midst of planning a bigger and better show this year, said Penang Tourism Action Council general manager Chin Yin Fat.

“The three-day festival last year sold 7,000 tickets despite heavy rain and it led to the state’s exposure as a music destination,” he said after greeting motorists at the Penang Bridge toll plaza on Thursday.

Also present to distribute goodie bags, bunga telur and Penang’s Calendar of Events 2008 to motorists were Penang Tourism Hospitality Committee chairman Cheang Chee Gooi and Tourism Malaysia Penang director Sani Sham Ahmad.

Hospitality gesture: Cheang, with an entourage clad in cultural costumes, distributing goodie bags to motorists at the Penang Bridge toll plaza in Prai.
Chin said the Penang Island Jazz Festival, which featured over 50 local and international performers and attracted 6,000 fans last year, would be held in December.

He said a new music event lined up this year as part of the expansion of music tourism in the state was the Penang Shanghai World Star Quest 2008 which would be held on March 29 at Auto City in Juru.

“It is a ‘star quest’ stage show from Shanghai, China,” he explained.

Chin said the state would focus on music tourism along with its existing core tourism products because Penang had the potential to be a world class music destination.

He said Taman Kuari at the Penang Botanic Gardens was a new venue that could be used to hold open-air music events.

Source : STAR
[tags : ]

Malacca's Batu Berendam Airport to be Upgraded

The Malacca government has requested that Batu Berendam Airport be upgraded for an Airbus to land with full load, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said here.

He said, with the present upgrading work, the airport could only accommodate an Airbus with half load of passengers.

“Our request has been included in the mid-term review of the Ninth Malaysia Plan,” he said when contacted recently.

Mohd Ali said, if the request was not approved, an Airbus could not have the full load of passengers and cargo when it landed or took off from Batu Berendam Airport.

He said the state had requested that the runway be expanded by 400m for an Airbus with full load to land.

“We will have discussions with airline companies like Air Asia, Malaysia Airlines and Riau Airlines to consider landing in Batu Berendam,” Mohd Ali said.

He said the landing of bigger aircraft would help boost the state's tourism industry.

“I have also directed the Historic Malacca City Council to plant more trees in nearby housing schemes to help reduce noise from aircraft,” he said.

Mohd Ali said the state aimed to create a health township and had approved the setting up of a nursing college in Gapam.

Source : STAR
[tags : ]

MAS Withdraws Commissions to Travel Agents

In line with market and industry developments, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has withdrawn commissions to travel agents in Malaysia effective 1 January 2008. MAS airfares through all distribution channels in Malaysia remain the same.

Customers will also continue to enjoy greater price transparency as the airfare, fuel surcharge, taxes and other surcharges will be printed on their tickets.

Agency commission is still payable for Malaysia Airlines tickets issued on full published IATA international and domestic fares.

Ngiam Foon, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president said with this new development, travel agents in Malaysia need to collect service fees to sustain viable business operations.

Malaysia Airlines and MATTA believe in market liberalisation. Rather than imposing a fixed fee, travel agents will now charge for services offered including ticketing transactions, booking fees, delivery, processing of refunds, visa application, and professional consultation fee.

Source : Travel Weekly

[tags : ]

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Eye looks set to stay by the lake in KL

If Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor has his way, the Eye on Malaysia will be another icon of Kuala Lumpur, standing tall and proud along with the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) and the KL Tower.

Realising how popular the tourist attraction by the Tasik Titiwangsa has become over the past year, the Tourism Minister plans to keep it there, with the help of City Hall.

“When we were planning to bring in the facility for Visit Malaysia Year 2007, I was told that the projected number of visitors was 300,000. However, by September, some one million people have visited the Eye on Malaysia.

“This shows visitors are attracted to it and it would be a good idea to have it as a permanent fixture for tourists. However, we will have to discuss with the City Hall as the site where the wheel stands belongs to the authority,” he said.

A new icon: The Eye of Malaysia at Tasik Titiwangsa, with the Petronas Twin Towers in the background. By September, some one million people had visited the tourist attraction that was launched in January last year.
Speaking to reporters yesterday after presenting cash to students who excelled in their UPSR and PMR examinations, Tengku Adnan said several other matters needed to be sorted out, including the dispersal of traffic and basic facilities such as parking and toilets.

“We will also have to look into the concerns voiced by people living nearby. Their complaints are mostly about the traffic so we have to find a way to solve this.

“Having the Eye on Malaysia permanently will be good for the tourism industry. We hope to work out something so that it remains here,” he said, adding that the attraction would be available until August.

On another matter, Tengku Adnan said his ministry had directed the organisers of Malaysia International Space Adventure (Misa) to include more interactive features to the exhibition, adding that discussions were also being held with the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry to invite Angkasawan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor to share his experience with visitors.

He said the number of visitors to the exhibition had yet to reach 5,000 daily, due mainly to the location and transport problems.

Currently, Misa received about 1,200 visitors every day, he said, adding that not many people were interested in an exhibition that was educational in nature.

“We are tying up with tour operators to include Misa as part of their visit to Putrajaya. We have also distributed 10,000 tickets to residents to encourage students and youngsters to learn more about space,” he said.

Source : STAR
[tags : ]

Launch of Legend Water Chalets

THE Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan Tuanku Ja'afar ibni Al-Marhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman officiated at the grand official launch of The Legend Water Chalets in Port Dickson recently.

Also gracing the event was Tunku Ampuan Besar Tuanku Najihah binti Al-Marhum Tunku Besar Burhanuddin.

About 200 invited guests including politicians, corporate guests, travel and tour agents, bankers, suppliers, contractors and senior government officials were also present.

Idyllic: The Legend Water Chalets are located near the town of Lukut and is about 4.8km from Port Dickson.
They included Negri Sembilan state executive council member Datuk T. Rajagopalu, Port Dickson Municipal Council president Tengku Datuk Idris Tengku Hadi, Kuala Lumpur Metro Group chairman Mat Hassan Esa, The Kuala Lumpur Metro Group directors Datuk Low Tak Fatt and Datuk Yap Chuan Thai and The Legend Group of Hotels and Resorts president Many Chew.

In his speech, Tuanku Ja'afar congratulated The Legend Water Chalets on the official opening .

He also congratulated the management of the Kuala Lumpur Metro Group, the owner of The Legend Water Chalets, Port Dick-son for winning the prestigious CNBC's International Property Award 2007 in London recently.

The win was under the “Best Architecture” and “Best Develop-ment” categories for the Group's second phase project, The Legend Interantional Water Homes which is currently under construction.

Tuanku Ja'afar also signed a plaque to officially launch the chalets.

Launched: Tuanku Ja'afar looking at a model of The Legend International Water Homes. Looking on are (from left) Datuk Yap Chuan Thai, Datuk Low Tak Fatt and Mat Hassan Esa.
The Legend Water Chalets was completed five months ahead of schedule and it has been opened to the public since October 2006.

Seventy per cent of the water homes, each with its own private swimming pool, have been sold so far.

The Legend Water Chalets, Port Dickson with its Balinese concept has the highest number of water chalets in Malaysia, that is a total of 641 units which include 392 units for the first phase and 249 units for the second phase.

It is located near the town of Lukut and is about 4.8km from Port Dickson along the coastal area of Negri Sembilan.

The chalets are easily accessible via the North-South Expressway and Port Dickson-Seremban Highway.

The KL International Airport (KLIA) is just an hour's drive away from the chalets and it takes only an hour and a half to the chalets from Kuala Lumpur.

Source : STAR
[tags : ]




Related Posts with Thumbnails