Monday, August 30, 2010

KLIA’s new terminal will serve as economic stimulus

Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today that the new low cost carrier terminal (LCCT) or KLIA2 will serve as an economic stimulus for the country.

The Prime Minister said he expects KLIA2 to boost tourism revenue to RM168 billion by 2020.

“The construction of a project such as this new terminal brings the country many benefits. Not only will it serve as an economic stimulus by providing job opportunities to the people of Malaysia, it will also boost tourism by attracting more airlines and visitors into the country.

“This facility will greatly enhance our vision to increase tourism revenue from the current RM53 billion in 2009 to RM168 billion by 2020,” he said during his speech at the ground breaking ceremony for KLIA2.

He said that local businesses would also benefit from the greater influx of tourists into the country.

“The spill-over effects of having this captive market at our airports is immense, from a commercial perspective, following the footsteps of the established successful airports such as Heathrow London and Schiphol Amersterdam where the airports are much more than just a place to catch flights.

“Malaysia Airports has envisioned our own airports as the platform to drive commercial business. With its vision to be a world-class airport business, I am encouraged to know that besides operating top notch airport facilities and services, there will also be ample retail and commerce opportunities that will allow Malaysian businesses to capitalise and benefit from the influx of tourists and spending power flowing continuously through the arrival and departure gates,” he said.

The targeted completion date for the new LCCT, estimated to cost RM2 billion, is April 2012 based on a 20-month construction period.

The LCCT will be able to cater for 30 million passengers per annum, with potential to expand to 45 million.

A new four kilometre long runway will also be built for the LCCT.

To be known as KLIA2, it is located only two kilometre from the main KLIA terminal.

Najib also noted that AirAsia was the driving force behind low-cost travel growth in the region.

“Over the last 10 years low-cost travel at KLIA has grown on an average of 37 per cent per annum. The double-digit growth is expected to continue for the next five to ten years despite intense competition from other large airports in the region.

“I have to compliment AirAsia for their innovative efforts to stimulate low-cost travel in the country and I applaud Malaysia Airport’s role in supporting the growth of this burgeoning travel segment. Malaysia Airports has anticipated that KLIA as whole would handle over 60 million passengers by 2020 and close to 45 per cent of these passengers are likely to be low-cost travellers,” he said.

Early last year, there was a much publicised tussle between Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), the operator of most of Malaysia’s airports, and Air Asia, the region’s leading low-cost carrier, to build the new LCCT.

That was just after Air Asia announced its intentions to build its own terminal and runway in Labu, Negeri Sembilan to cope with soaring passenger volume and alleged that MAHB would not be able to build an LCCT to suit its needs and ambitions.

Malaysia Airports on the other hand, said that the new LCCT should be built according to its masterplan for KLIA.

The Labu proposal was initially given the green light on January 5th by the government, but it reversed its decision about three weeks later after a public outcry erupted as it was seen as building another airport just a few kilometres away from KLIA and thus duplicating resources.

Najib stressed that KLIA2 was designed with consideration for AirAsia’s requirements.

“I am glad to note that while this new terminal is designed with great consideration for the requirements of the region’s largest low-cost carrier, AirAsia, it will be accessible to all airlines upon completion. With the thriving low cost travel in the region, the new terminal is poised to serve as a hub and attract more low cost carriers to fly to Kuala Lumpur,” he said.

The first phase of the project was awarded to Malaysian infrastructure firm, WCT. The RM363 million contract is for the earthworks and drainage job for the LCCT.

However, MAHB has admitted that the completion of the earthworks for the runaway is behind schedule.

MAHB will also build a multi-modal transportation hub for buses, taxis, and ERL to provide connectivity for not only passengers but also for the public to move from one part of the country to another.

According to the National Airport Masterplan (NAMP), there is room for two additional terminals near the LCCT.

The masterplan was drawn up by Netherlands Airport Consultants BV and KLIA Consultancy Services.

Source : TMI
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Tourism Malaysia survey reveals interests of Arab travellers

Beyond the well-known destinations of Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Langkawi, Arab travellers appear to be keen on exploring Malaysia's resort islands such as Redang, Perhentian and Tioman.

This was the outcome of a recent online survey, devised in a multiple-answer format, undertaken by Tourism Malaysia Dubai in collaboration with a local English daily.

It drew 4,172 respondents, including 3,536 United Arab Emirates (UAE) nationals, according to Mohamad Ibrahim Masri, Tourism Malaysia marketing manager for UAE, Gulf and Iran.

He said 1,471 respondents (35.25%) were in favour of island escapades, followed by vacationing at hill resorts like Genting Highlands, Fraser's Hill and Cameron Highlands (1,139 respondents, 27.29%).

Arab tourists would also like to experience Malaysian culture as well as adventure with nature, like those on offer in states like Sabah and Sarawak, he told Bernama.

On the type of activity they would indulge in on vacation in tropical Malaysia, 2,379 respondents (57.01 per cent) picked ecotourism above shopping, spa and wellness programmes, diving and golfing.

Mohamad Ibrahim said: "You can see that ecotourism is high on the list, and this goes back to enjoying nature and greenery.

"People in this part of the world live in an environment pretty much lacking in greenery, which can be found in abundance in Malaysia.

"So, it makes sense if they want to indulge in activities associated with nature when they go on vacation," the tourism official explained.

Golfing garnered merely 319 positive responses of the 4,172 survey respondents.

Queried on festivals organised in Malaysia that they would likely attend, 911 respondents (21.83%) opted for the Fabulous Food 1Malaysia event, followed by Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival and Colours of Malaysia extravaganza.

A question on spending Ramadan in Malaysia was also featured in the survey.

A total of 2,663 respondents (63.82%) said they would like to experience the Ramadan night bazaar while 1,692 (40.55%) had savouring Malaysian food and delicacies in mind.

Source : STAR
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Malaysian Mastercard Cardholders Spend US$67.1 Million

Malaysian MasterCard holders spent US$67.1 million during the first weekend of the Malaysia Mega Carnival 2010, an increase of 34 per cent, when compared with US49.7 million spent during the first weekend of carnival last year.

MasterCard Worldwide, in a statement today, said the total number of transactions made by Malaysian cardholders increased nine per cent to 910,588.

Vice President and Senior Country Manager, Malaysia and Brunei, MasterCard Worldwide, Jim Cheah said the encouraging expenditure data reflected the increased consumers confidence among consumers in Malaysia.

"We hope this positive trend will continue and more shoppers will use their MasterCards to take advantage of the various privileges it offered this year," he added.

Source : Bernama
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Longhaul demand surges for Malaysia

OUTBOUND agents are all smiles over the enthusiastic demand for longhaul destinations this year-end. The improved economy and pent-up demand have spurred bookings from those who had shelved travel plans last year due to economic uncertainties.

Malaysian Harmony Tours & Travel CEO, Cooper Huang, said demand for high-end tour packages, such as the nine-day New Zealand full-board package from RM7,188 (US$2,269) and nine-day Tunisia tour from RM6,488, were moving beyond his expectations. He expected sales volumes this year to surpass last year's by at least 10 per cent.

Echoing similar sentiments was Mayflower Acme Tours deputy general manager of channel management, Abdul Rahman Mohamed, who noted that Malaysians were looking for value add-ons. He said the company's Europe combo deal packages, combining air tickets, taxes and travel vouchers worth RM500, were well received. He added that popular outbound destinations for year-end travel were London, Paris and Amsterdam.

Huang and Abdul Rahman were among 50 exhibitors at the three-day Malaysia International Travel Mart in Kuala Lumpur, organised by the Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association with Malaysia Airlines as the main sponsor. The travel fair ended yesterday.

Source : TTG
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More foreigners visiting Langkawi

This resort island is seeing more foreign toursits than local ones this year, Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) tourism manager Megat Shahrul Azman Abas said.

He said the latest figures obtained from hotels showed that 55% of tourists here were foreigners. In previous years, local tourists accounted for 70% of arrivals, he said.

“Although domestic arrivals are on the rise, they are not as high as foreign arrivals, especially from India, Middle East and Europe. In the case of India, the growth can be attributed to the promotional campaign carried out in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai in the past two years.

“We also carried out numerous sales missions to the Middle East.”

Judging from the number of arrivals at 1.2 million during the first half of this year, he said Langkawi was on track to achieve 2.4 million tourist arrivals this year.

Some 2.36 million tourists visited the island last year.

Source : Bernama

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Malaysia Eyes Luxury End Of HK & Chinese Travel Market

With an estimated 17 million tourists from China and Hong Kong having travelled overseas last year, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen wants Malaysia to capture a sizeable slice of this growing market, especially the luxury end.

Her latest promotion campaign to Hong Kong and southern China last week yielded some interesting results: there is growing interest in luxury tourism besides art and culture tourism and ecotourism among the well-heeled Chinese tourists. "The demand for luxury tourism has increased for the past few years, especially in China and Hong Kong, as many of their travellers are looking for quality holidays rather than cheap products with poor service. They are often cash rich, time poor but demanding," she told Bernama at the end of her recent promotions.

Dr Ng said her ministry recognised the growing importance of high net worth travallers wanting to experience luxurious lifestyles during their travels. "We must build ourselves up as the beauty of Malaysia and our fascinating heritage allow us to offer a diversity of sophisticated products such as golfing, spa retreats as well as art tourism," she said.

Dr Ng said luxury tourism meant that the tour packages must be above RM5,000 each with luxury top-end accommodation, great food and exclusive activities thrown in for the affluent travellers.

As for feedback from travel and tour operators in Hong Kong and southern China, she said Malaysia stood a good chance of getting more tourist arrivals from Hong Kong and China this year. In addition to the luxury segment, Dr Ng said Malaysia also hoped to attract tourists from Hong Kong and China in senior citizens tours, ecotourism, shopping, food and homestay packages.

"Besides tourism packages, we also hope to attract investors from China to invest in tourism-related products like restaurants or invest in property through the "Malaysia, My Second Home" programme," she disclosed.

As a first step towards creating greater awareness among tourists in Hong Kong and China in the art segment and to further position Malaysia as a tourism hub, she said Malaysia would take part in the Hong Kong International Art and Antiques Fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from Oct 3 to 6.

Dr Ng also hoped that the on-going 1Malaysia Contemporary Arts Festival and Malaysia Mega Sale Shopping Carnival and a food festival from October until December this year would attract more overseas tourists. Malaysia, she said, would continue to host the International Shoe Festival and F1 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix as part of efforts to have many exciting tourism products.

Tourism brought in about RM52 billion to the nation's coffers last year from a total of 23.65 million tourist arrivals (2008: 22.05 million visitors). For 2010, the target is RM54 billion in receipts from a projected 24 million in visitor arrivals.

Malaysia was also one of seven countries to have achieved positive growth in tourist arrivals last year when the rest of the world experienced a four per cent cent decline, no thanks to the global economic crisis and H1N1 influenza pandemic.

Describing her promotion as successful, Ng added,"We have achieved what we wanted to achieve, which is promoting the new art tourism, as we had met the right people involved in the industry here to inform them that the Malaysian government is keen to develop art tourism."

While in Hong Kong, she met various art industry leaders, including the founder of Hong Kong International Fine Art and Antiques Fair, Andy Hei, and the chairman of the China Culture Global Association, Alice Chiu. Dr Ng said Chiu was expected to lead a group of delegates to Malaysia next month and her ministry was looking forward to welcoming them.

Source : Bernama
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Malaysia Abolishes Visa-On-Arrival Effective Aug 16

Malaysia is to abolish the visa-on-arrival (VOA) facility effective Monday, Immigration director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman announced on Friday.

As such, all foreign nationals requiring a visa to enter the country must apply for it at the offices of Malaysian missions overseas, he said in a statement.

He said the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Workers and Illegal Immigrants decided that the VOA facility granted to the nationals of several countries be abolished.

"The VOA facility is being abolished because it has been misused and this has had a negative effect on Malaysia," he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had announced early this month that the VOA would no longer be issued at the country's points of entry as there had been gross misuse of the facility.

Source : Bernama
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MAS fights for air space with AirAsia

MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) ramps up flights to Yangon, Myanmar from Kuala Lumpur from September 2. Facing off with AirAsia, MAS will have daily flights, up from its current five weekly flights.

The increase in service frequency follows low-cost carrier AirAsia's new daily flights on the same route on July 20. The latter is offering fares from as low as US$9 per way.

MAS is offering a return fare of US$206 nett to mark the start of the improved frequency. Regular fares, excluding surcharges and taxes, will start from US$279. Meanwhile, Malaysia's move to stop issuing visa-on-arrival (VOA) to tourists from seven countries, including Myanmar, from August 15 is believed to have no impact on Myanmar travellers, said an officer at the Malaysian embassy in Yangon.

He explained that the majority of Myanmar travellers preferred to arrange their visa in advance at the embassy as it is cheaper. VOA at Kuala Lumpur Airport costs RM100 (US$31.40) while a visa obtained from the embassy in Yangon is US$6.

Source : TTG
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Ramadan Bazaar Draws Tourists From West Asia, Europe

Malaysia is offering the fasting month of Ramadan and Ramadan Bazaar to be shared with the world as tourism products, said Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

"That is why we have been inviting foreign tourists to be with us during Ramadan. For example, this afternoon we have visitors from the United Kingdom, France, Iran, Japan and India," she told reporters after opening a Ramadan bazaar outside Kampung Baru Jamek Mosque here Saturday.

She said from this year until 2015, Ramadan would fall in summer in West Asian countries and Pakistan and sweltering heat would prompt the rich to travel and Malaysia could be their preferred destination.

"We are also collaborating with local authorities such as the Kuala Lumpur City Hall to encourage selected shopping complexes to stay open longer for sahur (predawn meal) at its food courts and shopping," she added.

Ng said 50,000 Saudi Arabian, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Iranian tourists visited Malaysia in the first quarter of this year and they spent around RM7,169 each and stayed in the country for an average of 10 days.

In conjunction with the occasion, the Tourism Ministry provided an allocation to Kampung Baru Jamek Mosque to cook 100 pots of "bubur lambuk" (rice porridge) for 25,000 people while 51 Rumah Sinar Salam inmates were presented with Aidilfitri aid.

Source : bernama
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

AirAsia Achieves World Record By Selling 500,000 Seats In 24 Hours

AirAsia Bhd has achieved a world record by selling more than 500,000 seats on the first day of its "Mind Blowing Fare" campaign.

The leading budget airline said it had sold a record-breaking 538,000 seats on the first day of the campaign, which offered RM1 airfare for domestic and international flights.

The ongoing "Mind Blowing Fare" promotion offers RM1 for bookings made from August 10 to 15, 2010, for travel between April 1 and August 11, 2011.

The promotion is available exclusively at and

AirAsia also recorded its highest number of seat sales in an hour by selling 36,871 seats, a 47.5 per cent increase from the previous record of 25,000 seats.

In a statement today, the airline said the "Mind Blowing Fare" campaign was the first major promotion under its New Skies booking system.

Group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said the successful sale of more than half a million seats in the ongoing promotion showed that the new system was stable and able to efficiently handle massive sales volume.

He said that AirAsia's investment in the new booking engine was clearly paying off and its New Skies had revolutionised Internet bookings.

"We're happy to offer guests the opportunity to grab the special offers under our 'Mind Blowing Fare' campaign. The campaign is especially attractive with festive holidays such as Hari Raya coming up," he added.

Source : Bernama
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Friday, August 06, 2010

CDL weighs options on prime KL land

City Develop-ments Ltd of Singapore (CDL) is considering the available options, including whether to sell the 32,000 sq ft land in Jalan Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur that is owned by a wholly-owned unit of its 54% subsidiary, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc.

In a statement yesterday, CDL said the group had from time to time received indications of interest from third parties keen on the land. CDL will make further announcements as appropriate if and when any agreement has been entered into for the sale of the subject site,” it said.

CDL’s Malaysian unit, City Developments Sdn Bhd, had earlier planned to build a 42-storey high-end serviced apartment project, Millennium Residence, comprising 135 one-, two- and three-bedroom units on the site.

It was initially planned for launch in the first half of 2008 but the project has been delayed several times due to the soft market for high-end condominiums around the KLCC area. The parcel is located between the Grand Millennium Hotel and the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur shopping centre.

CDL, which is owned by Singapore tycoon Kwek Leng Beng, owns the Grand Millennium Hotel.

A local daily had on Wednesday reported that the selling price for the land was being negotiated for more than RM3,000 per sq ft (psf).

An analyst in a local brokerage said “if materialised, this will re-write the previous record set by Sunrise for Wisma Angkasa Raya (RM2,588psf) and recent transactions of RM2,000-RM2,200psf for landbank around the KLCC area.”

Commenting on the possible sale of the land, a real estate consultant said land around KLCC was getting scarce and although the market was still quite soft, companies with deep pockets were still on the lookout for strategic land.

“The successful bidder may have to hold the land for a while until the market gets better if it intends to build a residential project there,” he told StarBiz.

Source : STAR
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Doubletree Opens Its Doors 5 August 2010

The much-awaited Doubletree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, which underwent a multi-million dollar renovation one year ago, opened for business Thursday.

The former Crown Princess Hotel, which has been refurbished into a stylish, upscale and full-service hotel, has begun receiving guests.

General Manager Ian Barrow said several visitors have checked in Thursday while a group of visitors from Singapore would check in Thursday night.

He told reporters here Thursday the Hilton hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Kuching and Batang Ai were performing well and the new Doubletree was set to record similar growth.

Managed by Hilton Worldwide, the hotel is owned by MGPA Asia Fund 2, and is part of an integrated property comprising a retail podium and office tower called The Intermark.

Doubletree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur features five food and beverage outlets including an all-day dining outlet, coffee shop, wine bar, nightclub, health club and saltwater swimming pool.

It also houses comprehensive conference and event facilities.

To attract more visitors, he said Doubletree was offering a promotional two night stay, for the price of one, starting from RM380.

"It is exciting to see the brand introduced for the first time in Southeast Asia, further expanding our current reach to 230 locations in 11 countries across five continents," Hilton Worldwide Global Head Doubletree Brand Rob Palleschi said.

The popular international chain was also in serious negotiations with a developer in Bangkok, Jakarta and Manila to further expand its markets in the region.

"It has been one of the fastest growing upscale hotel brands, globally, and we want to have a hotel in each major and second town," he added

Source : Bernama
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Dynasty, Empress hotels to be sold

Gula Perak Bhd's wholly-owned units, Dynawell Corp (M) Sdn Bhd and KSB Requirements & Rest Sdn Bhd, will dispose of their hotels, The Dynasty Hotel Kuala Lumpur and The Empress Hotel, Sepang to Time Glory Investment Ltd for RM193.9 million cash.

Source : BTimes
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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

China's tourist arrivals in Malaysia rise 28%

China's tourist arrivals in Malaysia surged 28 percent in the first half of 2010, a visiting Chinese official said here on Tuesday.

To date, tourist arrivals between China and Malaysia have reached two million a year, and the number was expected to hit four million after some years, Shao Qiwei, director of China National Tourism Administration said.

Shao, who arrived here leading a Chinese delegation, met Malaysian Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen on Tuesday.

At the joint press conference, Shao said that the Chinese government encouraged Chinese nationals to not only visit but also to invest in Malaysia.

He said that China was willing to cooperate with Malaysia and other ASEAN countries to explore the vast potentials in the cruises travel sector.

According to Shao, the largest cruise in the world that can accommodate six thousand travelers have hired 4,000 employees on board, implying that the sector can ease the problem of unemployment.

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Malaysia To Attract 36 Million Tourists By 2020

Malaysia is targeting to achieve 36 million tourist arrivals and RM168 billion in tourism receipts by 2020, said Tourism Deputy Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit.

He said the ministry had drawn up strategies to build density, develop clusters and high-value sectors in the industry.

Events such as the Genting Trailblazer, organised by Genting Malaysia Bhd, would befit the ministry's marketing efforts to strongly promote Malaysia's nature-based products and activities to a growing number of environmentally-conscious travellers, he said.

"As one of the 12 mega-biodiversity country in the World, Malaysia has a huge potential to use these resources in a sustainable manner for wealth creation," he told a press conference after launching the Genting Trailblazer 2010, here Tuesday.

In this regard, Dawos highlighted that sports and adventure tourism events such as the Genting Trailblazer could be developed into high-value products that had great potentials in contributing significantly towards the growth of the tourism industry.

Meanwhile, Senior Vice President Public Relations and Communications of Genting Malaysia Bhd Datuk Anthony Yeo said, the sixth edition of Genting Trailblazer came with an eco-friendly theme to promote a green mindset to preserve the local natural environment, specifically for the rainforest.

The event themed "An eco run in a million-year-old rainforest" showed that the group was keen to showcase the wonderful bio-diversity and splendour of the world's oldest rainforest surrounding Awana Genting Highlands, he said.

"Trailblazer is committed to the environment, echoing the Ministry's call for 1Malaysia Green, 1Malaysia Clean campaign.

"We will be working hand-in-hand with Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) to further promote the love of nature and minimal disruption to the environment, and also to promote 'Zero Waste' to deter the public from littering and to reuse available resources," he added.

The two-day event to be held from Oct 30 is now open for online registration at or email to until Sept 30.

Source : bernama
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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Strong Recovery in Southeast Asia

The ASEAN Hotel Review launched in May 2010 is the latest sub-regional report from STR Global, the leading provider of market information to the global hotel industry. The monthly report compiles year-to-date and current month hotel performance information for Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam within the economic, social and cultural bloc of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The report details nationwide performance for the six countries plus details on 11 key destinations.

Hotel Performance for the year to June 2010 versus YTD 2009 (US$)


















Kuala Lumpur


















Chiang Mai




Hua Hin













Ho Chi Minh




Source: STR Global

The overwhelming message in the above table is a region in the midst of a strong recovery. All markets in the report showed positive growth in revenue per available room (RevPAR) for the year-to-date June 2010, even if the comparison with the same period for 2009 needs to be tempered by the weak performance of last year.

The ASEAN Hotel Review shows that the affect of the on-going political crisis in Thailand has not significantly affected the hotel performance of the Thai coastal resorts of Hua Hin and Phuket. Conversely, the hotel market of the resort island of Bali underperforms in RevPAR growth when compared to the Indonesian destinations of Jakarta and Bandung, the West Java provincial capital. Nevertheless, Bali still records the highest actual occupancy (71 percent) and ADR (US$121) compared to the other Indonesian destinations for the first six months this year.

Singapore shows promising signs of recovery with occupancy improvements pulling up ADR. The newly opened Marina Bay Sands resort, which will have 2,500 rooms when completed, includes a casino and plenty of meeting space that provide an additional attraction and conference space to the city state. In Vietnam, the least established hotel market of the countries sampled, strong year-to-date occupancy growth results in steady improvements in RevPAR in spite of weak ADR changes.

The strength of long-term investor confidence in the region is indicated by the results of our separate Pipeline Report available from STR Global. The hotels in construction, final planning and planning are seen, by country, in the chart below with Thailand dominating development followed by Indonesia and Vietnam.

Source : STR
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Ipad Gets into Hotel Concierge Business

Is there anything Steve Jobs can't do? Not content to just woo us with iPads in hotel rooms, Apple is said to be looking into the hotel service industry in a much more direct way.

According to tech blog reports, Apple has filed patent applications for a few travel and shopping apps, one specifically designed to provide hotel amenities and services.

As CNET summed it up, "It also would appear to put some hotel concierges out of work."

With the ability to handle check ins and check outs, as well as room-service and movie orders, the hypothetical app would also let guests make local restaurant reservations, or source tickets to a local play.

We've heard this promise before—Eventi is one hotel rumored to be introducing a similar service-oriented iPhone app—but for the most part hotel apps are still offering more basic services like initial booking, maps and local tips.

The big deal about having Apple create their own app is of course that it would be more widely available to hotels. They wouldn't have to spend quite so much on designing their own software, and could focus on the range and quality of services to offer via the app.

We hate to say it, Mr. and Ms. Concierge—but if we were you, we'd be shaking in our well-shod boots right about now ...

Source : HotelChatter
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Monday, August 02, 2010

More South Koreans To Visit Malaysia With AirAsia X Daily Flights

Malaysia will receive more tourists from South Korea when budget long haul airline AirAsia X operates daily Seoul-Kuala Lumpur flights starting November.

Tourism Malaysia deputy director Said Zulkifli Said Ahmad said flights between Incheon International Airport (IIA) and KL International Airport (KLIA) will be launched in Seoul on Aug 2.

He said the Kuala Lumpur-Seoul daily flights would increase South Korean tourist arrivals to Malaysia to 300,000 compared to 250,000 last year.

"Tourism Malaysia will campaign hard as South Koreans usually travel during the winter months of November until February," he told Malaysian reporters at his Seoul office in Hansung Building here Friday.

Korean tourists who comprise mostly golfers, environmentalists and scuba divers love to visit Malaysia as the country has a lot of destinations to offer.

"They love Sabah for the many golf courses, rich marine life and the protected environment."

Tourism Malaysia is promoting the country via Korea Travel Fair (KOTFA), Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, Malaysian Food Festival and Busan Travel Fair.

Said Zulkifli said about 500 South Korean families had joined the MM2H programme. Some 90,000 Malaysians visited South Korea annually.

Malaysians captivated by TV series 'Winter Sonata' and 'Autumn In My Heart' usually visit Seoul Tower and shop at Itae Won, Dong Dae Mun and Nam Dae Mun.

He said Malaysia could market TV series to Korea now that the novel `Nyawa di Hujung Pedang' had been translated into Korean language.

The novel written by Ahmad Murad Nasaruddin was launched by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during his visit to South Korea which ended yesterday.

Source : Bernama
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35pc of Malaysia tourism income from shopping by 2020

The Tourism Ministry is targeting to achieve35 per cent of income generated by the tourism industry from shopping activities by the year 2020, said its deputy minister, Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit, here.

He said more aggressive efforts were needed from entrepreneurs in thetourism industry, including owners of shopping outlets, by intensifying promotion outside the country to turn Malaysia into a leading shopping destination regionally and internationally.

"Currently, Singapore and Hong Kong are still among the favourite shopping destinations for tourists recording 35 per cent of their tourism income, withHong Kong recording almost 55 per cent, and we want to achieve the 35 per centmark by 2020," he said at the launching the Sarawak level of the Malaysian Mega Cheap Sale Carnival 2020, at the Sarawak Plaza shopping centre, here today.

He said that in terms of income generated by the tourism industry last year,28.3 per cent or RM15.11 billion of the RM53.4 billion overall income came from shopping while 31.1 per cent came from accommodation and 17.4 per cent from food and beverage.

The Mega Sale attracted 6.3 million tourists which was an increase of 12.4per cent compared to the figure recorded in 2008, where Malaysia only received5.37 million tourists, he added.

Source : NST
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