Friday, October 01, 2010

Malaysia Top Choice Of Affluent Travellers From Singapore, US And UK

Singapore, the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) emerged as the top tourism source market for affluent travellers considering visiting Malaysia in the next two years.

This was revealed by the Visa-Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Asia Pacific Travel Intentions Survey 2010 conducted online in May which asked 6,714 respondents from 13 key Asia-Pacific travel source markets including Hong Kong, New Zealand and South Korea about past and future travel plans.

Visa Malaysia Country Manager Stuart Tomlinson said among affluent travelers looking to head to Malaysia, 22 pe rcent were from Singapore, 17 per cent from the US and 16 per cent from the UK.

"This fact marks a bright spot for the (tourism) industry. Malaysia is blessed with a unique blend of culture and heritage, great food and dining, important historical sites and some of the best natural sceneries in the world," he said in a statement distributed during the one-day National Tourism Seminar 2010 "Tourism Futures:Evolving Towards High Income Tourism" organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) here Thursday.

The seminar was opened by Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

Tomlinson said the survey's findings highlight the ministry's fine work in promoting Malaysia as a unique travel destination. "Visa is committed to supporting Malaysia's ambitions to draw more affluent travellers to the country and we will work with the Tourism Ministry to help attract this segment," he said.

He said the survey also revealed the profile of this affluent traveller groups with most of them in it being professionals, managers, executive or businessmen, aged 40 years old and married. They are most attracted to destinations with natural sceneries (88 percent), new places (82 percent), good food (81 percent), sunshine and beaches and good weather (80 percent), he said.

Tomlinson said 34 per cent of the affluent respondents also said they were attracted to destinations with outdoor sports and activities with golf (33 per cent) positioned at the top of the list. "For those who have previously visited Malaysia, 69 per cent of respondents said they would be drawn to visit again due to the good food and dining," he added.

Source : Bernama

It's duty-free at Tasik Kenyir

Tasik Kenyir has been accorded duty-free status, joining the ranks of the islands of Labuan, Langkawi and Tioman.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said said the state government's application for duty-free status had been approved by the Finance Ministry, which had informed them of the decision last week. He said with this, the largest man-made lake in Southeast Asia would now be developed as a premier eco-tourism destination.

Ahmad, since taking over as menteri besar two years ago, has been aggressively promoting Tasik Kenyir as an alternative to Terengganu's famed Perhentian, Redang and Kapas islands.
Ahmad thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for approving the state's request. "We reapplied for the duty-free status some four months ago and I've been trying to convince the prime minister since then that Kenyir has the potential to be a top tourist destination."

Kenyir was created in 1985 by the damming of Sungai Kenyir to create the Sultan Mahmud Power Station. The lake covers 260 sq km and contains 340 small islands, once the tops of hills and highlands, more than 14 waterfalls, numerous rapids and rivers.

However, other than fishing enthusiasts and nature lovers, the area had not been aggressively promoted until the past few years.

Ahmad said plans for a duty-free complex, to be situated in Pulau Bayas, would begin soon and was expected to be completed next year. The state government has already set aside an initial budget of RM100 million for basic infrastructure and amenities such as electricity supply, communications and jetties.

The integrated development plan include the development of five-star, four-star and three-star resorts on some of the 340 islands in Kenyir. Others include a cable car ride from Pengkalan Gawi, houseboat cruises, water theme parks and golf courses. All these were expected to be operational by April 2012, said Ahmad.

"Kenyir has been neglected for almost 30 years. It is time the people got to know of its natural wonder. Making Kenyir duty-free will help boost tourist arrivals and receipts,"

Terengganu recorded almost 3.5 million tourist arrivals for the past two years, although many head to the islands, which the state government fear would end up damaging their precious coral reefs. This has forced the state government to only allow luxury resorts on the islands in the future, and to promote other nature-based destinations such as Kenyir.

Source : NST




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