Thursday, December 18, 2014

Nazri To Propose More Liberal Visa Regime For Chinese Tourists

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 (Bernama) -- Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said he would propose to the Cabinet to ease restrictions on the issuance of visa to tourists from China.

He said other Asean countries had adopted a more liberal approach in granting visas to foreign visitors.

Yesterday, Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents (Matta) president Hamzah Rahmat stated in an online news portal that the country would be losing out if the Home Ministry maintained the stringent regulations on Chinese visitors. "What Matta had suggested is relevant and appropriate.

So I agree that our visa regime be slightly liberalised because actually, Asean countries such as Thailand and Indonesia, Laos and Cambodia have already adopted a liberal approach in this regard," he told reporters. He said this after launching the 'Treasures from the Summer Palace' exhibition at Muzium Negara here today.

The Home Ministry recently stopped the issuance of Visa-on-Arrival to China, which is regarded as a hotspot for human trafficking, similarly, India and Iraq.

According to him, Malaysia is targeting a visitor arrival of 29.4 million next year, an increase of 1.4 million. "I believe a large number of this 1.4 million are potential Chinese tourists who did not visit our country this year," he said.

Meanwhile, the public exhibition, starting today until March 3, is held in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of Malaysia and China's diplomatic relations. The exhibition showcases 84 selected collections on Emperor Qianlong's Summer Palace in Beijing China, and Malaysia is the first country to display the collection.

-bernama.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Labuan Showcases 10 Programs To Lure Tourists Next Year

www.labuantourism.com
LABUAN, Dec 17 (Bernama) -- With the ending of Visit Malaysia Year 2014, Labuan has prepared a new tourism campaign in conjunction with the Malaysia Year of Festivals 2015 (MyFest 2015), with 10 programs lined up on the year-round calendar events.

The year-long calendar offers related to cultural festivals, arts and music showcases, food promotions, shopping, and sports.

Events will include the Lawn Bowling Competition and Federal Territory Day each in February, Labuan Water Festival and Labuan Fest in April, Labuan Duathlon Challenge in August, Borneo Art Festival in September, National Language Month Festival and Labuan People Theater Festival to be held in October and Remembrance Day Ceremony in November.

Labuan Corporation Tourism Department director Mahathir Abd Hamid said the various events would be promoted to domestic and foreign travel consultants through various channels and advertisements, and with the cooperation of local and national media.

"These events were chosen for their uniqueness and for their presentation of the colorful culture and traditions of the ethnic communities. These festivals can contribute positively to the local economy, besides strengthening the social bond among the people of different races," he said.

He said the campaign for the events is expected to help Labuan secure the target of at least one million tourist arrivals, generate income and economic activities to the island.

"We are targeting an increase of seven per cent of the one million achieved in 2013. There are many unique festivals, events and enjoyable things to do in Labuan. All of the main national events are also celebrated on the island, and it has many of its own gatherings that highlight the island's unique culture.

In line with national iconic brand, 'Malaysia Truly Asia', Labuan's unique selling point is not only the rich cultural and heritage diversity but also the harmony, stability and warmth of the people's hospitality.

He said the many tourism landscapes, abundance of biodiversity and unique blend of cultural heritage, cuisine, arts, crafts and architecture, have always put Labuan on the map as a must-visit destination.

"Labuan is banking on 10 programs to lure tourists and visitors to visit the island all year round. We have embarked on strategic partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. This partnership will allow us to showcase the best of what we have to offer during the MyFest 2015.

-bernama.

Christmas Feasts @ Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur

-Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

Visit Penang Year 2015: my Penang 2015 ‘Where the Festivities Never End’


What governs Penang’s uniqueness is mainly the multi-racial communities that have been residing in this Malaysian state for three generations, if not more. With them come the myriad flavours that have catapulted Penang into being one of the best food cities in the world. Although, Penang is much more than just exotic flavours that can make your taste buds dance. Prettily framing this, due to the multi-cultural factor, are the colourful and immensely memorable festivals that happen all year around in Penang. 

Due to this, 2015 has been announced as Visit Penang Year. This is when the state will showcase all the festivals – including religious, cultural and arts – that happen each month of the year in Penang. 

Most will already know of the acrobatic lion dances that happen on Penang’s streets during Chinese New Year in February, the intricate weaving of ketupat during Hari Raya Aidilfitri in July and the unbelievable body piercings that are on display during Thaipusam. However, there are also the more gentle stirrings of sweet rice in round pots over open fire during Ponggal in January and the twice a year stamina-testing sport of the Dragon Boat Festival that attracts teams from all over the world. 

Besides these, home-grown arts festivals unique to Penang such as the month-long George Town Festival and the long-running Penang Island Jazz Festival are quickly becoming a sole reason for global travellers to descend on this state around August and December, respectively.   

Truly, Penang is where the festivities never end and in this year of festivals, the Fabulous February Fiesta sees Thaipusam, the Hot Air Balloon festival where visitors are able to experience hovering above solid ground along with the already robust Chinese New Year celebrations and Tropfest SEA festival that showcases original short films.  

Then in May, the awesome Penang Anime Matsuri Summer Party is set to be a magnet for fans of this genre from all over the region. 

Another thing to watch out for throughout the year is the Last Friday, Saturday and Sunday or LFSS programme that happens each month in George Town. Here’s when cultural shows, music performances in Penang Botanic Gardens and interesting walkabout tours happen and most of them are free! 

So, through January to December of 2015 we look forward to welcoming you with a colourful, if not an unforgettable festival. Penang’s truly ‘Where the Festivities Never End’. 

For more updates, please log onto mypenang.gov.my/vpy 

Festivals of Penang 2015 

January 
- 16th: Ponggal  

February 
- 1st: Tropfest Southeast Asia 
- 3rd: Thaipusam 
- 19th & 20th: Chinese New Year 
- 21st & 22nd: Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 
- 26th: Hokkien New Year  

March 
- 5th: Chap Goh Meh  
- 7th: Penang Yosakoi  

April 
- 11th & 12th: Penang World Music Festival 
- 13th: Songkran Festival  

May 
- 23rd & 24th: Penang Anime Matsuri Summer Party 

June 
- 1st June to 31st July: Penang Durian Festival 
- 1st: Wesak Day 
- 6th & 7th: Penang International Dragon Boat Festival 
- 14th: Penang Bridge Half Marathon  

July 
- 7th: George Town World Heritage Day 
- 18th & 19th: Hari Raya Aidilfitri 
- 25th: Penang Bon Odori 
- 26th: St Anne’s Festival  

August 
- 1st to 31st: George Town Festival 
- 31st: Merdeka Parade 


September 
- 12th & 13th: Malaysia International Lion Dance on Stilts Competition 
- 16th: Malaysia Day 
- 27th: Mid-Autumn Festival 
- 23rd: Hari Raya Haji 

October 
- 13th to 21st: Nine Emperor Gods Festival 
- 14th: Awal Muharram 

November 
- 11th: Deepavali 
- 22nd: Penang Bridge International Marathon 
- 27th to 29th: George Town Literary Festival 
- 30th Nov to 2nd Dec: The In- between Arts Festival 

December 
- 3rd to 6th: Penang Island Jazz Festival 
- 13th: Penang Pesta Chingay Parade 
- 25th: Christmas 

-Penang Global Tourism.

Malindo adds Kathmandu to network


Malindo Air is commencing daily direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu from February 6 next year.

Flights will depart Kuala Lumpur at 19.05 and touch down at Tribhuvan International Airport at 21.30 local time. Return flights leave Kathmandu at 22.20 and arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 05.15 the next day. Boeing 737NG aircraft will be deployed on this service.

Malindo Air CEO, Chandran Rama Muthy, said in a statement that response to the carrier’s new service to Singapore and Bangkok has been strong, and a new Bandung service will begin on December 19.

He commented: “With route expansion into Kathmandu, we are optimistic of capturing a bigger market to further enhance our network and brand. This is indeed very encouraging development for Malindo Air.

“We have ambitious plans for 2015 where we will look at aggressively expanding our brand presence in the region. We will also be introducing strategies to increase ancillary income as well throughout 2015.” “With oil prices lowering we’re forecasting a booming year for the aviation sector,” he predicted.

Ticket sales on the Kuala Lumpur-Kathmandu route are now open for booking. One-way economy class fares start from RM399 (US$114) and RM649 for business class, for a limited time.

Besides aggressively expanding into new destinations, Malindo last month launched a travel portal offering travel deals to more than 30 destinations.
-TTG Asia.

Cuti-cuti 1Malaysia Bike Ride @ Putrajaya 2014 ( 20 December 2014 )


-Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Bike Ride facebook.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

AirAsia X orders 55 A330neos


The longhaul arm of Asian LCC giant, AirAsia X, has firmed up an MoU signed at Farnborough Air Show last July and placed an order for five more aircraft, for a total of 55 Airbus A330neos.

This is the single largest order for the A330 model to date.

In a statement to the press, co-founder and director of AirAsia X, Tony Fernandes, said that the deal allows the airline to consolidate growth rate in 2015-2017 before the delivery of the new aircraft.

“The A330 has proven itself to be exactly the right aircraft for our business model as part of our continuous efforts to drive cost down. With the new fuel efficiency, its engine will allow us to optimise utilisation while flying to new long-range destinations,” said Fernandes.

Deliveries of AirAsia X’s A330neos will begin in 2018.
-TTG Asia.

Westwood to defend Malaysia Open golf title in February

English golfer Lee Westwood with the Thailand golf championship trophy after winning the tournament on Sunday. - EPA

PETALING JAYA: Three-time European Tour Golfer of the Year Lee Westwood has confirmed his title defence at the US$3mil (RM10.5mil) Maybank Malaysian Open at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) from Feb 5-8.
The 41-year-old Englishman, who is one of a few golfers to win on every continent in the world, will certainly fancy his chances for further success in Asia. On Sunday, he captured the Thailand Golf Championship for his 14th triumph in Asia and 41st overall.
Malaysia, in particular, is one of Westwood’s favourite hunting grounds. He also won the 1997 Malaysian Open. In April this year, Westwood triumphed again in Kuala Lumpur to put an end to his two-year title drought. He did it in style by romping to a seven-shot victory at the KLGCC.
“You have to play really well to win any tournament by seven shots. I played really nicely that week and didn’t make many mistakes, which was key to my victory,” said the former world No.1, who made his Malaysian Open debut in 1995. “If I can stay solid from tee to green, I don’t see why I can’t be in contention again.”
Frenchman Victor Dubuisson will be joining Westwood at the Asian Tour and European Tour co-sanctioned event. The 24-year-old rising star is known for his short game brilliance that prompted many to hail him as the new Seve Ballesteros.
Dubuisson rose to fame following his stunning victory at the Turkish Airlines Open late last year. He has been consistently finishing in the top five this year, including joint second at the season-ending World Tour Championship last month.
Besides Westwood and Dubuisson, Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and European Ryder Cup winning captain Paul McGinley have also confirmed their participation.
-thestar online.

Zaqhwan crowned SuperSport champ in season finale

Zaqhwan Zaidi after winning the SuperSports 600cc title of the Petronas Asia Road Racing Championship at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Zaqhwan Zaidi snatched the overall SuperSports 600cc crown from the grasp of Japanese duo Katsuaki Fujiwara and Yuki Ito to become the youngest rider to win the premier class in a thrilling Petronas Asia Road Racing Championship season finale at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.
The Musashi Boon Siew Honda Racing rider was third in the standings, trailing leader Fujiwara by 22 points heading into Sunday’s final round. But the 19-year-old Zaqhwan finished second in Race 1 and then went on to win Race 2 to emerge overall champion.
In an intense battle, Zamri Baba aced Race 1 in 31:37.305 followed by Zaqhwan (31:37.371) and Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki’s Yudhistira (31:37.529).
Oozing with confidence, Zaqhwan signed off the season by wrapping up the gruelling 15-lap Race 2 in 31:24.717 ahead of Yuki (31:25.097). The 31-year-old Zamri finished third in 31:25.119.
Fujiwara, representing BEET Kawasaki Racing, missed out on his second overall title after he finished both races outside the top 10 due to his bike’s front-end suspension problems.
Zaqhwan is only the third Malaysian to win the premier class title after Chia Tuck Cheong (2001) and Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (2013). Zaqhwan ended the season with 170 points, just one ahead of Hong Leong Yamaha’s Ito. Fujiwara was third with a 155 total.
“You dream about being champion and dedicate your whole life to it, so when it comes true it is very special and amazing! I’m just really happy to make my country proud,” said an emotional Zaqhwan after the race.
“We did not expect to win because this is only my third year racing in the premier class. But when we saw Ito and Fujiwara finish outside the top five in Race 1, it became clear we actually stood a chance.
“Zamri and I then cooked up a strategy together.
“I owe my win to Zamri. Without him holding Yuki and the rest of the field back, it would have been impossible to win. I would also like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to the team, sponsors, family, friends and fans for believing and supporting me all this while,” added Zaqhwan.
In the battle for the Asian Underbone 130cc overall title, Gupita Kresna emerged champion with 176 points.
The Indonesian started on pole in Race 1 but could only finish 13th after a collision with Kazuki Masaki of Team Honda RSC on the front straight in the final lap. Both riders escaped the crash uninjured and Gupita was forced to push his Kawasaki to the finish line.
Indonesian Reza Fahlevy of Faito Factory Racing won in 18:04.320 followed by Ahmad Fazrul Sham (18:04.330) and Rusman Fadil (18:04.338).
Gupita was undeterred by the earlier crash and went on to win Race 2 in 18:04.860, 0.118 seconds ahead of Ahmad Fazrul.
-thestar online.

Monday, December 15, 2014

TIOMAN SurFestival 2015 @ Tioman Island, Malaysia ( 29~31 January 2015 )

-Tioman Boardriders facebook.

Sapphire Princess Makes Maiden Call To Port Klang


KLANG, 14 December 2014: Tourism Malaysia, along with the media and cultural troupe, gave a warm welcome reception to 2200 passengers and 715 crew members from the British cruise ship Sapphire Princess, which made her maiden call today to Port Klang Cruise Centre (PKCC), Pulau Indah.

The cruise ship is on a 4-day Southeast Asia tour, starting from the cruise terminal in Klang today and will proceed to Penang (Malaysia), followed by Phuket (Thailand). It is scheduled to arrive at Singapore on 18 December.

The welcome reception by Tourism Malaysia is an effort under its Maiden Call programme, which is its annual activity for ships berthing for the first time in Malaysia. It’s a part of Tourism Malaysia’s efforts to promote Cruise Tourism and also to attract more ship operators to berth in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, in particular.

This programme also aims to promote tourism products in Malaysia through social media, in order to raise the awareness of the Malaysia Year of Festivals 2015 campaign.

Sapphire Princess is a cruise ship owned by Princess Cruises that entered service in 2004 as the twin sister ship of Diamond Princess. She is one of the world's largest cruise ships, with a capacity of approximately 2,670 passengers and is the sixth Gem Class ship built by Princess Cruises. Sapphire Princess was christened on 10 June 2004 in Seattle—the first cruise ship ever to be christened in that port.

The Sapphire Princess previously alternating northbound and southbound Voyage of the Glacier cruises during the summer and in the winter sails Mexico, Hawaii and California Coastal cruises. Beginning 2014, the ship sails roundtrip Asia cruises from Shanghai in the summer months, then from November through February, the ship sails roundtrip Asia cruises out of Singapore.

Over the last few years, Malaysia has seen an encouraging number of cruise ships calling at the country’s ports. Last year, a total of 359 international cruise ships called at the country’s six primary ports, namely Port Klang, Penang, Melaka, Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching, compared to 340 in 2012, registering a growth of 5.6%. For the same period, the country received 512,400 cruise passengers compared to 475,990 passengers, signifying an increase of 7.6%.

Developing cruise tourism has been outlined in the Tourism National Key Economic Area (NKEA), under its sixth Entry Point Project (EPP) – Creating a Straits Riviera Cruise Playground. In an effort to capitalise on an international cruise passenger market that has grown at an average of 14% annually in the past 10 years, this EPP will see the development of a Straits Riviera, comprising the six primary ports and other secondary ports.
-Tourism Malaysia.

Terengganu State Government To Introduce 3 Tourism Packages

KUALA TERENGGANU, Dec 13 (Bernama) -- The Terengganu state government will introduce three tourism packages next year to promote Kuala Terengganu.

State Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Jidin Shafee said the new packages are the 'Heritage Trail', 'Jejak Ulamak', and 'Food Trail'.

"For the heritage trail, tourists would be brought to visit Masjid Sultan Zainal Abidin (Masjid Putih), Istana Maziah, Bukit Puteri, Bazar Warisan, Pasar Payang and Kampung Cina," he told Bernama today.

He said tourists taking the jejak ulamak package would be brought to visit the Makam Tok Pelam in Kampung Ladang, Kota Lama Duyong, the Makam Tok Ku Paloh and Makam Tok Ku Pulau Manis in Pulau Manis, Serada.

"For the food trail, tourists will get to taste the 'nasi dagang' at Cendering, or have lunch at a number of restaurants, and take their afternoon tea at Pantai Teluk Ketapang, besides visiting local tourist spots," he said.

-bernama.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ultraman Live In Genting 2015 @ Resort World Genting, Malaysia ( 19 February ~ 29 March 2015 )

Get ready to meet your childhood superheroes as the Ultraman brothers are coming to Resorts World Genting for a performance of a lifetime. 17 crew members from the original series will be travelling all the way from Japan just to bring to you this unique live action show that is customized for the Malaysian audience.

And its not just a show. You can expect a very an exciting presentation where the children will be called upon to help with the story plot and help Ultraman vanquish those pestering monsters that appears out of nowhere. Parents and adults of all ages will also want to check out the high-tech stagecraft, well-written scenarios of their childhood heroes and enjoy the presence of such characters like “Ultraman”, “Ultra Seven”, “Ultraman Zero” and more.

And there will bet limited edition merchandizes that are only exclusive for this event and no where else. Trust us, you do not want to miss out on this occassion.



-http://www.rwgenting.com/en/entertainment/2015/ultraman/index.htm

Thursday, December 11, 2014

HBR Media To Promote Malaysia In North Asia Market

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 (Bernama) - Integrated communications and advertising company HBR Media Asia Group has been appointed by Tourism Malaysia to strategise and implement advertising activities for Eastern Russia, South Korea and Japan from 2015 to 2017.

In a statement, HBR Media's Chief Executive Officer Khairil Ahmal Hanafi said the company has noted a steady rise in tourist arrivals from the North Asia market over the past few years and is excited to help usher in more people to the country especially with the Malaysia Year of Festivals 2015 kicking off soon.

"Eastern Russia is a new market entity that was carved out from the Europe sector and is now grouped together under North Asia due to its proximity and cultural similarities to the region," he said.

The number of tourists from South Korea to Malaysia for the first seven months of this year increased by over 36 per cent from the corresponding period last year, while Japanese tourist arrivals rose by over nine per cent over the same period.

-bernama.

AirAsia lowers fares further, unveils football icon as ambassador

Exciting collaboration: Fernandes (right) presenting Park with a model of the Airbus A330 aircraft livery featuring his likeness in Seoul, South Korea.
SEOUL: AirAsia group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes has announced a further reduction in the airline’s fares.

“We will make them cheaper,” he said here yesterday after announcing football icon and former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung as AirAsia’s global ambassador.

The partnership brings together two power brands in the region, celebrated with the launch of an Airbus A330 aircraft livery featuring the South Korean star.
“South Korea is a very important market for us as we have three airlines flying into the country – AirAsia X, Thai AirAsia X and AirAsia Philippines,” he said.

AirAsia also signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Hana Tour and Mode Tour, two of South Korea’s leading travel agencies, to further diversify its distribution channels in the Korean market. With more routes to Japan, for example, Fernandes said it would open up the Korean market over the next five years.

The Airbus A330 with the exclusive Park Ji-sung livery will be operated by AirAsia X throughout its network in countries such as Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Australia, China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia. Park said it was a great honour to be appointed as AirAsia’s global ambassador and good to champion a great product.

To celebrate the appointment, AirAsia launched a limited Free Seats promotion (excluding airport tax, fuel surcharge and other applicable fees) for all direct flights from South Korea.

AirAsia X and Thai AirAsia X offer all-in fares as low as RM94 (29,900 won) to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok departing from Incheon, and Busan to Kuala Lumpur from RM75 (23,800 won).

AirAsia Philippines offers flights to Boracay, Manila and Cebu from Incheon starting at RM272 (86,400 won), and Busan to Boracay at RM256 (81,300 won).
Free seats are limited and available for booking on www.airasia.com.
-thestar online.