Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Smart phone apps to guide tourists in Malacca
MALACCA: The state government has introduced a smart phone application known as “Destination Melaka” to guide tourists visiting the state.
Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Harun said the application provided various information including tourism destinations, interesting food outlets and list of hotels with the aid of the Global Positioning System (GPS).
He said the application was developed by Malacca Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) and the Malacca Tourism Promotion Division to promote more widely tourism destinations in the state, especially to foreign tourists.
“All data related to tourism programme, activity and destination in the state will be upgraded by Tourism Malacca from time to time. We received information the application can be downloaded for free via Google Apps.
“Very encouraging responses were received from Android smart phone users especially in Brazil, London and the United States,” he said ata media conference after chairing a state executive council meeting here recently.
TM Malacca general manager Datuk Rozlan Mohamed said the application which was expected to be able to be downloaded by iOS smart phones in February would also provide emergency calls to the police, ambulance, Fire and Rescue Department and the embassies if the tourists needed help.
“We target the application to be downloaded to 50,000 Android and iOS users in the first six months of this year. The features of the application will be improved from time to time,” he said.
The Minister of Tourism and Culture Malaysia Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz is leading a delegation to promote the country’s tourism offerings and tour packages at the 36th World Travel Market (WTM) London. The four-day business-to-business exhibition for the global travel and tourism industry begins today at ExCel, Docklands.
The Malaysian delegation is comprised of 84 members from 44 organisations, including travel agents, hotels, and airlines, as well as state tourism agencies, namely Tourism Promotional Division Melaka. Tourism Perak, Pesona Terengganu, Penang Global Tourism, Sabah Tourism Board, Sarawak Tourism Board, Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) and Putrajaya Cooperation. The Malaysian delegation will take advantage of this excellent platform to reach out to industry players, media, and travellers here.
WTM 2015 marks the 32nd year of Tourism Malaysia’s participation in the prestigious event since it began in 1983, which reflects the country’s commitment in attracting more travellers from London and Europe to its shores. The event, deemed the most important travel fair in the European market, is the main platform for Malaysia to promote its tourism offerings and introduce its new and upcoming tourist attractions to British and European travellers.
Through its participation in the event, Tourism Malaysia aims to raise and maintain Malaysia’s image as a top tourism destination in the region, besides strengthening its promotional efforts in UK, particularly London. It will also meet and forge closer relationship with industry players from UK and Europe to get their support to sell packages to Malaysia.
Earlier today, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri launched a Taxi Wrap Campaign as part of Tourism Malaysia’s promotional efforts in conjunction with WTM 2015. Throughout November, a total of 80 taxis in London are wrapped with visuals of the country’s attractions, such as culture, nature, and beach.
Besides that, the Tourism Culture Minister is scheduled to attend the “UNWTO WTM Minister’s Summit 2015” on 3 November to share Malaysia’s tourism experience through a panel discussion on “Destination Branding: New Challenges in a Changing Market”.
In the evening, Tourism Malaysia will be hosting a cocktail reception at Malaysia Pavilion to thank the industry players in UK and Europe for their support, as well as to network and forge a closer relationship with them.
To ensure the continuous growth of arrivals from UK and Europe, the participation of Tourism Malaysia in this event will strengthen the relationship and increase cooperation with British and European industry players and media to ensure a high awareness and market presence of Malaysia.
A total of 445,789 British tourists visited Malaysia in 2014 compared to 413,472 tourists in 2013, signifying a 7.8% increase.
London, the city of the Tower Bridge (with a new glass walkway), drinks as dinner, royal babies and the world’s greatest tabloid headline writers, is forecast to be the most popular travel destination of 2015. Can’t say we’re surprised. MasterCard has just released its annual travel study, the Global Destination Cities Index, ranking 132 destination cities around the world in terms of total international overnight visitor arrivals and cross-border spending.
London came first in the study for the second year in a row. Bangkok lost its first place ranking in 2013, largely due to political unrest. But the report suggests that the Thai capital is showing signs of recovery and closing the gap with London. London will welcome 18.82 million overnight visitors in 2015 whereas Bangkok will receive 18.24 million. Not only will London have the most travelers, it’s estimated to see the most visitor spending, at $20.23 billion in 2015.
New York came second in visitor spending at $17.37 billion. Paris followed with $16.61 billion. London and Bangkok have taken the top two spots in the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index for the last five years. “This is an impressive achievement and it is similar qualities that have kept them both at the top,” said Eric Schneider, group head of MasterCard Advisors, Asia-Pacific. Despite their size, they are both relatively easy to navigate for a tourist, and even in Bangkok, English is often all you need to get around.
“Food and culture are also available in abundance. Finally, it’s the unique and seemingly limitless heritage, from temples to palaces in Bangkok or churches and castles in London, that keep enticing tourists to make the trip.”
Asia dominates, but lacks diversity. The ranking is heavily tilted toward Asia. Of the top 10 destinations, five are in Asia: Bangkok (no. 2), Singapore (no. 7), Kuala Lumpur (no. 8), Seoul (no. 9) and Hong Kong (no.10).
“Against a background of generally weak global economic growth and anemic pace of exports, a vibrant tourism sector is providing a powerful boost to income and job creation in Asia-Pacific,” said Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, chief economist and chair of the Academic Advisory Council at the MasterCard Center.
The report points out a lack of diversity in the source of tourism arrivals for some Asian cities. The top five visitor groups coming to Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for example, are all from the Asia-Pacific region.
Istanbul has the most diverse visitors, with half of its inbound tourists coming from 33 different countries. Diversifying sources of visitors means a higher resilience against long term economic instability, according to the report.
Among the 10 fastest growing cities in the world (based on data gathered over the last six years), seven are in Asia. Sri Lanka’s capital city of Colombo is first in growth with a staggering 21% surge, with Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province, following in second.
Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, ranked third in terms of growth; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, placed fifth.
Lima, Peru, is the wold’s ninth-fastest growing city, and the fastest growing city in South America.
Houston is the fastest growing city in North America since 2009 and is the only city in the United States to register double-digit growth over that period.
Top 10 destination cities for 2015 (by projected visitor arrivals)
1. London 18.82 million
2. Bangkok 18.24 million
3. Paris 16.06 million
4. Dubai, UAE 14.26 million
5. Istanbul 12.56 million
6. New York 12.27 million
7. Singapore 11.88 million 8. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 11.12 million
9. Seoul 10.35 million
10. Hong Kong 8.66 million
Top 10 cities for international overnight visitor spend for 2015
1 London $20.23 billion
2 New York $17.37 billion
3 Paris $16.61 billion
4 Seoul $15.24 billion
5 Singapore $14.65 billion
6 Barcelona, Spain $13.86 billion
7 Bangkok $12.36 billion 8 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia $12.02 billion
9 Dubai, UAE $11.68 billion
10 Istanbul $9.37 billion
Fastest growing tourist cities
1. Colombo, Sri Lanka 21.1%
2. Chengdu, China 20.7%
3. Abu Dhabi, UAE 20.4%
4. Osaka, Japan 19.8%
5. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 18.0%
6. Xi An, China 16.2%
7. Taipei, Taiwan 14.9%
8. Tokyo 14.6%
9. Lima, Peru 13.9%
10. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 12.9%