Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season and Happy New Year 2016. As we round up the year, here is a compilation of travel and tourism news in Malaysia for the month of December 2015 taken from various sites. Once again, we at Malaysia Travel News would like to wish all our followers, friends and partners a wonderful and happy new year 2016.
AirAsia wins three awards at the World Travel Awards 2015
Morocco, 13 December 2015 – The AirAsia group, who recently celebrated its 14th anniversary received three prestigious recognitions at the World Travel Awards, winning the ‘World’s Leading Low Cost Airline’ title for the third consecutive year and clinched the ‘World’s Leading Low Cost Airline Website’ and ‘World’s Leading Low Cost Airline App’ titles for the first time.
Aireen Omar, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Berhad represented the AirAsia Group to receive the awards at the World Travel Awards Gala 2015.
The World Travel Awards serves to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry; and is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality with over 650,000 votes casted by travel professionals and high-end tourism consumers. Full story here: http://www.airasia.com/id/en/press-releases-2015/december/airasia-wins-three-awards-at-the-world-travel-awards-2015.page
Lithium Battery-powered Transportation Devices Banned On AirAsia, Airasia X Flights
Kuala Lumpur, Dec 30 (Bernama) — All lithium battery-powered personal transportation devices are prohibited as check-in and hand baggage on all AirAsia and AirAsia X flights effective Wednesday. It includes hoverboards, Segways, mini-Segways, electronic scooters, solowheels, airwheels, balance wheels and similar equipment.
“Under certain circumstances, the carriage of battery operated wheelchairs or mobility devices might be accepted, subject to removal of the battery by guests. The maximum weight allowed for wheelchairs and mobility devices is 85kg,” said AirAsia in a statement. Guests travelling with battery operated items are encouraged to refer to AirAsia’s guideline available on www.airasia.com/ask.
More cancel Sabah trip over insurance
Kota Kinabalu: There have been low occupancies even in budget accommodation, particularly backpacker lodges, in Sabah for the year ending this month. One top operator rated by Trip Advisor revealed that occupancy rate at his hostel was below 50 per cent – on average around 40 per cent. The blame went to the perception of the State’s security where news of repeated curfew renewals by the police, although only applied to the East Coast, cast a blanket over the whole State as if a state of security siege exists.
The most common reason received by operators here was that bookings by overseas clients had to be cancelled because there was an insurance coverage problem due to some travel advisories in the past where the destination was marked in the red zone. “Some cancelled their trip booked because they could not get any insurance coverage or that their insurance company would disclaim any liability should they travel to places like Sabah,” said Wong Su Kong, a hostel operator at Mosque Valley next to Bandaran Berjaya. Full Story: http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=105515
LMNS To Study On Monument And Heritage Site In Negeri Sembilan
Seremban, Dec 27 (Bernama) — The Negeri Sembilan Museums Board (LMNS) constantly carries out studies on monuments and heritage sites in the state to ensure the historical interests could be preserved in the form of knowledge and artifact for future generations.
LMNS Museum Curator Aziz Mohd Gorop said the study involved traditional houses, colonial buildings, heritage mosques, historical sites, mausoleums and megalithic stones. “The study was done for inventory purposes and to be nominated as the state heritage. Negeri Sembilan is rich in history from the various eras,” he told Bernama here Sunday. Full Story: http://www.bernama.com/bernama/state_news/news.php?cat=ctid=1202375
Visual Art Museum Planned For Langkawi
Langkawi, Dec 29 (Bernama) — A visual art museum is being planned to be developed in Langkawi as a new tourist attraction, especially for art enthusiasts. State executive councillor in charge of Tourism, Datuk Mohd Rawi Abd Hamid said the site for the museum had been identified by the National Visual Arts Gallery board and when completed, it would feature a collection of paintings and other visual art pieces by leading artists.
“It will be another world-class destination in Langkawi soon,” he told reporters after the launching of a new product of the Langkawi Underwater World, here, today. Full Story: http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/ge/newsgeneral.php?id=1202882
George Town among top 16 ‘must-see’ destinations
The Unesco world heritage site here has been picked as one of the 16 “must-see” destinations by the Los Angeles Times. In its Boxing Day edition, the paper wrote that “George Town (population about 500,000), Penang’s main city, is a Unesco World Heritage site with a 500-year history of trading and a hotel boom in progress”. It stated that as many as 10 new hotels may open in 2016, and a bevy of cruise lines call at the port in inner George Town.
“With luck, this growth will leave intact the city’s most historic architecture and encourage its lively food scene. George Town was a British trading post from the early 19th century (hence its name) until Malaysian independence in 1957. It gives you British echoes, Malay essence, Chinese and Indian commercial traditions, scattered rickshaws and a stew of religions,” the paper added. Full story: http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2015/12/28/george-town-in-top-16-must-see-destinations/
New flight route will make HK gateway to Borneo
With the papers inked for the twice-weekly Hong Kong-Kuching-Hong Kong route starting April 2016, the local tourism has some work ahead in preparing to receive visitors from Hong Kong and Southern China. Planet Borneo Group of Companies’ director/principal consultant Gracie Geikei is happy to see that the Hong Kong-Kuching sector is back again. “This will open up markets, making Hong Kong the gateway to Borneo – if we align our tourism marketing efforts to support this,” she told The Borneo Post.
She added that the influx of tourists was very much dependent on the local tourism operators and stakeholders and how the tourism board could work with them to synergise their marketing efforts. “Engagement and execution are vital to ensure we do not miss this opportunity. There have been too many international flights coming in, only to pull out because of poor load.” Gracie opined there were tremendous opportunities for working expatriates in China to visit Sarawak. Full story: http://www.theborneopost.com/2015/12/28/new-route-will-make-hk-gateway-to-borneo/
Putrajaya expects 30.5 million tourists to contribute RM103 billion next year
Malaysia are expecting 30.5 million tourists to contribute RM103 billion in revenue to the country next year, said Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz. Nazri was confident that the target could be achieved through various programmes in the pipeline and the existing yearly events, including the festive season open house practised in Malaysia.
“The tourism industry and cultural activities is expanding at a tremendous pace with new approaches like health tourism, education and sports tourism initiatives to attract tourists to historic destinations. For the Tourism and Culture Ministry, the open house concept is not only a yearly event for Christmas and New Year but aimed at boosting the tourism industry, especially in a historical state like Malacca,” he said at a Christmas open house celebration in Bandar Hilir, Melaka. Full story: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/putrajaya-expects-30.5-million-tourists-to-contribute-rm103-billion-next-ye
Putrajaya’s indoor theme park receives five titles from Malaysia Book of Records
Putrajaya’s District 21 adventure theme park in IOI City Mall was awarded five Malaysia Book of Records (MBR) titles in the presence of finalists of Miss Tourism Queen International 2015. The ceremony saw five different rides in District 21 being awarded MBR titles – the First Indoor Pump Track in Malaysia, First Indoor Rope Course for Children in Malaysia, First Indoor High-Rope Course in Malaysia, First Indoor Roller Glider in Malaysia and First Indoor Maze in Malaysia.
IOI Properties Group Berhad’s Property Investments chief operating officer Cheah Wing Choong said shopping malls have to be innovative and District 21 has successfully managed to attract customers. Cheah also said the rides in the 70,000sq ft theme park were suitable for children, teenagers and adults alike. “We get some 400 to 500 visitors a day and we even had 1,000 visitors on a peak day once. The crowd is bigger during the school holidays,” he added. The theme park also caters to corporate companies looking to use the place for team-building activities as well. Full story: http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/community/2015/12/24/sweeping-up-firsts-malls-indoor-theme-park-receives-five-titles-from-malaysia-book-of-records/
Etihad teams up with Tourism Malaysia
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has entered into a partnership agreement with Tourism Malaysia, presenting an opportunity for travellers from Kuwait to have the best travel experience in Malaysia. The agreement was signed during the Expo Milano 2015 exhibition. It is aimed at boosting inbound tourism to Malaysia by leveraging the airline’s global passenger network, Etihad Airways and Tourism Malaysia will put into effect a range of joint marketing activities targeting Malaysia’s leading inbound visitor markets – the UK, US, Europe (Germany, France and Italy), and the Middle East region (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait).
Research by Tourism Malaysia revealed in 2014 there were more than 1.2 million visits from these key markets, a 10 per cent increase compared to 2013. Malaysia is one of the top destinations of Etihad Airways. Since 2007, the airline has carried more than one million passengers to and from the country, offering travellers from all around the world the chance to enjoy the many attractions of the country. Full story: http://www.tradearabia.com/news/TTN_297297.html
Exploring Penang the easy way with ELT Passbook
Getting around Penang will now be easier with the newly launched Eat, Look, Tanoshii (ELT) discovery passbook. The 40-page passbook will act as a guide for tourists visiting the state. Its marketing executive Michelle Ng said the book featured all the popular attractions in Penang. “It also has the listing of all the exciting events that should not be missed in 2016.
“The history of cultural and heritage sites are explained,” she said after the launch of the passbook at Straits Quay Retail Marina in Tanjung Tokong recently. She said a tourist who owned this book could enjoy discounts at shops that displayed the ELT logo by showing the passbook. Full story: http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/community/2015/12/25/exploring-penang-the-easy-way-new-passbook-to-help-guide-tourists-around-the-state/
12 New Enclosures At Taiping Zoo To Be Completed in 2016
Taiping, Dec 22 – The Taiping Municipal Council (MPT) is confident that the building of 12 new exhibition enclosures at the Taiping Zoo and Night Safari can attract more tourists here in the coming years. MPT’s Tourism Education and Outreach Division chief, Hanim Ramly said the construction of the enclosures worth RM3 million was part of MPT’s programme to to upgrade the facilities at the Taiping Zoo and Night Safari.
“The project does not affect the number of visitors as it has an impact on developing the tourism sector here,” she told Bernama, here, today. Full story: http://www.bernama.com/bernama/state_news/news.php?cat=ntid=1201597
Rayani Air Will Spur Tourism Sector, Economy In Kelantan
KOota Baharu, Dec 21 (Bernama) — Malaysia’s first Shariah-compliant airline, Rayani Air, which started its maiden flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Baharu yesterday, will spur development in the tourism sector and economy in Kelantan.
State Culture, Tourism and Heritage Committee Chairman Datuk Mohd Anizam Abdul Rahman said the flight services offered by the company would also further stimulate the flight services at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in Pengkalan Chepa here, which currently provides 44 times daily flights. “We hope the existence of the Shariah-compliant airline would benefit the community in Kelantan and spur the growth of the tourism sector and economy in the state,” he said to reporters here.
Rayani Air’s Boeing 737-400 aircraft landed at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport on Sunday with 150 passengers including 18 orphans from the Taufik Islami Institute, Klang, Selangor. Mohd Anizam said flight service facilities was very important as a transport of choice for tourists to visit Kelantan. Full story: http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/bu/newsbusiness.php?id=1201216
More Sabah districts attracted to homestay
Sabah’s homestay businesses, which generated RM4.3 million in 2013, have grown exponentially over the last decade, generating around 30 to 40 per cent more business year-on-year. The share of the pie is enjoyed by 18 operators at present, with their businesses riding on the back of steady growth since 2000.
And things may soon change for the better as the tourism industry is now getting back on the rails following the effects of the disappearance of MH370 last year and the Lahad Datu incursion in 2013. According to Sabah Homestay Association President Djuanis Mogirong, business is looking up with already two more homestays in the process of registering with the Tourism and Culture Ministry. “They are the Napunsak Homestay and the Marudu Bay in Kota Marudu,” he said.
“Three or more districts are likely to join the fray, like Kampung Bariawa in Keningau and also Beluran and Pitas, whose village representatives I have met throughout the ministry’s pre-requisite seminars,” he said. Full story: http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=105440
The news articles above have been compiled from various websites and news portals for the round up of travel and tourism news in Malaysia for December 2015. Happy New Year 2016!