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Sabah and Sarawak Tourism News March 2016

Sabah and Sarawak Tourism News 2016

Here is a round up of Sabah and Sarawak tourism news for March 2016 for those wanting to know more about what is happening in these two Malaysian states in Borneo.

Poor air links, slowdown hit tourism in Sarawak

Foreign arrivals to Sarawak fell short of expectations last year, recording a 7% drop from 2014, no thanks to poor air connectivity.  State Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg had hoped for 5 million arrivals in 2015. However, only 4.51 million visitations were recorded. In 2014, there were 4.85 million foreign arrivals. “Our target for this year remains 5 million,” Johari told reporters after the yearly State Tourism Steering Committee meeting here yesterday. The prolonged haze, repercussions from the twin Malaysia Airlines disasters, and global economic slowdown were also blamed for the drop.

A much touted attempt by the Sarawak and Sabah governments to become majority shareholders in MASwings also failed to materialise. Johari said poor air links had continued to “handicap” Sarawak’s tourism growth. Looking ahead, the state would concentrate on attracting tourists via China and Singapore hubs.

On April 26, Hong Kong Airlines would fly its first flight between Kuching and Hong Kong. “As a result of that route, there is a possibility of other airlines coming. In fact, Sarawak Tourism Board is negotiating with other Chinese airlines to fly direct from China to Kuching. I can’t reveal more yet. The other important hub will be Singapore,” Johari said. “Promotional works in Hong Kong and Singapore would be ‘aggressive’”, he added.

Read More: http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/community/2016/03/24/poor-air-links-slowdown-hit-tourism-haze-and-disasters-also-blamed-for-7-drop-in-arrivals-last-year/

Sarawak Eyes 5 Million Tourist Arrivals This Year, Via Singapore, Hong Kong

KUCHING, March 23 (Bernama) — With a view to luring five million tourists to Sarawak this year, the state government will liaise with Singapore and Hong Kong to record the statistics from the two iconic Asian tourist hubs.

State tourism minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg noted that last year, 60 per cent of the 25.7 million tourists to Malaysia came through Singapore, while Hong Kong was the gateway for tourists from mainland China. He said the state government had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Singapore Cooperation Enterprise to tap the island’s expertise in developing new tourism destinations and products.  He was speaking to the media after chairing the Sarawak Tourism Steering Committee annual meeting here Wednesday.

Read More: http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/ge/newsgeneral.php?id=1227815

Sabah No 2 choice of Beijing tourists

Kota Kinabalu: Despite several hiccups, China tourists are still flocking to Sabah, making it their second most preferred destination in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur, according to Ctrip.com, China’s leading online travelling agency. Its Malaysia Business Unit Director Stephane Thong said 37 per cent of its customers opted to come to Sabah since the company was established in Malaysia in 2014.

“Sabah offers a complete tourism experience which makes it more popular among China tourists compared to other Malaysian cities such as Kuala Lumpur or Penang. Other than the local cuisine, these tourists are attracted to the beautiful islands and beaches here because China has very few of it,” she said.

Thong also said Malaysia’s efforts to promote Sabah as a tourist destination contributed to the success. “The government has taken many initiatives to promote Sabah to China tourists such as increasing the number of direct flights to Sabah,” she said, adding that the depreciation of the Ringgit has resulted in a cheaper travelling package.

Read More: http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/local.cfm

Sarawak To Have Direct Hong Kong-Sibu Flights

SIBU, March 13 (Bernama) — The Sarawak Tourism Ministry will establish direct flights from Hong Kong to Sibu to increase tourist arrivals to the state’s central region soon.  Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said this after the state government signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Hong Kong Airlines earlier this year. He said the twice-a-week, Hong Kong-Kuching-Hong Kong direct flights were expected to begin next month.

“This is in line with Sarawak’s open sky policy inviting interested airlines to have direct flights to the state,” he said in a speech read by state housing and tourism minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg at the launch of Visit Sibu Year 2017 at Dataran Sibu here last night.

Adenan said Sibu was the main entrance to the central region of Sarawak, boasting of various tourist attractions comprising Kapit, Sarikei and Mukah which had tourism potential not fully explored and developed. “Sarawak’s central region is rich in culture, nature, adventure, heritage and history,” he added.

The chief minister also announced an allocation of RM200,000 from the state government to the committee in charge of ‘Visit Sibu Year 2017’. The tourism sector is a major contributor to the state economy, with a turnover of about RM9 billion with 4.5 million tourist arrivals last year. The amount is equivalent to 13 per cent of Sarawak’s total gross domestic product (GDP) last year, said Adenan, adding that the tourism sector would also provide employment opportunities to the people of Sarawak.

Read More: http://www.bernama.com/bernama/state_news/news.php?id=1224661cat=sre

Sarawak eying Asean, East Asia tourism markets

KUCHING: The state Tourism Ministry is working to position Sarawak in the Asean and East Asia markets as its priority areas for 2016, said Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg. “While we still promote the state to the European market, we would also want to concentrate more on our neighbours particularly Asean and East Asia.

“We are penetrating into important hubs such as Singapore and Hong Kong. As you know, we will have direct flight to and from Hong Kong starting next month. Hong Kong is the gateway to southern China, so these are cities where we want to concentrate in improving connectivity. We also hope to tap into the Mongolian market.  “We also expect other airlines to join the bandwagon. In fact we are negotiating with a few,” he said at the official opening ceremony of the 8th MATTA Fair 2016 at Boulevard Shopping Mall yesterday.

According to Abang Johari, a Sarawak Week would be held in Singapore in May. “As part of the campaign, five Singapore buses will be wrapped with Sarawak logo and themes and they will go around Singapore for a month. It will be an aggressive campaign which we are working with Singapore Tourism Board and Silk Air,” he said.

Read More: http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/03/12/sarawak-eying-asean-east-asia-tourism-markets/

China tourists flock to Sabah again

KOTA KINABALU – The lure of the sea and convenient direct flights are among the factors pulling Chinese tourists to Sabah despite security concerns, according to Sabah Tourism Federation president Datuk Seri Winston Liaw. These travellers, he said, had been assured by the presence of security personnel in the east coast area.

“The issue of personal safety is not stopping them from coming as many of them say that crimes occur everywhere,” he said, crediting the continuous arrival of Chinese tourists to efforts by the Sabah Tourism Board (STB).

The feedback from Chinese tourists indicated that Sabah’s natural resources were a major attraction, he added. “They tell us that they love our beautiful beaches, islands, nature and cheap seafood,” he said, adding that it also helped that many Sabahans could speak various Chinese dialects. Seafood, especially in the east coast, is not only fresh but cheaper compared to peninsular Malaysia or even China, he added.

Read More: http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/03/16/china-tourists-flock-to-sabah-again-travellers-feel-its-safe-to-visit-east-coast-thanks-to-beefed-up/

Sabah exploring new areas as tourist attractions

KOTA BELUD: The Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry is exploring new areas with the potential to be developed into exciting tourist destinations. Its permanent secretary, Datuk Ginun Yangus said this was part of efforts to draw the international community to the state.

“The places rich in natural beauty and with the potential for eco-tourism development include Kadamaian in Kota Belud, Keningau, Kuala Penyu, Beaufort and Sungai Kinabatangan in Sandakan, ” he said at the launch of the Kadamaian Nature Challenge 2016 by Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak here today.

Read More: http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1733160

Call For More Backpackers Clubs In Sabah To Promote Tourism

TUARAN, March 19 (Bernama) — Backpackers Clubs could assist in promoting Sabah as the best tourism destination in Malaysia. This is according to Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai who said more of such clubs should be formed in the state. He said club members could empower the local tourism sector through various means including social media.

The associations could organise sojourns to tourism spots where members may also share their experiences for instance, on Facebook, he told reporters after launching ‘2D1N Earth Hour and Kiulu Adventure Voluntourism’, Saturday. The programme held in Kiulu near here and organised with the cooperation of Sabah Backpacker Operators Association (SBA) and Almacrest College was participated by about 30 students from the Almacrest Student Backpackers Club.

Read More: http://www.bernama.com/bernama/state_news/news.php?id=1226669cat=sbe

Tigerair Taiwan touches down in Kota Kinabalu

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is confident of surpassing its aim of 60,000 tourist arrivals from Taiwan by year end.  State Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming said it was not impossible to achieve the target with the addition of new direct flight between two destinations. “Last year, the state recorded 41,000 arrivals which was 31 per cent increase than the previous year.”

“With the addition of the new budget Tigerair Taiwan airline, it is not impossible for us to achieve the target by year end,” he said in a reception welcoming the budget airline’s inaugural flight from Taipei to the Kota Kinabalu International airport, here, this morning.

The airline’s chief executive officer Kwan Yue said the carrier chose Sabah as the state was a resort destination with modern facility and possessed a strong cultural element as well as providing good hospitality. “We are able to generate high interests among people to come to Sabah within short time of marketing the destination. “The airline foresees great potential (in this partnership) and looking forward to increase frequency and offer affordable price tickets to the people,” he said.

Read More: http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/03/133496/tigerair-taiwan-touches-down-kota-kinabalu

The above is a compilation of Sabah and Sarawak Tourism News for March 2016 taken from various mainstream new sources in Malaysia. If you have any comments, please leave them below.

New Tourism Malaysia Website 2016 Launch

New Tourism Malaysia Website
A new Tourism Malaysia website is to be launched this 18th February in Kuala Lumpur by the Minister of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz. The all new look for the Tourism Malaysia’s Consumer and Corporate Website is also being launched at the Dewan Tun Dr. Ismail, PWTC, Kuala Lumpur.

The first Tourism Malaysia website was developed back in 1998 and since then, the website has been reconstructed a number of times, and the last was in 2012. This re-branding of the new URL (http://www.malaysia.travel/) is to push the consumer website and to differentiate the Tourism Malaysia’s consumer website and Tourism Malaysia’s corporate website where both websites mission is to give out a more user friendly characteristics, making it easier to navigate through the sites.

Tourism Malaysia News Website 2016

A screen capture of the new parallax style template for Tourism Malaysia

To find out more, you can now visit http://www.malaysia.travel/ to see the new look and feel of the brand new Tourism Malaysia website as it is now live for the world. The website style also uses the new Parallax Template which is also responsive for smartphones and tablets and is the trend for 2015 and 2016 where most tourism boards around the world are using too. These new parallax templates are one page design websites that are built with sliders and you can simply scroll down with large images in the background. for the new website, large images of Malaysia are showcased by showing islands, cultures, shopping and more.

Currently, the website also shares a link to the Tourism Malaysia Corporate site and as for the main features, there are links to information about Malaysia, places in Malaysia, experiences, packages and events. There are also videos on Malaysia which pop up to the Tourism Malaysia YouYube Channel. On the last slider section, you see a Package and Promotion page that leads you to various travel packages on Malaysia. And finally at the footer, there is the sitemap with multiple links. Hopefully more information will be revealed at the new Tourism Malaysia Website 2016 Launch happening in February.

KEEPING MELAKA CLEAN

Monday, 4 January 2016
Beauties do their part to help keep Malacca clean

BY R.S.N. MURALI


Porta de Santiago or A Famosa fort is the landmark to visit when in Malacca.
 
MALACCA: If you are at the tourist spots here next week, expect to see a beauty pageant contestant handing you a pamphlet on keeping the Unesco Heritage City clean at all times.

Beauties from 52 countries are now in the state to vie for the Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International 2016 title.

The finals will be held at The Shore shopping complex here on Jan 16.

Pageant sponsor Kerjaya Prospek (M) Sdn Bhd will work with the Malacca Historic City Council (MBMB) to organise a roadshow at all tourists hotspots to distribute pamphlets on the “Don’t Mess With Melaka” campaign to traders and tourists.

“The girls will be at the hotspots to heat up the campaign,” the company’s CEO Datuk Tee Eng Ho said in an interview yesterday.

Tee said details of the campaign will be announced by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron on Jan 6.

He said Tourism World Organisation president David Singh has agreed to the contestants’ participation in the campaign as a precursor to the finals here.

“We will probably have models wearing the placards ‘Don’t Mess With Melaka’ to highlight the state’s seriousness to keep our city clean,” he added.

In a front page exclusive in The Star on Nov 29 last year, it was reported that the MBMB wants to introduce a new by-law to make litterbugs walk around with placards reading “Don’t Mess With Melaka”, and increase fines for offenders.

First-time offenders must sign an “oath of pledge” not to mess up the city at the MBMB magistrate’s court in Jalan Tun Sri Lanang here.

Tee said the contestants will also help the Malacca Tourism Department to introduce Malacca’s attractions to the world.

The pageant finals was supposed to be held in Bangkok, but due to eleventh hour glitches, the organisers decided to switch the venue to Kuala Lumpur. However, Tee managed to convince them to have it in his hometown.

The prestigious event, now in its 10th year, will see contestants from 52 countries vying for the crown.

The Weekend Japanese Film Show in January – Haru’s Journey

The Weekend Japanese Film Show in January – Haru’s Journey

 

DATE: 9 January 2016

TIME: 3.00 p.m.

VENUE: Auditorium, Content Malaysia Pitching Centre, Unit G09 G10, Platinum Sentral, Jalan Stesen Sentral 50470, Kuala Lumpur

ADMISSION: Free

Organized by : The Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur. The Japan Foundation is a non-profit organization established with the purpose of fostering mutual cultural exchange between Japan and other countries.

The 2016 season of our free monthly film screenings opens with Harus Journey which follows the uneasy journey of an elderly fisherman and his granddaughter as they hit the hard roads of northern Japan providing uniquely penetrating insight into Japanese culture through the universal themes of acceptance resilience and familial commitment.

 

Haru’s Journey

春との旅

(小林政広 KOBAYASHI Masahiro/2010/83 min)

An elderly fisherman named Tadao and his granddaughter Haru live together in a small harbourside village in Hokkaido. When Haru loses her job, she decides to take her grandfather to Tokyo where there are better work opportunities. But Tadao refuses, and so begins a road movie driven by household dynamics as the two set off on a journey to the mainland to see if one of his siblings is willing to look after him.

A favoured director in the European film festival circuit, Masahiro Kobayashi established his mainstream credentials with this uniquely penetrating portrait of Japanese culture, filtered through the universal themes of acceptance, resilience and familial commitment.

// AWARDS HONOURS //

❖ 65th Mainichi Film Award of Excellence in Japanese Film

❖ 65th Mainichi Film Award for Best Newcomer – Eri Tokunaga

❖ 20th Japanese Film Critics Award for Best Japanese Film

❖ 2011 Granada Film Festival Cines del Sur Silver Alhambra for Best Director – Masahiro Kobayashi

❖ 2011 Vesoul Asian Film Festival Audience Award

Official webpage: http://www.jfkl.org.my/events/wjfs-jan-2016

THE WEEKEND JAPANESE FILM SHOW has been organised by The Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur (JFKL) regularly for over 10 years. The programme takes place every first Saturday of the month and is free of charge. All films are presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

Tourism News in Malaysia December 2015

Tourism News in Malaysia December 2015

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!

Malaysia’s first Islamic-compliant Airline Rayani Air

Islamic-compliant Airline Rayani Air
Malaysia’s first Islamic-compliant airline Rayani Air began operations Sunday with its maiden flight taking off from the capital to the resort island of Langkawi, local media reported. In-flight meals served on board its flights are completely halal, with alcohol consumption strictly prohibited.

Muslim flight crew must don the hijab while non-Muslim crew are to be decently dressed, managing director Jaafar Zamhari told reporters. There will also be prayer recitals before take-off.

“We are the first Malaysian airline to be shariah-compliant based on guidelines by relevant authorities. We are proud of this,” Jaffar was quoted as saying by The Star newspaper. “The shariah-compliant aspects will be refined as time goes by,” he added using the Arabic word for Islamic law.

Rayani Air New Airline
There are already other shariah-friendly carriers operating around the world, and UK-based Firnas Airways is planning to offer similar flights next year, according to a Bloomberg new agency report. Under the concept of halal – meaning “permissible” in Arabic – pork and its by-products, alcohol and animals not slaughtered according to Islamic procedures are all “haram” or forbidden.

Halal standards also apply to products such as cosmetics, which may contain animal-derived ingredients, and the conditions under which they are prepared and stored. Muslim-majority Malaysia has long practised a moderate form of Islam but conservative attitudes are rising.

Rayan Air Destinations
A company recently introduced halal bottled mineral water in Malaysia, and Islamic speed dating sessions – where single women are chaperoned – have been embraced. A halal convention in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year, which drew thousands of delegates and hundreds of exhibitors, showcased products ranging from food and cosmetics to collagen produced from yaks in Tibet. Visit www.rayaniair.com for more information.

Rayani Air Malaysia made headlines on Airline News Asia in July and August 2014 when the new airlinr concept was introduced and this latest article source is from – http://news.asiaone.com/news/travel/malaysias-first-islamic-compliant-airline-rayani-air-takes for Malaysia’s first Islamic-compliant Airline Rayani Air.

Korea Nation Day in Kuala Lumpur

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