Wednesday, June 30, 2010


More than 16,500 people took part in the Standard Chartered KL Marathon held Sunday which took the runners on a route from Dataran Merdeka past some of the city’s historical landmarks which has high tourism value.

The event not only attracted marathon enthusiasts but also the entire families who took part for fun. Unfortunately foreigners except local expats were not seen taking part. More should be done to attract their participation.

Winners were Shaharudin Hashim, Tan Bee Kiang and Goitetom Haftu Tesema. Nelson Kirwa Rotich in that order and scooped the top prize of RM350,000.

Organiser Golazo Sdn Bhd race director Wes Sakai should be congratulated for a very well organised event and it is hoped that this event be organised on an international level next year just like several years ago during the chairmanship of Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad who was then the Federal Territory Minister.


Dedicated to the Development, Evolution, and Sustainability of Heritage and Cultural Tourism Businesses a Malaysian Heritage & Cultural Tourism Conference (MHCTC) is to be held early next year. This three day event, featuring conference, workshops and field activities designed to provide working tools to thrive in today's tourism economy.

People who should attend are Heritage Tour Operators,Museum Personnel, Tourist Attractions, theme parks operators, City and State Governments and individuals wanting to create or develop culture-based tourism services and products.

The organisers are waiting for endorsement and support from the relevant Ministries before an official announcement is made.

If you are interested in presenting a paper or attend this conference please leave us your contact and email address.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Some 200 participants from the industry including officials from airlines, hoteliers and tour operators attended an event by Tourism Malaysia to introduce a three year calendar plan .

Tourism Malaysia Director-general Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab said the plan would, among others, involve creating more advertisements to attract visitors to Malaysia.

"We have prepared the plan to further promote tourism in Malaysia to foreign tourists and visitors. The plan could perhaps bring more opportunities to tourists and industry players as well."

He said this after officiating at the 1Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourism 2010 Festival (MCAT), Putrajaya Flora Fest 2010 and Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival 2010 presentation at the Malaysia Tourism Centre (MaTiC), here Monday.

There was also a session with travel trade members to get their support and cooperation in promoting this year's key tourism events including MCAT, a new event initiated by Tourism Malaysia to promote Malaysian art and artists to the world.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Tourism is an important sector of Malaysia’s economy – it’s the 2nd highest GDP contributor after the energy sector.

Malaysia offers its visitors a unique opportunity to experience the rich diversity in culture and heritage, and also to experience some of the most pristine natural wonders.

The multi-ethnic and multi-faith nature of Malaysia’s society is an attraction in itself. The evolution of the country into a cultural melting pot is evident everywhere.

Coinciding with the country’s 50th year of independence in 2007, there will be a third edition of the Visit Malaysia Year campaign. Visit Malaysia Year 2007 is expected to increase the number of tourist arrivals to the country to 20 million.

Malaysia’s rainforests far outdate those of South America and Africa. One of the country’s largest rainforest park is Taman Negara.

Preserving the natural heritage and keeping the forest in its innate form is part of the country’s efforts at eco-tourism. The revenue brought in by this major tourist activity has in turn supported local governments in preserving their natural heritage, in particular the rainforests.

Some of the country’s best-kept secrets are the enchanting dive sites around the many islands. Malaysia’s coastline offers a tremendous amount of oceanic bio-diversity.

With a comprehensive development plan for progress already in place, and a vibrant economy that continues to grow, Malaysia has great potential for successful investment opportunities.

For more information logon to :

Sunday, June 27, 2010


The Tourism Ministry is working with local officials to develop a “traveller’s trail” for the district of Pontian.

“There is a lot of potential in turning Pontian into a tourism town. The traveller’s trail will basically be a guide line for visitors to the area,” said Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen. “Once the trail has been established, we will then sell our packages through tourism fairs and encourage more people to visit the area.”

She said that Pontian could also lure tourists from Singapore because of the close proximity. “We only need to work on a more structured plan to attract these visitors,” she said during her visit to the Fatt See Kong Kow Beow temple here on Tuesday.

Dr Ng also lamented that many owners of local attractions did not know how to package their products to attract tourists.

“The essence of tourism is about seeing, eating and enjoying the various experiences. Malaysia has developed so fast that sometimes we miss the simple things that may attract people,” she added.

There must also be a highlighting on the traditions and history and culture of any destination, and not forgetting that Kukup is the landing point for tourists from the Karimun islands of Indonesia.

Saturday, June 26, 2010



YB Tunku Abdul Aziz bun Tunku Ibrahim meminta MENTERI PELANCONGAN menyatakan penyertaan negara di ‘Pavilion for Shanghai 2010’ yang mana tender RM19.99 juta itu diserahkan kepada Venturepham Asia, sebuah syarikat ubat-ubatan yang diberi kepercayaan mengendalikannya.

Tuan Yang di-Pertua,

Lantikan syarikat Venturepham Asia Sdn Bhd sebagai pengendali penyertaan negara dalam World Expo Shanghai 2020 adalah berdasarkan syarikat tersebut memenuhi syarat-syarat lantikan yang telah ditetapkan seperti berikut:

i. mempunyai sijil kod bidang kerja yang berkaitan, dan berdaftar dengan Kementerian Kewangan;
ii. mempunyai pengalaman mengendalikan kerja seumpamanya, antara Matrade 50th Anniversaru, SMIDEX 2007 & SME Conference dan East Asia Business Exhibition 05; dan
iii. harga tawaran untuk pembinaan astaka adalah di dalam lingkungan harga anggara Jabatan.

Selain daripada itu, reka bentuk yang dikemukakan oleh Venturepham Asia didapati paling kreatif, menarik dan memenuhi spesifikasi dan tema pameran iaitu: “1Malaysia: Harmonized City Living” berbanding dengan reka bentuk yang dikemukakan oleh syarikat-syarikat lain.


The events kicked off with a two day World Halal Forum followed by a three day Halal Research Summit in Kuala Lumpur. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that four modules of the Global Halal Standard had been published to standardise the certification process and Malaysia is helping to set a global standard for halal certification for the multi-trillion dollar industry.

He said it was time to come up with such a standardised format as Jakim (Malaysia Islamic Development Department) only recognised 15% of the halal certificates issued by 300 bodies across the globe. “The Malaysian Government is offering its expertise and years of experience in halal certification and standards development.

“Malaysia seeks to amplify its role by working towards the development of global standards,’’ he said in his keynote address at the 5th World Halal Forum at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre monday.

The International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI), an initiative of the World Halal Forum, had published the modules in accordance with international benchmarking and best practices. Jakim, Standards Malaysia, and various international stakeholders had helped formulate the modules.

The IHI was poised to be the global halal authority, with the mandate given by the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC).

The global halal products market was estimated at US$2.3 trillion (RM7.59 trillion), excluding the Islamic banking sector. The food and beverage industry from the bulk of the halal market is at 67% followed by pharmaceutical (22%), and the cosmetic and personal care sectors (10%). No figures for the tourism industry yet.

Halal Week Malaysia had attracted deals and transactions worth RM2.2bil in 2008 and RM3.23bil last year. This year the figure is expected to exceed RM3.8bil.

Friday, June 25, 2010


The tourism industry should bring back retired officers both in government and the private sector to serve as advisers to industry. Their job is to consult on tourism policy, current issues and promotion strategy. This position may be a particularly good fit for most tourism players who, despite their blunders are unknown for being a savvy strategist.

Tourism retirees often end up serving on a small corporate board where they might receive a "fairly good remuneration." That's probably an understatement. Profit sharing package might be a better deal.

As with corporate boards, former tourism personnel are considered a valuable resource in academia and philanthropy because of their proven leadership credentials. They could be president of a tourism university or foundation or an NGO.

As with any intelligent person , he or she does have the option to write a book about his or her experiences, which would probably earn him a some pocket money. But this does come with a caveat. In a "highly normal role," which means he would not be heavily restricted in what information he could divulge (although, to be fair, that didn't stop him from speaking his mind about the H1N1 scare). We should not foster a culture where people are "shunned" for speaking out too much.

Tourism is about fostering understanding among people of the world.


Picking up a number and queuing up to apply for passports at Immigration Department counters will be a thing of the past when the Home Ministry introduces the 'MyImms' online passport application system.

Home Ministry Secretary-general Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam said the system would be implemented in line with the Immigration Department's objective to introduce a 24-hour service aimed at reducing waiting periods for passport approvals.

"However, a date has not been finalised for the implementation as discussions are still in progress," he told reporters here wednesday.

Mahmood said the implementation would require a foolproof system as there need to be ways to ensure that the security procedures are at a high confidence level. "Once the system is implemented, applications will be required to fill up application forms available online and once their application is processed, they will be required to come to the counter and undergo a thumbprint scan before the passports are issued," he said.

Meanwhile, speaking of a proposal that passport application can be applied at the National Registration Department (NRD), Mahmood said the prospect was being discussed. Yesterday, deputy Home Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong said passport applicants would soon be able to carry out such transactions at NRD counters and that a pilot project would be introduced at the NRD counters in Puchong, Kepong and Gombak.

Thursday, June 24, 2010



In a no-holds-barred talk at the International Summit on Travel & Tourism Security earlier this month in Kuala Lumpur, Travel Impact Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil blasted the safety & security industry for seeking to treat only the symptoms, not the cause of global insecurity.

Broadening the definition of security to include human security, Imtiaz Muqbil said, "The public must also question the many factors surrounding violence and conflict. The defence and security industry is the biggest business in the world. The more the world spends on arms, ammunition and security, especially countries that can least afford it, the less they have to spend on education, health, and infrastructure. That is a formula for revolution and its first cousin, terrorism."

He added: "Hypocrisy, lies, double standards, lack of transparency and accountability all strike at the heart of the democratic values we hold so dear, and buttresses my conclusion that the public, like in "Animal Farm" and "1984", will eventually decide that a line has been crossed somewhere and that the price it is paying in terms of loss of freedoms is not worth it any more."

For a full text of the speech, send an email to


According to Marina Mahathir ( The Star Online, June 23) With 1 Malaysia the catchword these days, everyone is falling over themselves trying to insert the numeral '1" into their slogan or motto, as if they'd never seen it before.

But we are after all a nation of small imaginations, so new catchy slogans are immediately catching.

(However, can someone shoot whoever invented that nonsensical greeting "Salam Satu Malaysia"? That, like the hand-on-the-heart bow of hotel doormen, should be relegated to the wastebin of artificial culture.)

But we all know that for all the banners, ads and promos in the world, a slogan remains just that if it is not translated into action. I won't repeat the many different ways in the intention of 1Malaysia is undermined.

Suffice to say, that as long as there are people running things who at heart don't believe in the concept, unity is not going to happen.

( From the Editor: Well said Marina. This is a wake up call for all in the tourism industry. Let us keep our culture the way it is. )

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Early this week an excavator was seen in the middle of the night tearing down part of the 394 meter-long perimeter wall of the infamous Pudu Jail. For more than 100 years, this jail was the premier correctional facility for Malaysian found guilty of capital offences. Some were kept there for life, some were beaten to death and some just did their sabbatical there.

For most of us who grew up in Kuala Lumpur, Pudu Jail was a grim reminder of a place where people should avoid as far as possible. But passing through the jail daily is all right if you are a law abiding person and of good behavior.

Because it is in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the government has decided to demolish it as it has "no heritage value" and not worthy of preservation. What a sad decision for all of us in the tourism industry. Just like the fate of The Bok Mansion in Jalan Ampang, Pudu Jail will be developed by UDA over the next ten years.

The 115 year old Pudu Prison sits on a prime land in the city centre and is therefore not a heritage site. It was the same for the Selangor Turf Club, now the KLCC, Bukit Bintang Girls School, now the Pavilion, and soon it will be the Sungei Besi TUDM Airport.

So for those of you who are planning a half day tour of Pudu Jail you can forget the idea and take your group elsewhere. In San Francisco a day trip to the Alcatraz is something you should not miss. But there is nothing like it here in Malaysia.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


UMNO Cheras Division has urged the government yesterday to rename Jalan Ampang to Jalan Tun Dr Mahathir just like they did to Jalan Batu, Jalan Treacher, Jalan Weld, Jalan Rodger, Jalan Shaw and Jalan Venning to name a few.

Suggestion such as these can only come from apple polishers who are bankrupt of ideas and as such not surprising they are from political parties who claimed to be very concerned about heritage and yet do just the opposite.

They even had the cheek to suggest that KLIA be called Mahathir-Hasmah International Airport just as they call Jakarta airport Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Cengkareng. As far as we know Tun Dr Mahathir has expressed his desire not to have anything after his name for as long as he is alive. That is why no school in Malaysia has been named after Tun Dr Mahathir who is still alive and we pray from his good health and long life.

As far tourism is concerned it is best that no one come up with a stupid idea that will damage the country's heritage. On the contrary it would be nice to continue having roads such as Jalan Foch, Jalan Bandar, Jalan Campbell and Jalan Holland. It is a shame that we have lost Port Swettenham, Port Weld, Maxwell Hill and many other nostalgic names.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Adding to the already long list of commission set up by the government, the Land Public Transport Commission or SPAD in short, has been formed with the task of improving the country's public transportation. SPAD is said to be very determined to bring changes.

Like everything else formed by the government it will take time to produce results. But money will have to be spent first and we are talking about a lot of money. It is said that the current scenario can be likened to a central kitchen where there are so many chefs. They are not only specialised but only interested in their own part of their kitchen and what comes at the end of it can be overcooked and a lot will go to waste.

Public transport in China is a good example where it is highly regulated to ensure safety, reliability and connectivity. For years now you can travel on a public in any of the major cities for a single price of RMB2 per trip to any destination you like. The buses are new, airconditioned with TV monitors all over the bus. In fact most of the city transport are owned and operated by the local government as a service to the public.

For this reasons the tourists have learned that you can discover the city on your own by catching a public bus outside your hotel and spend hours on it with paying too much.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


MATTA President Datuk M K Harun has called on MITA, CRAM, MITTA, Bumitra and MCTA to approach MATTA for a dialogue on the issue of compulsory membership of MATTA.

He said, " This complusory membership has proven to be workable and beneficial to the industry. With the monitoring by MATTA of its members, the Tourism Ministry can rely on us to regulate the travel and tour industry".

"The Ministry has to think hard before it decides to undo this structure that it had created in 2000," he added.

But the industry knows fully well that this structure has only benefitted MATTA as an NGO but not its members. Many problems have arisen due to MATTA not being able to handle problems of its contituents and spend time only to enrich the organisation.

Compulsory membership of any organisation essentially deny the basic rights of a business entreprise operating under a free market system and in a country that uphold the essence of democracy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit said homestay had the potential of becoming a main tourist attraction if they offer exciting activities especially those that were eco-tourism related.

Dr Dawos has hit the nail right on the head when he added that a homestay resort can be dull if there is a a lack or absense of any programmes to create excitement and are memorable.

For those having properties right smack at eco-tourism locations, creating programmes would be a piece of cake. But for those at the normal village or kampong baru locations,they will have to think of adding cultural or social activities to make their homestay programmes more interesting.

"Diversifying the activities of the homestay programmes is not just about providing lodging," he added. " But also to provide an unforgettable experience for the guests."

"In line with this, I hope homestay programmes, no matter where they are located, can do more nature programmes as well as cultural ones as these are atttractions to the tourists, " he remarked.

We just wonder where the proposed " boutique homestays" will fit into all these.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Tourism Minister, Dato Dr Ng Yen Yen has urged MAS and Air Asia to open new route to Zhenghou to encourage new arrivals to and from China for tourism and business purposes. Dr Ng was on a four-day working trip to China i.e. Guangzhou and Zhenghou and attended the International Mayors' Forum on Tourism (IMFT).

It is believed that Malaysia is the only country of 50 attendees that was represented by a Minister. That goes to show how important is tourism for Malaysia. Small wonder why no Mayor from our Malaysian cities attended this forum. One can assume that it must be a problem of the language used at the forum.

For the airlines planning to add a new destination to its network, the justification of it would not be based on what they Minister says, rather it is a function of market demand. Malaysia Airlines have had many bad experiences as far as this is concerned. New routes were then introduced just on responding the call of political leaders and having to terminate them when the load factor does not justify the operation.

It is best that Ministers stop suggesting what the airlines should do. They should know their business better.

Monday, June 14, 2010


YOU can be doing the best job in the world for the tourist or your client, but if there is something missing and the client is unhappy, then all your opinion about your performance and service are worthless.

GREAT service is a matter of perception. Great service is what the tourist or client thinks it is.

Remember the great words of Mr AVIS, we try harder.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


In the hectic months ahead, when the tourists arrive in plane loads, the best gift a Malaysian can give costs nothing.

It takes only a fleeting moment to wrap and deliver it. But the memory of it can last a lifetime and be spread around from mouth to mouth.

It is the only thing people can wear that never goes out of fashion. And one size fits everyone.

It is called a SMILE.

So frontliners do your bit for Malaysia. It will go a long way.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


If you are still planning and deciding on the right time to go to Shanghai to a must see event for year 2010 and could not get a proper date or company to go with, do not worry. Especially if you are going there just to see the Malaysian Pavilion.

Dubbed as the no. 1 pavilion because of the 1Malaysia badge on top just below the roof, the architecture is neither here nor there. The roof assembly looked very much Indonesian and the red frames looked Chinese, in fact it looked like everything except Malaysian. Visitors came to know that it was Malaysian from the huge Malaysia signage right on top of the pavilion.

If the drawings have been vetted by JKR, it would have probably been given a zero technical rating. There is no cultural or natural characteristics of Malaysia both from the outside as well as the inside.

Of course people are queing up to go inside, not to see Siti Norhaliza but because of its low holding capacity. It probably will collapse if the numbers are not controlled.

Once inside you will be shocked to see a couple of idling craftsmen trying to demonstrate silver making and many chefs not able to demonstrate Malaysian cooking. This was because they were not able to bring in the stuff needed for the demos. Thanks to the excellent logistics of the local personnel.

There were too many writings on the wall. Nobody at the Expo would be interested to read what you write as they have to move on to other pavilions. Just the images and good photograhy about Malaysia would do.

The most busiest part inside the pavilion was the cash register that was being punched in to make a sale of all the products on display. Small wonder who gets to keep the cash. It must be millions by the end of October.

What we know is that the pavilion cost the Malaysian government not less than RM 20 million and was given to a Taiwanese contractor. If you do not want to be heart broken, forget about going to Shanghai this time, the Pavilion in Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur would be a better deal and you could use the airfare and hotel charges to buy yourself excellent range of branded products.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Kuala Lumpur, a leading MICE city will host another International Summit on 14 - 17 June 2010. Themed "Improving Tourism Through Improved safety and security measures" the two day conference will start off with a general session on tourism safety and later break into three parallel sessions on the role of government, professional and practitioners and also technology and learning.

The highlight of the event will be a paper on "The role of media in imporving tourism security" to be delivered by a leading tourism journalist. There will be post conference tours for delegates and well as networking sessions during the summit.

We are happy that Kuala Lumpur has been picked to host this event. In fact since the begining of the year the city has seen conferences, seminars, forums etc being held at various MICE location in the capital city.

This event will assemble major NGOs, governments, security organisations and the tourism sector of Malaysia is expected to attend this summit in large numbers so that more MICE events will continue to be held here in Malaysia.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Tourism Minister Dato Dr Ng Yen Yen has recently announced a new tourism initiative to increase tourism arrival from the Middle East. Branded as the Ramadan Summer Festival the event is also to promote I City in Shah Alam as an iconic tourism destination.

It will be a 24 hours daily event filled with fun, shopping and gourmet during the holy month of Ramadan in August which will coinside with the Arab Summer holidays till the year 2015. "We must leverage on this coincidence" said the Minister.

Why I City has been singled out for this promotion using public funds is beyond comprehension. But more importantly is that the Muslim officers at the Ministry must advise the Minister that Ramadan is a holy month for the Muslims. The day is spent on fasting while the nights are for the performance of tarawih prayers , recitation of the Holy Quran and other "amal ibadah".

Anyway for the whole month of Ramadan the Muslim tour operators are busy organising tour packages and logistics for Malaysians going to Makkah for Umrah. So we can assume that only the non Muslim operators will benefit from the Festival should the officers in the Ministry fail to advise the Minister on this religious fact.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


On June 11, South Africa will kick off an event that will create world tourism history. This would also be the world cup for emerging continents and every opportunity will be taken to bridge Asia and Africa through its matches.

A total of 64 matches will be played at 10 stadiums and in 9 host cities. New airports and new facilities have been built to cater for an influx of tourists beyond imagination. It is estimated that there will be a direct spending of R 12.7 billion and South Africa expects their tourism industry to be second to none.

We are happy for South Africa and wish them every success. But here in Malaysia we are sad that this event has prompted the government to issue the most controversial gambling licence to an individual who will be making tons of money.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


SKYSCANNERS on June 6 released a listing of most popular flight destinations in the world to date. A list of 50 airports were named top flight destinations. Malaga in Spain became world's top flight destination while Johannesburg managed to be listed last on the top 50 list.

Bangkok new airport took a huge tumble due to the political unrest between the red and yellow t-shirts people, while Sydney and Istanbul took big jump on the ladder of popularity.

Malaysia has been extremely lucky for not having any of our airports listed on the highest climbers or biggest fallers or drop outs. In fact our airport destinations are not even listed on the new entries.

Where do our airports stand? Everyone is invited to comment. No wild guesses please........

Monday, June 7, 2010


FIVE national tourism bodies last week submitted to Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen a memorandum to scrap the mandatory membership of MATTA to all tourism companies as a prerequisite to be issued or renewed a licence.

This compulsory membership was introduced some ten years ago by the then Minister Datuk Kadir Sheikh Fadzil and has created a great deal of unhappiness among the many tourism players. No one since then, not even NTCM ( who themselves were sidelined by the Minister ) stood up to protest.

MITA, MITTA, CRAM, MCTA and Bumitra during their many AGMs and EGMs has resolved to ask the sitting Minister to look into this matter. But it was only in August last year that they submitted a memorandum to ask the newly appointed Minister to do something about it.

Unfortunately, the Minister has no time for this as she has to be abroad most of the time to promote tourism arrival ( which is the function of Tourism Malaysia and not the Minstry per se )which is already reaching its peak and Malaysia's levy contribution to UNWTO is relatively high by any standard.

Meanwhile MATTA is comfortably enjoying the perk of compulsory membership and has forgotten to address the multitude of problems face by members at large. Instead they are fully engaged in organising travel fairs, fam trips and dinner parties. They have become arrogant, clannish and no longer the champion of the industry.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Malaysia Airports Berhad is to close all service counters at KLIA soon. However MATTA has taken up the offer to become the master tenant of these counters and sublet them to members at a much lower rate.

The Star online June 4 reported that Dato M K Harun, President of MATTA confirmed this at a press conference.

It is not immediately known as to the fate of the Malaysia Association of Hotels (MAH) and the Car Rental Association of Malaysia (CRAM)whose members are the main tenants at these counters.

This augurs well for the industry as MATTA is financially strong and would be the most able to understand the needs of the industry. However MATTA is not free to do what they like and the rental rates would not likely to be reduced by MAB. This has been the trend for the last many years. Many retailers especially the Bumiputeras have closed shop in favour of ERAMAN, a wholly own subsidiary of MAB.

To be in KLIA you have to be big and dig very deep into your pockets. MAB do not have a CSR policy neither do they understand what DEB is all about. What they think about is money, money, money and more money to pay for their losses at SIC F1 Circuit and the huge outstanding debt of Air Asia.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


At the MUSLIM WORLD 2010 Conference today, a non-muslim delegate asked a panel speaker. Major Mohd Ramli Othman, CEO of TH Travel Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tabung Haji what are his plans to leverage on the 5 million customer base TH is enjoying at this time.

Major Ramli responded that TH Travel is all poised to expand existing business of Haj and Umrah to include tours to other Muslim countries and carry out cooperative marketing with countries such as Pakistan and the rest of the Muslim World. He said TH has 70 % market share of this business and is determined to carry it to a higher level.

What Major Ramli is saying is that by having that level of market share and relentlessly going for more, the Bumiputera travel and tour companies which has been in business decades before TH Travel was formed and the only core business they ever knew may have to close shop or look into other new areas such as casino tours or MICE in non Muslim countries.

Perhaps it is time for Bumitra members to consider this trend in TH or start looking for other businesses before they perish.


Japanese biggest and hottest racing series is making a comeback at our Sepang F1 Circuit 18 - 20 June. The venue provider SIC should be congratulated for this effort to hold the only series outside Japan.

SIC CEO Razlan Razali said, we have a significant number of Super GT followers in Malaysia and there are many non-Japanese drivers taking part in the race. Mutiara Motors GT 300 and Petronas TOM GT500 are the two top teams from Malaysia.

The 2010 Super GT International Series would also be featuring the new GT Asia Cup, the GT3 Asia Series, Yaris/VIOS Experience Race as well as the environmentally-friendly Scirocco Cup, he added.

In conjunction with the race event, SIC will be organising a pit-walk for children on Saturday 19 June at 5.30 pm. MTF is calling on all the Malaysia public to come to the Sepang Circuit next weekend to see the race and support our Malaysian teams. The travel industry people should also come in large numbers to watch and understand the event in order to be able to package it as one of their tour series.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Like everything else in Malaysia, there is no policy or no clear cut policy on many matters. The air transport is one. We share the view of Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman that there is an urgent need for one.

Tan Sri Aziz, the former Managing Director of MAS said that the country's air transport policy has never been adopted by the government. Therefore the national carrier MAS was asked to operate both domestic and international routes although the government controlled the domestic fares and cargo rates resulting in the airlines incurring losses on a number of domestic and international routes.

The air transport policy should be formulated to ensure the following:

- healthy competition
- safe, efficient and reliable services
- meeting the needs of the travelling public
- contributing to the economic and social well being of Malaysians

The MTF feels that the present scenario does not reflect this and therefore urge the newly appointed Transport Minister to look into this matter.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


MTF is to forge ahead using all sorts of technology and the state of the arts of ICT. Founding member, Uzaidi Udanis said this is essential for MTF in order to create a niche for itself and communicate efficiently with its members.

Uzaidi, who represent MITA in MTF sits on the Protem Committee. He is also very active in the various communities of facebook, twitter, youtube and blogs.

He thinks that facebook offers the better advantage over other sites in terms of easy construction, no content or programs required and it is free. He urged all members and the industry at large to go into facebook.

Facebook, he added, is most popular and well liked by search engine such as Google which offers a better search results. He hope to conduct a workshop soon for the travel industry people who are still having a deep phobia about this activity.

Uzaidi Udanis can be reached at 012-2974094


Lim Babin, the convenor and founding member of MATTA is also the brains behind the formation of Malaysia Tourism Federation. He, being one of the two still surviving founders of MATTA, feels that this would be the last call for all tourism players to play a role in ensuring the sustainability of this industry.

Also the founding member of the Kuala Lumpur Tourist Guide Association, Babin urged all national tourism association of various clusters to join MTF so that it will have a very strong voice to speak out to the relevant authorities. By being a member of MTF, he said, great ideas and experience can be shared.

The MTF, he hoped will formulate industry best practice and code of ethics which have been completely taken for granted for a very long time. Unless this issue is addressed right away, the industry will face problems which cannot be resolved.

Unlike other national tourism bodies, he added, MTF will not be organising travel fairs and dinner parties. Instead it will conduct regular dialogue sessions with the government and local authorities for the betterment of the industry.

The key objective here is to provide a dynamic platform and forum for members to air out their problems and discuss future growth of the industry. It is our last call, Babin said


Following a formation meeting on 14th May 2010 at the Royal Selangor Club, a formal application to register an organisation, MALAYSIA TOURISM FEDERATION, has been lodged in with the Registrar of Societies in Shah Alam yesterday.

Protem President, Dato Dr Joshua Tan, said that the formation has been well received by all quarters especially all those 22 people who attended the meeting representing not less than 12 national tourism association not yet affiliated to any national body.

A delegation to see the Minister of Tourism will be made soon to brief her on the need for the MTF, Dato Dr Joshua Tan added. Meanwhile he will be in touch with other national association to get them to join our fold.

The processing of the MTF registration will take at least three months and regular Protem Committee meetings will be held in addition to several road shows being planned to attract more membership of MTF.

Is Our Malaysia Tourism Industry On Track ?

After sailing for more than 38 years with so many captains , have we in tourism industry reach the port ????....we need your comments ..