Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tougher animal protection laws to draw more tourists.

Malaysia must enact tougher protection laws to convince the world community that its zoos, forests and national parks are indeed fully friendly to mother nature and truly sustainable.

"Malaysia needs to learn from countries like Australia that have very tough laws passed by Parliament to strictly govern and scrutinise what is happening in zoos, wildlife and national parks everyday, so that our nature-tourism can progress in a big way," said Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

On Friday, the Minister had meetings with the management of the world-renowned Adelaide Zoo that attracts up to 750,000 foreign tourists annually, and the Adelaide Botanical Gardens, that attract 1.4 million visitors each year.

She said her ministry has come up with a policy of "Green Malaysia, Clean Malaysia" for its future direction in tourism promotion.

"Zoos, botanical gardens and national parks should be managed together in an intergrated manner, like here in Australia. Look at the zoos, gardens and parks in Australia. They are so well managed, and the animals, trees, plants and flowers are so well taken care of that they reflect the highest standard of environmental management. This is why they can attract so many tourists every year. We in Malaysia need to learn and adopt similar laws," she said.

Datuk Seri Dr Ng said a huge percentage of international tourists were very sensitive about the environment and animals. "That is why the delicate issues of illegal logging and alleged abuse of orang utan habitats in Malaysia have become hot international topics, and have adversely affected Malaysia's image," she noted.

She wanted to work closely with her counterparts in the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry to coordinate measures to better conserve, preserve and protect the ecosystem and its priceless assets. "We do have our laws, but there are loopholes and weaknesses we need to overcome," she said.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Healthy and easy ways to overcome jetlag user

by Brett Blumenthal

Having just traveled internationally, I was reminded of how it feels to fall victim to a mega dose of jet lag. I had full intentions of quickly adapting to my new timezone, but unfortunately, I made a fatal error in my plan to adapt. I drank not one, but TWO cappuccinos late in the day. Bad decision when trying to overcome 6 hours of a time difference!

In the past, however, I have prided myself in adapting quickly...one day or so for a European destination. Not too shabby. This recent experience, however, has inspired me to share what HAS worked for a quick turnaround:

Exercise: Staying in good shape, before and after your flight will be helpful. Continue to exercise at your destination and eat right.
Stay Hydrated: When flying, you can easily become dehydrated due to the dry air on the plane. This can cause you to feel very tired. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your flight.

Do as the Romans Do: Once you reach your destination, adopt the schedule of the time zone you are in. Eat when the locals eat. Drink when the locals drink and sleep when the locals sleep.

Sleep Schedules: Do everything in your power to get a full night sleep at your new destination. If you need to, use a sleep aid (such as Simply Sleep) to help you fall off to sleep. Avoid using them, however, in flight and don't overuse them.

Shower: If you arrive in the morning, take a cool shower once you have landed. This will help you to feel refreshed and stimulate circulation, getting you ready for the rest of the day ahead. If you arrive in the evening, however, take a hot shower before bedtime to help relax and calm your body and mind so that you are prepared for bedtime.

Caffeine: Avoid caffeine after the equivalent of 1pm in your new destination. Caffeine can impact your sleep, making it difficult for you to get adjusted to the new time zone (as it did for me this last time!)

Alcohol: Avoid alcohol the evening before your trip. On the flight, however, you might consider a glass of wine to relax you and help you fall off to dreamland. Don't overdo it though...alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns and dehydrate you.

Eat Often: Especially on the first or second day of your trip, consider eating light snacks every couple of hours. This will help you to keep your metabolism cranked throughout the day, but will also avoid potential food comas from over eating and restlessness from too full of a tummy while trying to sleep.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tips to Surviving Group-Tour Travel partner

The prospect of a group tour makes a lot of us uneasy. Given that you are touring a place on someone else's watch, many find the planned schedules restrictive. Plus, there's the group of strangers one may or may not like, and the large group that screams "tourist." But group tours are not always a bad thing; in fact, they may just surprise you and offer some truly memorable, and unique, experiences. Here are useful tips to help you and your family make the most of your experience traveling with a large group.

1. Think about your comfort first. When you are booking your group tour, think about the things that make you happy when you’re traveling. Do you typically like to split the family up into two different hotel rooms? Do you prefer for the rooms to be next door to each other so that everyone can walk in and out of each other’s spaces easily? Is it absolutely necessary for your son or daughter to have a window seat on all flights? These are all things the tour operator should know at the time of booking. It would be a disaster to start off your trip in a bad mood because you didn’t make the small provisions you need for your own comfort. Stay pretty as well as comfortable with these great travel beauty tools.

2. Carefully study the day-by-day itinerary provided. One of the most important things you can do is to review the trip schedule provided by the tour operator. Knowing the places you’ll be visiting will help you determine everything from what to wear in certain places to other essentials, like bottled water or snacks, you might want to pack for a day of sightseeing where lunchtime is a bit later than you are used to. If your itinerary includes visits to churches or other religious buildings, plan for covering your shoulders or removing your shoes as a form of reverence and respect. Another reason for reviewing the itinerary is to determine if there are any attractions not on the agenda that you’d like to fit in while on your trip. Try these vacations the whole family can enjoy.

3. Your tour guide can work around your needs. Just because you are traveling with a group, that doesn’t mean you have to be tied to them every second of your trip. If there’s a morning where you’d like to sleep in a little bit late and skip a specific sightseeing trip, let your tour guide know in advance. Or, if you don't want to miss a thing, use these strategies to feel rested on a small amount of sleep.

4. Make friends with your group members. Who doesn’t like meeting new people? Sure, there's a chance that there will be someone in the group who drives you nuts, but there is also the likelihood of some interesting people, maybe even future friends. You have to be on the bus with them, so you might as well make it enjoyable. It's not as tough as you might think to make friends when you're no longer a kid.

5. Keep your eyes open. When you're on the bus making new friends, don't forget to take in the scenery and get a good feel for all the places you're visiting. A window seat on the bus is a perfect place for getting great photos, so take advantage of the fact that you aren't the one who has to navigate. And don't forget to maintain your health on vacation.

6. Ask for what you want. Usually tour guides give you a limited amount of time at each site just so they can fit in as much into your day as possible. If you need more time to explore a specific site, don’t hesitate to let your guide know. The other people in your group are probably feeling the same way and you want to be sure you get your money’s worth. Still not convinced group travel is your thing? Try these fun last-minute getaways instead.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


A Sardarji and an American are seated next to each other on a flight from Los Angeles to New York. The American asks if he would like to play a fun game.
The Sardarji, tired, just wants to take a nap, so he politely declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks.

The American persists and explains that the game is easy and a lot of fun. He says, "I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me five dollars, and vice versa."

Again, he declines and tries to get some sleep.

The American, now agitated, says, "Okay, if you don't know the answer, you pay me $5,and if I don't know the answer, I will pay you $500."

This catches the Sardarji's attention and, figuring there will be no end to this torment, agrees to the game.

The American asks the first question: "What's the distance from the earth to the moon?"

The Sardarji doesn't say a word, reaches into his wallet,pulls out a $5.00 bill, and hands it to the American.

"Okay," says the American, "your turn".

He asks, "What goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four legs?"

The American, puzzled, takes out his laptop computer & searches all his preferences........no answer. He taps into the air phone with his modem and searches the Internet and the Library of Congress... no answer.

Frustrated, he sends e-mails to all his friends and coworkers but to no avail.

After an hour, he wakes the Sardarji and hands him $500.

The Sardarji thanks him and turns back to get some more sleep.

The American, who is more than a little miffed, stirs the Sardarji and asks, "Well, what's the answer?"

Without a word, the Sardarji reaches into his purse,hands the american $5,and goes back to sleep

Friday, August 27, 2010

Holidaymakers still flocking to Indonesia

Malaysians have not been deterred from entering Indonesia despite ongoing protests in the republic. This is an understatement.

Malaysian Association of Tours and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Mohd Khalid Harun assured travellers that Jakarta remained safe. "The situation will not affect travellers although they have the right to change their itineraries if they deem Jakarta unsafe," he said. Khalid speaking as though he the President of the Republic said MATTA had yet to receive reports of any significant decrease in travellers to Indonesia after Benteng Demokrasi Rakyat (Bendera) threatened to "sweep" Malaysians.

We Malaysian should take these sort of threats more seriously as it takes only one incident to spark off the rest.

It was also business as usual for Lintas Travel Services operator Hisham Zamri as bookings through the agency were not affected so far. "I do not think such an incident would warrant holiday cancellations of bookings," he said, adding that holidaymakers preferred to visit tourist spots in Bali and Medan.

But he did not discount the possibility of losing business if the situation persists. "Unless the government issues advisories or directives to ban travellers to the republic, we will operate business as usual," he said.

Malaysia-Indonesia Journalists Solidarity Alliance (ISWMI) Malaysia branch head Datuk Ahmad A. Talib yesterday expressed disappointment at Bendera's actions. "Throwing faeces at the Malaysian embassy was totally unexpected, especially during this holy month of Ramadan," he said yesterday.

Datuk Ahmad said, however, that ISWMI believed Bendera's actions did not reflect the Indonesian people as a whole. "Whatever happens, ISWMI does not want to see the relationship of the two countries sour because of a small portion of the Indonesian people whose actions can jeopardise the image and dignity of a country which will be celebrating its independence this month," he said.

Islamic Development Department director-general Datuk Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abd Aziz concurred with Datuk Ahmad. In a statement yesterday, he condemned Bendera's actions since it was committed during Ramadan. "Malaysians should remain calm and do not get carried away with emotions as it is a month for forgiveness and virtuous practices."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

River cruise sector still struggling

River cruises are big money-spinners overseas but not so in Malaysia due to the reluctance of local banks to give financial help to those starting such activities said Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen on Sunday during a river cruise along the majestic fjords in Milford Sound, in New Zealand ’s South Island.

She has every reason to be disappointed that despite Malaysia having wonderful marine parks, geo-parks, riverine towns, settlements and islands, the river-cruise sector in almost every state was struggling to move forward.

“This river-cruise sector is one area where we need to catch up with the rest of the world,” said the Minister, who is on a 10-day promotional visit to Australia and New Zealand .

In the four days of her visit to New Zealand , Ng had a close-up look at the country’s botanical gardens, Maori handicraft, the Auckland Museum , aerial tourism as well as the food and shopping sectors.

“In Malaysia , we also have some scenic and beautiful coastal and river-based attractions, such as the Langkawi geopark, the islands off the east and west coasts, Kuching City and the interior settlements of Sarawak and Sabah .

However, banks in Malaysia are reluctant to give loans to those who want to go big in the river cruises because they see the sector as one that gives slow financial returns. If we don’t develop our cruise boats and ships, we can’t draw tourists and progress fast in the cruise sectors.

This river-cruise sector in Malaysia has not achieved its full potential. The ministry is to come up with workable plans on what we can do to progress in this sector.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


ASTA has announced added benefits for those members who join ASTA’s International Buyers Club (IBC), an exclusive group of ASTA member travel agents, both domestic and international, and internationally based tour operators.

Membership in the International Buyers Club provides travel agents and tour operators with an additional means of enhancing their professional standing. The International Buyers Club fosters relationships between domestic and international members, which is so critical in today’s competitive and global business environment.

Among the new benefits are : use of the IBC logo and certificate; complimentary listing in the IBC Directory; up to two Tweets per month spotlighting member companies on “IBC on Twitter” (twitter.com/ASTAIBC); information and invitations from shows listed on ASTA’s IBC Industry Calendar, which provides details on local travel shows around the world recognition in ASTA’s monthly chapter newsletter as the “Featured IBC Member of the Month;” and select benefits at World Travel Market (WTM) (London, Nov. 8-11): complimentary invitation to attend exclusive VIP activities; special access to WTM on Monday, Nov. 8; Meridian Club member registration status while at WTM, including a special reception for the Buyers Club attendees and Meridian Club members and access to the Meridian Club Lounge.

WTM is fast approaching and by joining the International Buyers Club now, travel agents and tour operators will be able to take full advantage of all that their IBC membership entails while at World Travel Market.

To join the International Buyers Club. International travel agent and tour operator members pay only $49. For more information, logon to mbancroft@asta.org

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Few things are better than traveling, enjoying, and staying close to nature. Whether it is for an outing with friends and family or on some work, motor homes makes such dreams come true. With all the comforts and luxuries of home, they help make a working assignment more easy and a family outing more enjoyable.

In Malaysia no companies have been heard to provide different types, sizes, designs, and colors of motor homes.

Motor homes are 'living units' which are constructed on a chassis. They have all the amenities of a home such as bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, electricity, and many more. All that you need is a valid drivers' license.

Different types of motor homes can be made available, all tailored to suit different needs. Class A (the bus type), Class B and Class C differ significantly in their size and other aspects. While Class A motor homes are large and roomy, Class C is usually held to be the safest, with air bags and seat belts. The convenience of Class B lies in its ability to be parked wherever one wishes, due to its size.

Diesel- and gas-powered motor homes can also be made available. Diesel is more fuel-efficient but also noisier than gas-powered homes, which are faster and hence provide better acceleration.

Rates for rental services vary, depending on the type of motor home chosen and other factors. A higher rate normally applies to certain busy months, while discounts are offered in other months.

With comfort and luxuriousness mingled, and usefulness and convenience even better than a hotel room, such motor homes are a must for anyone who wants a truly enriching holiday experience.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen plans to use Malaysia's abundance of fantastic flora and fauna to woo naturalists and garden lovers from around the globe to Malaysia.

She said Malaysia enjoyed a unique collection of orchids, hibiscuses and many other rare plants that would be appreciated and treasured by overseas visitors.

"But we must go about it in the right way, so I will be inviting noted horticulturalists and garden experts from overseas to help Malaysia develop our gardens and parks," she said here after visiting the internationally-acclaimed Auckland Botanic Gardens.

Dr Ng was so impressed with the Auckland gardens that she invited Auckland gardens manager Jack Hobbs to visit Malaysia to advise on presentation and help put together a garden-orientated tourism package.

To mark her visit to the Auckland Botanic Gardens, Dr Ng on Thursday planted a Malaysian hibiscus at the garden, marking a new beginning in the Malaysia-New Zealand parks and gardens cooperation and goodwill.

Dr Ng is on a seven-day promotional tour to New Zealand and Australia. ( BERNAMA )

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Please keep in mind that there are occasionally good reasons to stay in the office (and you'll probably feel less guilt while shopping in a foreign city if you follow some rough guidelines). Here are the rare times when a vacation may be the wrong call:

When the company is in crisis. A business leader who faces chronic, long-term troubles will eventually need time off while dealing with them, but shorter-term crises require immediate decision-making. If a company's survival is at stake, you don't want your leader taking off for a leisurely vacation. Small business owners weren't likely taking long personal trips in the immediate aftermath of tsunami.

When you haven't planned ahead. An inappropriate time for a vacation is when you haven't cleared it with your supervisor or with management well in advance so that plans can be made for your absence. It is bad form to just decide at the last minute that you will take holiday time off, when inevitably, everyone else wants that time off, too.

When you're in the middle of a project. Be careful when you're in the thick of a project, or your best client is in a difficult situation. You may have to change your vacation time. You have to be sensitive to things like that.

Employees need to predict and pay attention to important deadlines well ahead of time. Whether it's a group project coming to fruition, a major presentation, or a product debut, you definitely want to be there when it's going to be unrolled, when it's revealed, when they're going to be presenting it. You want to be visible when the important news is being broadcast.

When it's the busiest season for your company. Many businesses are cyclical--think accounting firms, landscaping contractors, wedding planners--and employees should take the seasonal fluctuations into account when planning trips. You want to be sure you're giving your group and your supervisors the impression that you're a team player--you are there and you're doing what you have to do to book revenue.

Immediately following a merger or acquisition. Visibility is critical in the period following a merger or acquisition, as your company and team are being scrutinized for things like relevance, productivity, and necessity. One of the chief concerns after a merger is redundancy, but showing up and working hard can help employees make a case for themselves.

During executive or key client visits. This is another point when visibility is critical: When a person of authority is traveling to your branch or office, you want to be there to maintain your identity as a strong player. Many of these visits are scheduled in advance, so the onus is on the employee to plan for them.

Anytime a team member or supervisor leaves. This is the ultimate opportunity for you to step up, take a leadership role, and set yourself apart. It's all about creating value in the workforce today. They have to position themselves as that star athlete, that star performer, that star player. Offering to take over some responsibilities can increase your marketability at work.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


As Malaysia marked this year's 53th Independence Day, it was only apt that today's younger generation, as the human capital of tomorrow, should have a positive desire in wanting to know more about the history of the country's formative years, especially the struggles of their forefathers for independence.

These are our future leaders, who will continue to shoulder the responsibilities and make Malaysia a sovereign country.

The patriotic spirit of most Malaysians are normally manifested through the creative displays of the Jalur Gemilang on vehicles, motorcycles, helmets and even lamp posts while government buildings, business premises, schools and individual houses are also encouraged to fly the flag.

But the extent to which the national flag, as a symbol of national identity and nationalism that could stir deep emotions among civic-conscious and peace-loving Malaysians remained to be seen as expressing patriotism was not just about waving or hoisting flags come every August 31.

We are skeptical that the younger generation fully understand the meaning of Merdeka, which could be partly due to ignorance or lackadaisical attitude.

MTF would like to hear your take on this matter. Do drop us a line.

Friday, August 20, 2010


The four-and-a-half-month closure of the Aerotrain service at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) from November will not affect tourist arrivals, said Malaysia Airports Berhad (MAB) senior general manager Datuk Azmi Murad.

"We are confident travellers will not be put off just because they have to use buses.

"Many large airports around the world use only bus services to transport passengers," he told a press conference after a media briefing on the closure of the Aerotrain service Thursday.

He said travellers would only take seven extra minutes to travel between the two buildings using the interim bus service.

"We will also put up signs to notify travellers where they need to go to board the buses and place personnel to guide them should there be any confusion," Azmi added.

The service will be closed from Nov 1 this year to March 15 next year to allow for complete maintenance and modification works on the two trains currently operating the service.

The tracks will also be extended to a depot that will be constructed to serve as a permanent venue for scheduled maintenance works, and also to house another train that will serve as a replacement during repairs or maintenance.

This is the first time the train service, which has been in operation since the airport opened in 1998, will be halted.

Azmi said the schedule of the buses has been worked to ensure travellers will not have to wait more than three minutes even during peak hours.

"We have already conducted dry runs and are confident it will be business as usual throughout the four-and-a-half-months," he said.

Endnote: Please clip this posting and open it again in March 2011. Then see what happen. It is easier said than done

Thursday, August 19, 2010


The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents' (MATTA) annual fair is coming to Kuala Lumpur at the start of September.

Scheduled to take place at the Putra World Trade Centre between September 3rd and 5th 2010, the bi-annual event typically sees hundreds of exhibitors pack out the venue, offering cut price-deals to attendees.

Jon Tan, the organising chairman of the MATTA Fair, has revealed he is expecting more than 80,000 people to flock to the expo, a significant increase on the 9,000 who visited the inaugural show in 1991.

With this number of visitors being predicted, it is likely that Kuala Lumpur hotels will be in high demand throughout the three-day event.

A number of national tourism organisations will have a presence at the fair, with representatives from Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and Turkey all planning to set up stalls.

More than 770 booths - representing 87 per cent of the venue's capacity - had already been booked in early July.

Tan is also keen to remind would-be fairgoers that the annual buyers' contest will also return this year, with a total of 25,000 Malaysian ringgits (GBP5,000) worth of travel vouchers up for grabs.

The doors of the Putra World Trade Centre will be open every day between 10:00 and 21:00 local time throughout the event.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


We should be celebrating Earth Day every year, as green-minded, that is, eco-friendly people.

Hotels would be truly laudable as they participate in this meaningful event that seeks to protect Mother Nature.

The bamboo and palm fronds which can be used to build it can all be planted and harvested from the site.

A sustainable resort and the community, can definitely be your ordinary resort hotel.

An eco-friendly resort which can be among the best resort hotels which runs in 100 percent off-grid solar energy, the materials used to build the resort are the best in green technology, there is a comprehensive recycling and waste program and only natural and localized products are used for maintenance and cleaning.

When we built the hotel, we need to plant bamboos in the area which can later on used as materials for the hotels.

This is the same for the palm fronds used as roofing materials for their guestrooms.

We should place high importance to involving the community to these projects, where the community’s hopes and aspirations for the place are seriously taken into consideration when we start building the hotels.

Thus, beyond the eco-architecture that helps the local ecosystem, we can honour the community by hiring locals, and patronising local businesses for products needed by the hotel, and also incorporating, not disregarding, time-honoured traditions in the locality.

This is one approach to business that is simply worth emulating.

Happy Earth Day everyone!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


On Friday 13th we posted a brief on the what this day means to some. For Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab Beg it was the day he was asked to report to MACC and a CBT charge was slapped on nto him.

Yesterday at Kuala Lumpur Session Court 8 he and two former top officials of ministry subsidiary Pempena were yesterday charged with committing criminal breach of trust totalling almost RM1 million.

Dato Mirza, 53, and former Pempena Chief Operating Officer (COO) Mohammad Rosly Md Selamat, 56, claimed trial to CBT of RM888,000 at the Pempena office at Menara Dato Onn, PWTC, on Feb 27, 2007. They allegedly approved payment for the construction of Restaurant Malaysia Dubai although conditions for construction were not met, and banked the money into the account of LCL Interior LCL Dubai.

Earlier, in another court, Mohammad Rosly and former Pempena financial controller Lim Khing Thai, 38, claimed trial to a joint charge of CBT involving RM169,770 on Aug 15, 2006. They allegedly paid the money to Umi Hafilda Ali as sponsorship for concerts by singer Amr Diab despite knowing that the payment had yet to be authorised by the Pempena board of directors. They allegedly did so by signing four Bumiputera Commerce Berhad cheques at the Pempena office.

According to a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) complaint form dated May 5, last year, the commission received information that Mohammad Rosly and Lim had received a bribe from Ummi Hafilda in return for approving a RM300,000 to sponsor Amr Diab concerts at KLCC and Stadium Negara.

All three were charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code which provides for a penalty of not less than two years and up to 20 years imprisonment, whipping and a fine upon conviction.

In the case against Mirza and Mohammad Rosly, DPP Nahra Dollah urged the court to set bail ay RM100,000 for each accused, due to the large sum involved and asked the court to impound their passports.

Dato Mirza’s lawyer Saseedharan Menon, however, asked for bail to be set lower, saying Mirza had earlier appeared to face corruption charges for which he had been acquitted. Mirza was acquitted and discharged on July 24 last year after being tried for accepting dental treatment amounting to RM13,860.

Saseedharan pointed out that Mirza had not only cooperated fully with the investigations by the MACC the first time around, but he was fully cooperative in the probe on this charge. “This man has been through hell. He has faced the music of the MACC and the music of a criminal prosecution, and we are putting him through another round of music,” said Saseedharan.

He submitted that Mirza should be allowed a low bail, pointing out that his client was released on only a RM5,000 bail the first time he was charged.

He said that Mirza, who was scheduled to go for umrah today, had postponed it to Aug 18 to be present in court, and that he would return on Aug 29. Saseedharan also submitted that Mirza would require his passport for work visits abroad.

Judge Azizah Mahmud then set bail at RM30,000 with one surety for Mirza, and directed that he surrender his passport on Sept 1 after returning from umrah. Mohammad Rosly was granted bail of RM50,000 and told to surrender his passport on Sept 6 after a familiy reunion in Melbourne from Aug 26 to Sept 6.

In the case where Mohammad Rosly and Lim were jointly charged, bail was fixed at RM20,000 each. Mention for all three accused was set at Sept 6.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Popularity is not a state of grace. In the tourism business, it is treasure hard-won on the battlefields of product development and marketing, then leveraged or squandered or stolen back.

Most of the products and ideas showcased at travel fairs—the packages we buy, sell, and otherwise booked the most—owe their status in part to aggressive sales tactics, from knocking on doors to strong-arming grocers to gain the best media space.

In its most potent and permanent form, however, popularity transcends sales pitches, advertising, fads, and maybe even conscious choice.

One rarely reads or talks or thinks about island packages, yet Langkawi has beaten Tioman for years, a sustained level of popularity that other islands can only dream about.

While Langkawi rolls on, Redang—the most buzzworthy island product of the last decade—will probably take its place amid the eco-tourism range. In short, if we have to think about going for island trips, it's in a precarious position. The things we rarely pause to consider are the ones that stay on top.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said luxury tourism meant that the tour packages must be above RM5,000 each with luxury top-end accommodation, great food and exclusive activities thrown in for the affluent travellers.

As for feedback from travel and tour operators in Hong Kong and southern China, she said Malaysia stood a good chance of getting more tourist arrivals from Hong Kong and China this year.

In addition to the luxury segment, Dr Ng said Malaysia also hoped to attract tourists from Hong Kong and China in senior citizens tours, ecotourism, shopping, food and homestay packages.

"Besides tourism packages, we also hope to attract investors from China to invest in tourism-related products like restaurants or invest in property through the "Malaysia, My Second Home" programme," she disclosed.

As a first step towards creating greater awareness among tourists in Hong Kong and China in the art segment and to further position Malaysia as a tourism hub, she said Malaysia would take part in the Hong Kong International Art and Antiques Fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in October.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


India holds a certain sense of mystery for the world outside its borders. Read on to find how curious foreigners are about India and its ways or rather read on to find out how dumb and ignorant they are about our beautiful country. This was taken from a tourism blog where people could post queries if they were planning on making a trip to India.

The answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who demonstrate tolerance and excellent sense of humor.

Q : Does it ever get windy in India ? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? ( UK ).
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q : Will I be able to see elephants in the street? ( USA )
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Delhi to Goa - can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden )
A: Sure, it's only three thousand kms, take lots of water.

Q: Are there any ATMs India ? Can you send me a list of them in Delhi , Chennai, Calcutta and Bangalore?(UK)

A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Which direction is North in India ? ( USA )
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into India ? ( UK )
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Indiana Pacers matches schedule? ( France )
A: Indiana is a state in the Unites States of...oh forget it. Sure, the Indiana Pacers matches are played every Tues day night in Goa, Come naked.

Q: Can I wear high heels in India ? ( UK )
A: You're a British politician, right?

Q: Are there supermarkets in Bangalore, and is milk available all year round? ( Germany )
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in India who can dispense rattlesnake serum. ( USA )
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Indian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: Do you have perfume in India ? ( France )
A: No, WE don't stink in India.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in India ? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in India ? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you will have to learn it first

Q: Can I see Taj Mahal anytime? (Italy)
A: As long as you are not blind, you can see it anytime day and night.

Q: Do you have Toilet paper? (USA)
A: No, we use sand paper. (we have different grades)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Is Friday the 13th synonymous with bad luck ?

Friday the 13th is synonymous with superstitions and bad luck for some - so much so that some people flat-out refuse to fly, make business deals or get married on this fateful day.

As many as 21 million people in the United States are fearful of Friday the 13th, according to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, N.C., which estimates that $800 million to $900 million is lost in business every Friday the 13th because of fears of the doomed day.

But is there really a reason to be so apprehensive of a day that's technically just like any other? Of course not, scientist say. You can pick out any date on the calendar or any day in history and find some weird stuff that's happened.

But for us, tourism industry people in Malaysia, strange things are happening today. However the MTW is not prepared to expose it at this time. Just tune on to Prime News on Monday or the newspapers the next day..............You are in for a shock.

MAS-MITM Travel Fair

The Malaysia Airlines-Malaysia International Travel Mart (MITM) Travel Fair 2010 offers travel enthusiasts a wide range of value for money deals and travel packages with discounts up to 70 per cent.

The offers applies to all international destinations the national carrier flies to with travel periods from August 27, 2010.

The tickets can be purchased via the www.malaysiaairline s.com website, MAS call centre and ticketing offices via the virtual fair from August 13 to 17, 2010.

The travel fair, scheduled from August 13 to 15, will be staged at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre with an admission fee of RM3 per person.

Malaysia Airlines' senior general manager, sales and marketing, Bernard Francis, said it provided a good opportunity for customers to grab value deals for air travel and vacations while enjoying Malaysian Hospitality at the same time.

"It is also a good platform for the airline to foster ties with its key partners to develop tourism resources for better travel options," the organisers said

Malaysia Airlines' subsidiary, Firefly, is also offering travel packages departing from its hub in Subang.

The travel fair is the first collaboration between Malaysia Airlines and Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association in organising the event which will have both virtual and physical presence.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What are the signs of a green hypocrite

Anyone who has tried to live more sustainably, knows that it's impossible to do everything right. Besides, there's no one "right way" to be green, and doing something is definitely better than doing nothing at all.

That's why it can be annoying to deal with people who are smug about the choices they make, particularly when those choices aren't all that superior after all.

Do you know a green hypocrite? Here are some telltale signs of green hypocrisy. Your friend is not as green as she thinks if she does any of these things:

Recycles regularly, but shops constantly and uses a lot of disposables. Everyone knows that recycling is good for the planet, but there's an important reason that it's the final "R" in "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle." Using durable, reusable items is better than choosing single-use plastic bags, bottles, etc., even if you are diligent about recycling. The bottom line: Just because you recycle doesn't mean you should shop till you drop.

Buys only organic foods, but eats meat at every meal. If you can afford to solely buy organic foods, that's great. But overall food choices also matter. Cutting back on meat and dairy is one of the most significant food choices you can make because raising livestock contributes to climate change, deforestation, water pollution, and more.

Owns a hybrid, but drives all around town alone. The kind of car you drive is just one part of the transportation equation. Walking, biking, carpooling, and taking public transportation when you can are also important. Try to drive the most fuel-efficient car in the class of car you need. That car doesn't need to be a hybrid. Remember that driving less overall by making shopping lists and planning efficient routes saves gas and reduces emissions.

Built a green house, but it's enormous and it's a second home. If you're going to build a house, then there's no question that using durable, sustainable materials and maximizing energy and water efficiency is beneficial. But size really does matter. The smaller your home, the less of an impact it will have in the long run. The same goes for the number of homes you own.

Takes an eco-vacation, but flies thousands of miles in first-class to get there. How you get to your destination can significantly impact the environmental impact of your vacation. One plane trip for a family of four can produce more global warming pollution than a whole year of commuting, according to a Union of Concerned Scientists' report. What's more, the report says, that flying first-class can double your carbon footprint because first-class seats take up more space so fewer people can fit on the plane.

Carries reusable grocery bags, but fills them up with bottled water and packaged junk. What you put into your reusable grocery bag is far more important than the bag itself. It's better to carry a plastic bag and fill it up with locally grown fruits and veggies than to tote around an eco-friendly sack filled with packaged foods and drinks that have been shipped thousands of miles.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Walk the Talk - COURAGE

by Eric Harvey and Steve Ventura

QUESTION: What does "courage" have to do with being a person of good character...with someone who stays true to their principles and their values?


You see, being values-driven means two things:

Doing what's right - following our conscience; refusing to compromise our principles, despite pressures and temptations to the contrary, and

Taking a stand against what's wrong - speaking out, whenever we see others do things that are incorrect or inappropriate.

Unquestionably, both of those require guts and fortitude...they require courage.

Courage is...

Following your conscience instead of "following the crowd".
Refusing to take part in hurtful or disrespectful behaviors.
Sacrificing personal gain for the benefit of others.
Speaking your mind even though others don't agree.
Taking complete responsibility for your actions...and your mistakes.
Following the rules - and insisting that others do the same.
Challenging the status quo in search of better ways.
Doing what you know is right- regardless of the risks and potential consequences.

I'd like to share the "Cadet Prayer" that is repeated during chapel services at the Military Academy:

"Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole truth can be won. Endow us with the courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when truth and right are in jeopardy."

That is truly the essence of courage.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Staycation instead of vacation

Instead of going on a vacation stay at home to save money. This is called staycation. It has a potential savings $1,000+ per person. The savings from staying home vs. traveling for vacation are obvious. The trick is to maintain your quality of life while you do it. No working allowed. Turn off the computer and the phone. Relax, have fun, and take day trips exploring your local area.

If you're like many people, at the beginning of every year you resolve to get your finances in better shape by paying off debt and adding to your savings. But like many resolutions, the reality often doesn't meet the goal.

All is not lost. There are still five full months left in the year -- time for a quick review of simple ways to save. The goal? To set aside at least an extra thousand ringgit by year end, without sacrificing your quality of life. Going on a "ringgit-diet" is no way to get the job done -- painless savings are the only kind you should attempt because they're the only kind that work.

1. Lower your cell phone bill. Potential savings: $100. If you're not using minutes you're paying for, switch to a cheaper plan. That could save you $20 a month, or $100by year end.

2. Discontinue your land line. Potential savings: $140. If you find that your land line is gathering dust, terminate it. And even if you want to keep your land line, if you have a broadband internet connection, get your phone service through it rather the phone company. A service like Skype will give you unlimited calling to another Skype anywhere in the world for free rather than the $30 you might be paying for traditional phone service providers.

3. Raise your insurance deductibles. Potential savings: $250. Raising your car and home insurance deductibles could have zero impact on your quality of life, but it could have a big impact on your savings. Decide what you can afford to pay out of pocket, spend a few minutes on the phone and see what you can save. Another way to save: shop your insurance and see if you can get a better deal.

4. Drop the gym. Potential savings: $150. Unless you're training for competition, a gym can be expensive overkill. You can buy cheap weights at yard sales or places like Play It Again Sports. You can buy cheap workout videos and exercise in front of the TV, or get both exercise and fresh air by walking, jogging or biking in your neighborhood.

5. Drop premium cable channels -- or drop cable altogether. Potential savings: $50 - $200. One of the most popular stories we've done this year was "You Don't Have to Pay for Cable," a step-by-step guide to bypassing your cable company while still watching your favorite shows. Even if you decide against that, however, consider dropping premium channels. They're expensive and often filled with lousy fare anyway.

6. Sell Your Stuff. Potential earnings: $400+. If you're like most people, you've got clothes you don't wear, CDs you don't listen to, books you don't read, DVDs you don't watch, furniture you don't sit in -- you get the picture. If nothing else, donate it and create a feel good in yourself. But don't mess up your quality of life by stressing out and trying to do everything at once. Pick one thing (or room) every month from now until the holidays, clear out the clutter and make some money!

7. Save on Food. Potential savings: $300+. Forget the hotels for the time being. The web is full of tips to save on food. Some will be obvious (use a list), but some might surprise you. For example, did you know that you might find groceries at 50% off at a major supermarkets ? Pasar malam can be expensive.

8. Haggle. ( taxis not allowed) Potential savings: $500+. According to a recent survey, negotiating a lower price is not only possible, it's likely. What can you negotiate? Pretty much everything. You can call your credit card company and ask for a better interest rate or a waive of fees. You can ask for a lower price from your doctor. You can negotiate a lower price on your cable bill. The fact is, you can negotiate a lower price on anything from home electronics to hotel rooms.

9. Carry only cash: Potential savings: $250+. Try an experiment between now and the holidays. Carry only cash -- no plastic. This simple idea can easily result in major savings. The reasons are simple: If you carry only the cash you need to buy what you went out for, you'll avoid impulse buys. Plus, it's psychologically more difficult to spend actual money than "plastic" money.

Combine these ideas and you'll have at least an extra $1,000 by the time the holidays roll around. And if you need more ideas to make it work, the web is overflowing with hundreds, if not thousands, more.

The key is to carve out a little time, check out some resources, decide what you're willing to try, and get on with it. But remember to avoid anything that might make your life less enjoyable. The key to making it is making it easy on yourself. So if you want an extra grand by the time the holidays roll around, start today!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins

Nearly a billion and a half Muslims worldwide this week begin the annual holy month of Ramadan, a time of prayer and fasting that commemorates the divine revelation received by the Prophet Mohammed.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim Hijri calendar, during which the faithful abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and having sex during daylight and, in the evening, eat small meals and visit friends and family.

It is a month of piety, alms-giving and fasting in order to instil the body and spirit with the rigours of abstinence, a time of worship and contemplation and to strengthen family and community ties.

Observing Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, the others being the shahada or profession of faith, the obligation to pray five times a day, the giving of alms or zakat and going on pilgrimage to Mecca, the hajj.

The onset of Ramadan, which is determined by observing the crescent moon or by astronomical calculations, can vary from country to country.

Under the Hijri calendar, which has 11 days fewer than the Gregorian, Ramadan will begin this year -- the year 1431 -- on August 10 or 11.

The first day of the holy month is decided by the sighting of the crescent moon by the naked eye. Theologians and scholars gather every year to determine the onset of Ramadan, which varies across the globe according to location.

All post-puberty Muslim believers are expected to fast during Ramadan, and even though children are exempt, it is recommended that they become accustomed to the practice progressively.

Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, the sick and travellers all have the right not to observe the fast, but they must do so as soon as they are able.

It is traditional to break the fast after sunset with a meal known as iftar, consisting of dates and goat's milk, as the Prophet is said to have done. The last meal before dawn is known as suhur.

The holy month ends with feasting and gifts on Islam's biggest festival, Eid al-Fitr.

Pilgrims flock to Islam's holiest sites at Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan, especially on the last 10 days of the month. The holiest night is on day 27, marking the revelation of the Koran to the Prophet in 610 AD.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) forecasts that international tourism will continue growing at the average annual rate of 4 %. By 2020 Europe will remain the most popular destination, but its share will drop from 60% in 1995 to 46%. Long-haul will grow slightly faster than intraregional travel and by 2020 its share will increase from 18% in 1995 to 24%.

With the advent of e-commerce, tourism products have become one of the most traded items on the internet. Tourism products and services have been made available through intermediaries, although tourism providers (hotels, airlines, etc.) can sell their services directly. This has put pressure on intermediaries from both on-line and traditional shops.

It has been suggested there is a strong correlation between Tourism expenditure per capita and the degree to which countries play in the global context. Not only as a result of the important economic contribution of the tourism industry, but also as an indicator of the degree of confidence with which global citizens leverage the resources of the globe for the benefit of their local economies. This is why any projections of growth in tourism may serve as an indication of the relative influence that each country will exercise in the future.

Space tourism is expected to "take off" in the first quarter of the 21st century, although compared with traditional destinations the number of tourists in orbit will remain low until technologies such as a space elevator make space travel cheap.

Technological improvement is likely to make possible air-ship hotels, based either on solar-powered airplanes or large dirigibles. Underwater hotels, such as Hydropolis, expected to open in Dubai in 2009, will be built. On the ocean tourists will be welcomed by ever larger cruise ships and perhaps floating cities.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

An "Alternative Development Paradigm"?

by Imtiaz Muqbil,
Executive Editor, Travel Impact Newswire

At the World Travel Market in London this November, the UN World Tourism Organisation plans to convene its fourth and largest-ever Ministers' Summit which "for the first time (will) conclude with a Statement of Intent outlining the future direction of the travel and tourism industry." Under the meeting theme, "Shaping a Stronger Travel and Tourism Industry – Governance and Business Models for the Future", the ministers are to agree on their plan and direction for the industry for the next 12 months. According to the UNWTO, it will be the first time global travel ministers agree a set of actions and principles for the future of the industry.

All well and good. However rather than issue yet another bland and banal statement that repeats all the traditional commentary of tourism's growth potential, resilience and contribution to jobs and sustainable development, would it be useful if the UNWTO ministers followed the ITUC in moving the industry from "Crisis to Global Justice" and joined the global push for an "alternative development paradigm"? A good way to start, for example, would be by finding a fresh set of speakers. Last year, private sector speakers included Thomas Cook Chief Executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa. This year, how about dispensing with the usual line-up of industry CEOs's and inviting the ITUC General Secretary Mrs Sharan Burrow and a supporting crew of unionists, social and environmental activists, civil liberties and consumer protection watchdog groups?

This is a rare opportunity for the travel & tourism industry leadership to refresh its idea-bank, review its strategies and reset the parameters of growth. Not well known perhaps is that the UNWTO Secretary-General Dr Taleb Rifai is himself a former senior ILO executive.

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is chaired by Hiran Cooray, a rising young industry entrepreneur from Sri Lanka, a country that is rebuilding its tourism industry from the ravages of war. PATA is preparing to mark its 60th anniversary next year. Both PATA and UNWTO have themselves undergone heavy-duty internal restructuring. Should they simultaneously be spearheading a new roadmap that goes beyond the usual crowing about resilience and recovery? Is it time to give voice to the voiceless?

Rank-and-file employees seldom, if at all, feature in any of the industry conferences. Providing an alternative perspective on the development paradigm has been one of the biggest missing links on the industry agenda. Isn't it time to plug that gap? For how much longer can organisations like UNWTO, WTTC, PATA, IATA and others continue ignoring the downsides of globalisation without their own credibility coming under serious question?

It is not surprising that jobs at the centre of the focus. Many of the job losses are occurring in travel & tourism, but exactly how many is not known. Quite amazing that an industry which knew exactly how many jobs could be created by an expanding industry in the 1990s now suddenly seems to be unable to figure out how many travel & tourism jobs have been lost and/or are set to be lost as a result of a contracting industry. The ITUC Congress and its recommendations and pursuit of Global Justice now can be brought into the mainstream of the travel & tourism agenda, too, even if it requires decisions that may not be politically acceptable to the ministers and corporate CEOs.

A very turbulent area of instability and crises lies ahead, with rank and file employees set to become the first victims. Both the mainstream media and travel media give them little or no coverage. By putting more NGOs, activities and grassroots people on the industry conference agendas, some of the CEOs may find it a humbling experience to be held accountable and publicly skewered for their faulty policies and strategies.

The various comments, resolutions and documents issued by the ITUC Congress, all of which have been posted on its website, can be used to restructure the entire travel & tourism industry and develop a long-overdue blueprint for the new world order. When the next crises hits jobs in travel & tourism and the labour disruptions start, industry leaders will have no one to blame but themselves.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Rules for High Performance Teams

by John Murphy

At the center of every high performance team is a common purpose - a mission that rises above and beyond each of the individual team members. To be successful, the team's interests and needs come first. This requires "we-opic" vision ("What's in it for we?"), a challenging step up from the common "me-opic" mind-set.

Effective team players understand that personal issues and personality differences are secondary to team demands. This does not mean abandoning who you are or giving up your individuality. On the contrary, it means sharing your unique strengths and differences to move the team forward. It is this "we-opic" focus and vision - this cooperation of collective capability - that empowers a team and generates synergy.

Cooperation means working together for mutual gain - sharing responsibility for success and failure and covering for one another on a moment's notice. It does not mean competing with one another at the team's expense, withholding important data or information to be "one up" on your peers, or submitting to "groupthink" by going along so as not to make waves. These are "rule breakers," that are direct contradictions to the "team first" mind-set.

High performance teams recognize that it takes a joint effort to synergize, generating power above and beyond the collected individuals. It is with this spirit of cooperation that effective teams learn to capitalize on individual strengths and offset individual weaknesses, using diversity as an advantage.

Effective teams also understand the importance of establishing cooperative systems, structures, incentives and rewards. We get what we inspect, not what we expect. Think about it. Do you have team job descriptions, team performance reviews and team reward systems? Do you recognize people by pitting them against standards of excellence, or one another? What are you doing to cultivate a team-first, cooperative environment in this competitive, "me-opic" world?

To embrace the team-first rule, make sure your team purpose and priorities are clear. What is your overall mission? What is your game plan? What is expected of each team member? How can each member contribute most effectively? What constants will hold the team together? Then stop and ask yourself, are you putting the team first?

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Subject: Awesome....Planet Earth !!

If our planet is so beautiful,makes me wonder why some are set on destroying themselves and such beauty.

Every now and then something truly beautiful is passed along on The Net.
I believe this to be one of them. To enjoy just logon to........


Wednesday, August 4, 2010


The Tourism Ministry has decided to make applications for visa easier for tourists to encourage more arrivals.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said tourists who wished to come to Malaysia could go to locally appointed representatives to apply for their visas instead of the consulates.

According to the Minister, the visa facilitation system (VFS) will become the “better alternative” for tourists from China and India where Malaysian consulates were located only in certain areas.

“People living in cities without Malaysian consulates will be able get their visas without the hassle,” she said before launching the 1Malaysia Contemporary Arts Tourism Festival here yesterday.

“Applicants will need to pay a small fee to the appointed tour agents for their visas but they still can apply directly to a Malaysian consulate,” she added.

Dr Ng said the VFS has been available in India for two months with an international tourism company.

The ministry will broach the idea to have the VFS pilot project launched in China to its Tourism Minister Shao Qiwei when he visits the country today.

Dr Ng said the Government’s decision to cancel the issuance of visa on arrival (VOA) to foreign tourists at the country’s entry points on Aug 15 would not affect the tourism industry as out of the 24 million tourists entering the country last year, only 9,000 had to apply for the VOAs.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


The government has decided not to revive the issuance of visa on arrival (VOA) to foreign tourists at the entry points into the country, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the move to revoke the implementation of the VOA was due to the fact that the facility was being abused previously.

"In the past, we gave flexibility to several nations if their visitors came to this country, they don't have the visa...(but) the visa could be issued to them upon arrival at the entry point into Malaysia.

"We notice that this (VOA) was being abused and so on. We agreed that the VOA be revoked or discontinued, " he said.

He said this after chairing the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Workers and Illegal Immigrants, here on Monday.

Monday, August 2, 2010


The Tourism Ministry is targeting to achieve 35 per cent of income generated by the tourism industry from shopping activities by the year 2020, said its deputy minister, Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit.

He said more aggressive efforts were needed from entrepreneurs in the tourism industry, including owners of shopping outlets, by intensifying promotion outside the country to turn Malaysia into a leading shopping destination regionally and internationally.

"Currently, Singapore and Hong Kong are still among the favourite shopping destinations for tourists recording 35 per cent of their tourism income, with Hong Kong recording almost 55 per cent, and we want to achieve the 35 per cent mark by 2020," he said at the launching the Sarawak level of the Malaysian Mega Cheap Sale Carnival 2020, at the Sarawak Plaza shopping centre, here today.

He said that in terms of income generated by the tourism industry last year,28.3 per cent or RM15.11 billion of the RM53.4 billion overall income came from shopping while 31.1 per cent came from accommodation and 17.4 per cent from food and beverage.

The Mega Sale attracted 6.3 million tourists which was an increase of 12.4 per cent compared to the figure recorded in 2008, where Malaysia only received 5.37 million tourists, he added.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) released the preliminary Asia and the Pacific international visitor arrivals figures for the months of April and May 2010, showing year-on-year growth in arrivals of seven per cent and 16% respectively. For the first five months of 2010, international visitor arrivals to the region grew by a robust 10% as compared to the same period last year.

The improving global economic environment continued to boost overall travel demand in April and May. However, there was a noticeable impact on air travel caused by the ash cloud from Iceland’s volcanic eruption, which dampened arrival flows to and from Europe.

Growth was much stronger in May with the end of the ash cloud problem in Europe and the Labour Day holiday in China (PRC); however, it must be remembered that this monthly comparison is against a lower arrivals base in May 2009 when the travel industry, already down from the global recession, was hit further by the spread of the A (H1N1) flu.

International arrivals to South Asia grew by four per cent and 19% in April and May respectively, with the continuously improving safety and security situation helping to boost arrivals to the sub-region.

Sri Lanka, one year on from the end of the decades-long civil war, continues to record robust growth in arrivals in April and May, at year-on-year rates of 47% and 42% respectively.

For the first five months of the year, arrivals to South Asia surged 15%; the fastest in terms of rate of growth among the sub-regions under review.