Saturday, July 27, 2013

Workshop to discuss challenges in technology and marketing trends in tourism industry

Changes and challenges in technology and marketing trends affecting the future of tourism will be discussed at a workshop at the Asia Pacific Tourism, Hospitality and Technology (APTHAT) Conference here on Nov 21 and 22.
The “Shifting Knowledge/Technology and Marketing Trends for the Future of Tourism” workshop will be conducted by Dr Edward Dramberger, a tourism trainer and consultant from New York.
The workshop, on the second day of the conference, will look into global challenges that specifically affect the growth in inbound tourism in South-East Asia and Malaysia.
Among Dramberger’s accomplishments include developing a proven result-oriented selling model – “Compass Selling” – within the tourism sector and publishing a book entitledDestination Diaries this year, which focused on his unique travel experiences around the world. The conference, which will be held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, aims at identifying opportunities propelled by innovations.
Initiated and organised by UCSI Communications Sdn Bhd, APTHAT is the first ever conference on travel technology and hospitality automation. It is meant for anyone in the tourism and hospitality industry.
Programmes for the inaugural conference will include conference, workshops, master-classes, buyer seller sessions, hotel inspections and exhibitions.
Among the objectives of the conference is to prepare travel and tourism industrialists to be resilient in the competitive market that is technology driven. It is also to introduce them to the latest gadgets.
Apart from gathering industry experts and players from within the Asia Pacific region to the conference, UCSI Communications also hopes the event could further enhance the state’s effort in making Sarawak a MICE (meeting, incentive, conference and exhibitions) destination in Malaysia. UCSI Communications is hoping to attract some 300 participants to the conference.
Tourism Malaysia Director-General Datuk Mirza Mohammad Tayeb has consented to deliver the keynote address at the conference.
A total of six papers will be presented along with six workshops and two master-classes.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tourist from Singapore is up 11.5%

Tourist arrivals from Singapore between January and May this year recorded consistent growth over the same period last year, says Tourism Malaysia director for Singapore, Noor Aine Ismail.
"To date, we have received a total of 5,209,286 tourist arrivals from Singapore, an overall increase of 11.5 per cent in arrivals," she said, according to Bernama.
"Last year, we welcomed about 13.01 million tourists from Singapore - a drop of 2.75 per cent from 2011.
"This drop was mainly due to the change in statistics calculation, which was based on 'Country of Origin' instead of 'Country of Residence'," she said at the Tourism Malaysia Media Night in Singapore.

Friday, July 19, 2013


The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) is reviewing taxi fares and has indicated a possible increase in the near future.

SPAD was studying the costs incurred by taxi drivers taking into account the operational costs (of taxi drivers)

SPAD  was also looking into an “accreditation programme” which would become a future requirement for cabbies to enable better taxi services.

This was announced by PM Najib in his speech before presenting 500 Taxi 1Malaysia (Teks1m) individual licences to the cabbies. They were part of a group of 1,000 drivers chosen out of 19,117 Teks1m applicants earlier this year.

SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said the fare review was almost at its final stage although it is not declared on what kind of increase would be involved.

However, he said SPAD hoped to present the review before the Government by the end of the year, adding that the implementation might take place by that time or at the beginning of next year.

The current flag-off rate for Malaysian taxis is RM3, with 10 sen charged for every subsequent 100m. The last review was in 2009.

The real problem with the taxi service is not so much of the fare, rather not using the fare meter by taxi drivers. Negotiations need to be carried out before jumping into the taxi and in some cases drivers will refuse to take passenger to areas where it is unlikely he will get a return passenger.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


The Government has agreed to allocate RM250mil to deepen the Sungai Besut estuary to boost fishing and tourism industries here.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had approved the allocation Monday, expected to be implemented early next year.

This announcement came at the right time  and in the midst of Kuala Besut by-election. Many things can be said at this time to win votes. But one has to be realistic about this and consider if that amount of money can be put to better use.

As we all know the sleepy hollow of Kuala Besut need better tourism facilities as it is the staging point for tours to the many islands around Pulau Perhentian.

The project to deepen the estuary of Sungai Besut, which had long been requested, at can be better carried out by ensuring that  logging and other environmental issues be solved upstream.

The government can also consider awarding a contract to a sand miner  who will be allowed to deepen the estuary and sell the sand to a suitable buyer. This will enable a alotted sum of RM250mil be used to facilitate fishermen and tourists in other more meaningful ways.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


The Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents (MATTA) is planning an Extraordinary General Meeting to resolve a dispute at its annual general meeting (AGM) held last week, reported The Star a few days ago.

Some parties were not satisfied with the association's 38th AGM’s election process held on June 29 at PWTC.said the outgoing Hon Treasurer Razali Mohd Sham, who lost his bid for the Presidency.

“We’re investigating complaints and the election  is a normal procedure,” he said, adding that there was a “flaw” in the process.

MATTA’s executive council would have met on Wednesday to discuss the issue. He said the subject of MATTA’s AGM was still on hold pending “verification”, adding that fresh elections were likely to be held.

He said that there was also a dispute involving the accounts of one of MATTA’s chapters.
According to a June 14 notice on its website, the MATTA AGM was supposed to have, aside from discussing previous AGM minutes, deliberated on matters on its executive council for the 2013-2015 period.
It also sought to appoint a firm of chartered accountants as external auditors.

In an entry on the MATTA website, president Datuk Mohd Khalid Harun said he would be stepping down after four years in office.This is something he has to do as the ocnstitution of MATTA does not allow a person to hold office more than two terms. Datuk Khalid would love to stay on if he could.

He would assume the association’s Immediate Past President post and continue to be in MATTA’s executive council and be ready to answer questions which were not allowed to be raised during the AGM.