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Dive site to be hotspot for clownfish - July 22, 2017

KUANTAN: A popular tourist spot along the beach near Kampung Balok will now become even more popular with the launch of Kampung Nemo, a special village for clownfish.

“Houses” will be built on the seabed of the site some 8km from the beach to attract clownfish.

Pahang Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin said the dive site had always been visited by divers and what attracted them was the huge number of clownfish found here.

He said to make it more interesting for the divers, there was a need for artificial reefs to be placed at the diving spot, which was as big as a football field.

 

Tourism and Culture Ministry’s Pahang office director Datuk Idros Yahya was the one who came up with the idea to provide “homes” for the clownfish, said Mohd Sharkar.

“Another interesting part of this programme is that property developer Pasdec Corporation has willingly provided 10 artificial reefs for the clownfish.

“This is a good move in promoting the tourism sector through the participation of a corporate company. Pasdec has been building houses for the people and now it has taken another step forward by promoting tourism, in line with the National Blue Ocean Strategy,” Mohd Sharkar said after launching Kampung Nemo here.

Also present were Pasdec Holdings Berhad chief executive officer Datuk Zuber Shamsuri and Tourism Pahang general manager Datuk Ishak Mokhtar.

Mohd Sharkar added that Kampung Nemo, as a tourism product, could be the first of its kind in the world.

He said the village is expected to see an increase in the number of tourists and scuba divers while the local diving centres will reap the benefits.

“We also welcome individuals and companies to erect a ‘house’ in the village, by purchasing the artificial reefs at RM3,000 each. These will then be transported to the seabed at the site about 8m deep,” he said.

 

Kuantan draft plan unveiled - July 13, 2017

KUANTAN: A replacement for the Kuantan 2035 Local District Draft Plan has been unveiled and the public have one month to scrutinise it.

PLANMalaysia deputy director-general (planning) Rokibah Abdul Latif said the report will be displayed at the Kuantan Municipal Council (MPK) lobby and the PLANMalaysia@Pahang office at Kompleks Tun Razak, Indera Mahkota until Aug 10.

The replacement is for the first plan which was unveiled in 2015.

“The report can also be viewed at the PLANMalaysia and MPK websites,” she said at the launch of the draft plan viewing here.

Rokibah said the replacement was necessary considering the latest scenario, trends and pressures of development as well as the importance of state projects.

She said the replacement draft was made after taking into account the Government’s commitment at the national level and also the development of high impact projects such as the East Coast Rail Line, the new state administration centre in KotaSAS as well as the East Coast Economic Region master plan.

“The report explains in detail each component of proposed lot-based land use based on the development, analysis and projection cores that have been set according to five focus areas,” said Rokibah.

These focus areas are sustainable land development and disaster risk management, safe and inclusive community development, tourism and sustainable town design, economic, agro-based industries, forestry development and sustainable mining as well as effective administration.

Rokibah said five briefing sessions and a mobile counter will be set up during the publicity period at the Kuantan Urban Transformation Centre, the Balok, Gambang and Tanjung Lumpur public halls and the Sungai Lembing old theatre to get public feedback.

State Housing and Township Committee chairman Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said the publicity period is a platform for the public to give their views and suggestions before the draft is gazetted by the state government.

“If the public requests for an extension, we may consider it. What is important is for the people to really understand what we are planning,” he said.

Present at the launch were state secretary Datuk Seri Muhammad Safian Ismail and MPK president Datuk Fadzilla Salleh.

Influx of tourists in Pahang - June 30, 2017

KUANTAN: Tourist arrivals in Pahang in the first six months of this year rose to eight million compared to six million during the same period last year.

State Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin said the increase followed continuous aggressive campaigns to attract visitors in conjunction with Visit Pahang Year 2017.

“Apart from the continuous campaigns via social sites as well as through television and radio, we also held many activities and new events to attract tourists to the state.

“As a result, the number of tourists visiting the state in the first six months of this year grew considerably and we are optimistic of achieving 15 million tourists as targeted earlier,” he said.

 

He said new tourism products being promoted included Che Minah Sayang Recreation Park in Maran which was formerly known as Lubuk Ujid, the Black Water Jewel of Pekan as well as the Merapoh Run in Lipis.

Apart from that, he said events in the state’s annual tourism calendar such the Kuantan 160 Century Ride, Royal Pahang Billfish Century Ride International Challenge and Start in Tioman diving event also drew local and foreign visitors.

“Lately, we found sports tourism has a big following and we hope to create more events in the future,” he said.

At the same time, he said the state government would continue to promote 2017 Visit Pahang Year with road shows nationwide.

“We have already carried out the campaign for the southern zone and after this we will be going to the northern and eastern zones before going to Sabah and Sarawak.

“We will also be going to Kazakhstan, China and Turkey following requests for us to hold promotions there,” he said. – Bernama

A challenging race in Tioman - July 10, 2017

ROMPIN: The diversity of flora and fauna in Pulau Tioman is once again the centre of most challenges in this year’s Sultan Ahmad Shah Tioman International Challenge (Sastiec).

The 10th edition of the race saw the most number of participants, with 183 runners taking on the longest route of its kind at 50km.

The task of climbing Gunung Kajang on the island really tested the participants’ mental and physical fitness and they admitted it was the toughest race they ever took part in.

Event director Col Datuk Thong Kok Seng said the world class full marathon’s gruelling challenges had however not jeopardised the purpose of the event in promoting the flora and fauna of the island.

“The challenges we have in this event have in fact attracted an increasing number of participants since its inception in 2008.

In that year, only 80 runners took part but the number kept on increasing yearly.

“Despite the longest distance this year, we received the most number of participants, proving that the challenges are just a piece of cake for them. We started with a 35km distance in the beginning and the further the distance that we set, the more runners took part. This proves the event is successful,” he said.

One of the runners passing through a rocky and steep stretch.

 

Thong added that Pulau Tioman offers a nice place for every aspect of tourism.

“The runners do not come alone. They bring along their friends and relatives. I was told that the island is suitable for honeymooners, which is another niche market in the state’s tourism industry.

“This is win-win situation for everyone when people visit here throughout the year and the race is another pulling factor for tourist arrival,” he said.

Sastiec president Datuk Seri Tengku Kamarulzaman Sultan Abu Bakar said the event was very much attributed to the Pahang Ruler Sultan Ahmad Shah, who loves nature, adventure and outdoor activities.

Tengku Kamarulzaman said the inauguration was a resounding success and Sultan Ahmad Shah had said in his speech in 2008 that he would like to see the event being organised annually.

“In conjunction with Sultan Ahmad Shah’s 80th birthday in 2011, we planned a special route to take participants to an idyllic village on the southern corner of Tioman called Kampung Nipah. It is here that the late Sultan Abu Bakar was said to have resided in the old days during his visits to Tioman.

“As years passed, the event focused on testing the participants’ endurance in traversing the jungle of Pulau Tioman. We have had themes such as ‘The Nature’s Race’, ‘The Culture Race’ where participants took part in local traditional games as well as the marathon, and in 2015, we named the event ‘Ruby Jubilee Race’ in honour of the sultan’s 40th year of reign as the Sultan of Pahang.

“For 2016, we designed a gruelling race called ‘The Adventure Race’ combining the four natural elements of Pulau Tioman, which are its white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, pristine mountain and rugged mountain terrain, to test the endurance of the runners.

Tengku Kamarulzaman said 2017 was a special milestone for the organiser of Sastiec as it was the 10th year since the race’s inception in 2008.

The partcipants making their way uphill during the race.

 

“It has been 10 challenging years since we organised the first ‘Toughest Adventure Race in South-East Asia’ and to commemorate this special event we named our anniversary race this year ‘The Race of the Decade’.

Tengku Kamarulzaman said the event’s objectives included the promotion and positioning of Pulau Tioman on the world’s eco-tourism map, develop public interest in eco-tourism, promote community-based eco-tourism and economic agenda in Pahang, increase public awareness on nature conservation and sustainable tourism and also promote extreme sports, traditional games and eco-challange activities.

In the international men’s category, the Kenyans grabbed all top 10 places with Kipchirchir Lel clocking 3:54.49 to be the champion while first runner-up David Kipsang clocked 4:20.03 and Elisha Kipratich Sawe clocked 4:38.22 to win the third place.

In the international ladies’ category, the Kenyans too were the top three winners.

Champion Valentine Jepkemoi Serem recorded a time of 5:52.18, followed by Rebecca Nakuma (6:20.20) as first runner-up and Irene Kemunto Mogaka (6:27.49) as third placed.

In the local men’s category, Mohd Athird Ismail (5:07.06), Mohd Azuan Asmuni (5:14.37) and Mohammad Affindi Nudin (5:27.15) were the first, second and third placed respectively.

In the local ladies’ category, Tahira Najmunissa Muhammad Zaid (6:23.00) from Kuala Kubu Bharu, was first placed followed by Foo Kam Miew (6:37.11) from Kuala Lumpur and Norhani Mohd Jaffar (6:53.45) from Selangor.

In the veteran men’s category, Saleh Abdullah (6:20.55), Rahmat Kasbon (7:11.35) and Ong Chi Lai (7:16.01) were the top three winners.

All prizes were presented by Tengku Kamarulzaman.

MATTA Fair coming back to town - June 16, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The MATTA Fair will be held from Sept 8 to 10 at the Putra World Trade Centre.

“A total of 1,333 booths have been taken up for the event which is expected to generate RM200mil worth of bookings and related expenditure domestically,” Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) CEO Phua Tai Neng said.

“We are confident that holiday makers will find the best deals for their families,” he said.

Speaking to reporters at the exhibitors balloting session at Wisma MATTA yesterday, Phua said that despite the strength of the US dollar against the ringgit, members of the public had generally accepted the situation and were proceeding with their holiday plans.

The MATTA Fair, which will cover 24,000sq m, is one of the “choicest” platforms for travel and tour agents to display their products.

MATTA, Phua said, had 3,300 registered travel and tour agency members who would be taking part in the fair.

Travel agencies from Japan, South Korea, Macau, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Turkey are also coming.

For domestic travel, Sabah, Sarawak, Negri Sembilan, Putrajaya, Terengganu, Perak, Selangor, Pahang, Johor, Kedah, Melaka and Labuan have confirmed their participation.

Additionally, Sarawak has been selected as Malaysia’s Favourite Destination for the fair. The biggest exhibitor is Sabah Tourism Board with 16 booths.

Registration For Exhibitors : http://www.matta.org.my/event/21704-matta-fair-8-10-september-2017-registration-for-exhibitors

 

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