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Move to draw more tourists to Pahang - July 11, 2018

KUANTAN: Conventions, seminars, and symposiums will be held at the main method to draw tourists to Pahang, said state Tourism, Environment, Plantations, and Biotechnology Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin. He said such an approach would attract visitors to come in groups, stay overnight, spend and boost revenue for the state’s tourism sector.  Mohd Sharkar said as such, Tourism Pahang will soon be known as Pahang Tourism and Convention Bureau.

It will play its role in promoting the state as a premier destination and also provide information to the visitors, he said. “Seminars and symposiums are nothing new in the tourism industry but if they are held and actively promoted, will bring in a large number of visitors as these events involve many participants. “The bureau will play a major role in this matter and will have a comprehensive development plan and several programmes, including serious efforts in promoting events such as the bird race, billfish competition and also caving activities, which have a huge following,” he said.

He said this after a tour of the Mangala Resort & Spa in Gambang. Mohd Sharkar said the bureau will work closely with the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry for a better and wider market internationally and locally. Also present were Farm Resort Gambang managing director Datuk Franky Chua Goon Eng, Tourism Ministry Pahang Office general manager Datuk Idros Yahya and Tourism Pahang general manager Datuk Ishak Mokhtar. “The bureau will meet frequently to plan programmes and explore the direction of the tourism industry in the state.

Some tourist destinations will perhaps need to be upgraded and this can be discussed at the meetings,” said Mohd Sharkar. He also said Mangala Resort & Spa, which won the World Gold in the Environmental (Rehabilitation/Conservation) Category at the FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Awards 2018 in Dubai, would be a model venue for seminars and conventions. It was the first resort in the country to receive such an award. Praising the resort as an icon of eco-tourism destination, Mohd Sharkar said it served as an ideal getaway for those who want to enjoy greenery and privacy.


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2018/07/11/move-to-draw-more-tourists-to-pahang-mohd-sharkar-we-plan-to-hold-conventions-seminars-and-symposium/#D5sDkpQKFWCF2u0a.99

Come and get your fill at seminar on all things durian - July 8, 2018

DUBBED the “King of Durian”, the Musang King is widely loved and sought after by durian aficionados. This renowned fruit is also the pride and joy of the people of Raub, Pahang as the district has become the official home turf for the highly prized species. In Pahang, 95% of the cleared land will be used for durian planting.

This lucrative venture, however, can be thorny as investors plunge into this gold mine without fully understanding the industry. Organised by the Federation of Tunku Abdul Rahman College Alumni Associations, Malaysia (FTARC AA), the “Durians: The Sexiest But Thorny Business Venture” + “Durian Buffet” Seminar will be held to discuss the feasibility and viability of owning a durian business.

Five speakers will be sharing their professional experience and knowledge on durian matters during the seminar. One speaker, Prof Teh Bin Tean, whose ground-breaking research of cracking the durian genome made headlines, will be speaking on the topic “Creating the World-First Durian Genome” where he will speak about his journey from cancer research to plant research, the durian genome – its history and evolution, the story of why durian smells the way it does as well as on the impact and possibilities of genomic studies.

This seminar is a must for everyone who can’t get enough of durian. From farmers, orchard owners, traders, processors, sellers, investors, landowners to durian lovers this is the seminar for you. Participants will also be given the opportunity to sample some of the durians that comes from Raub, Pahang at a durian buffet to be laid out after the seminar. The seminar will be held on Aug 5 from 8 am to 2.30pm at the Main Hall, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Jalan Genting Klang, Kuala Lumpur. It costs RM250 per person. For details, contact Norraini/Claudine at 03 7802 3299 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Sin Yee at 017-924 7338 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit www.durianwonderland.com/events.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2018/07/08/come-and-get-your-fill-at-seminar-on-all-things-durian/#XePEx94JSzscfWsY.99

Birdwatching for experts and novices - May 14, 2018

RAUB: Fraser’s Hill, which has been designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA), consistently attracts bird lovers during the Fraser’s Hill International Bird Race event. An annual event in the state’s tourism calendar since 1988, this year’s recently concluded edition was also one of the Revisit Pahang Truly Malaysia 2018 activities. Tourism Pahang general manager Datuk Ishak Mokhtar said the objective of the event was to preserve nature and promote Fraser’s Hill as a bird sanctuary.

“Even though there are other bird-watching destinations in the country, Fraser’s Hill is still a preferred destination.“This is because large species of mountain birds thrive comfortably in the most conducive habitats here and at certain times of the year, migratory birds make their presence felt, although briefly,” he said.For the event, all that is needed from participants are patience, basic skills and knowledge in bird watching as well as a high interest and love of nature.

Ishak said the procedures, as well as rules and regulation in the competition, were simple. Participants are given 24 hours to locate and view species of birds. The winners are decided by the most number of birds recorded.

The birds are found in every corner of the hill, even in the center of the small town, due to the undisturbed environment. Ishak said there were students who took part in the competition, proving that the event was not only for seasoned bird lovers but also for those who wanted to learn more about nature and the habitats of the numerous species of birds. The competition was divided into three distinct categories.

The advanced category was for the experienced birdwatchers who habitually return to Fraser’s Hill at every opportunity to do trial field runs. The novice category was for those who had just taken up birdwatching out of curiosity or as an academic hobby while the local category was for locals who know the whereabouts of the birds in Fraser’s Hill. The event was launched by Natural Resources and Environment Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Azizan Ahmad.

In his speech, Azizan said the competition was a way to create awareness among the public on the importance of environmental conservation.“The relatively undisturbed jungle and cool climate attract over 250 species of migratory and residential birds.“The migratory birds fly to Fraser’s Hill from as far as Northern Siberia and the islands in the north of Japan.

“They stop over here for a few months before flying south to New Zealand and Australia looking for warmer climate before making a reverse journey. Fraser’s Hill was designated as an IBA by BirdLife International. Fifty-two teams of three participants each took part in the event. International participants were from Hong Kong, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia and Sri Lanka while locals included those from higher learning institutions and primary schools.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2018/05/14/birdwatching-for-experts-and-novices-competition-in-frasers-hill-draws-enthusiasts-as-well-as-studen/#U18TQLR064AkmdxU.99

MATTA expects GST removal to boost local tourism - May 26, 2018

The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) welcomes the Federal Government’s decision to have the Goods and Services Tax (GST) reduced from 6% to 0% effective June 1.Its president, Datuk Tan Kok Liang, said this indirectly granted a “discount” on the cost of local tour and travel.“The 0% GST is bound to promote spending by both locals and tourists, especially in terms of shopping as well as food and beverage, thus potentially increasing the price appeal of Malaysia as a travel destination.“Domestic air tickets between the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak will be more affordable and will augur well for domestic tourism,” he said.

Meanwhile, on Transport Minister Anthony Loke’s call to improve road safety, bring the MH370 episode to a close and scrap the Land Public Transport Commission, Tan said all three issues were closely related to tourism, as safety and security of tourists were paramount in any destination and equally important to local residents.“We hope the minister will look into specific areas that could spur the growth or transformation of the air, marine, rail, and road transportation sectors.

“MATTA would be happy to offer our proposals and we look forward to such meetings, as antiquated laws need to be modernised and current regulations implemented more effectively,” he stressed Tan said MATTA was also calling for the abolishment of the Tourism Tax (TTx), which came into effect on Sept 1, 2017. The TTx imposes a flat rate of RM10 per room night on foreigners staying in hotels or registered private accommodation.

“We welcome tourists to have an enjoyable holiday experience and spend freely on accommodation, food and beverage, tourist attraction and tour excursion, but collecting tax from tourists would be counterproductive.“MATTA had objected to and expressed concerns over the TTx from day one, as it would impact the tourism industry, particularly price-sensitive tourists and long-haul travelers who spend extended periods in the country,” he pointed out.

Tan added that Malaysia’s tourism sector was trailing behind its neighbors Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines. Although tourist arrivals to South-East Asian countries had recorded positive growth in 2017 – with a 7.8% increase for Thailand, Singapore (6.2%) and the Philippines (11%) – Malaysia saw a 3% drop with 25.95 million tourists in 2017 compared to 26.76 million in 2016.

“Putting up more barriers may deter tourists from choosing Malaysia as a preferred holiday destination.“Without the TTx, foreigners would be delighted to come to our country, stay longer and spend more freely,” he added.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2018/05/26/looking-forward-to-local-tourism-boost-matta-views-decision-to-zerorate-gst-as-a-step-in-the-right-d/#qbIgCTVzFAC2Pkgd.99

Liow: Pahang UTC has served 6.5 million people so far-April 15,2018

BENTONG: The Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) in Pahang has provided 6.5 million services to customers so far, says Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.The Bentong MP added that the 21 UTCs nationwide have served customers over 60 million times through the various government departments present at each centre."The UTC is an example of government projects with a people-centric concept under the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS). The centres are open seven days a week, with extended hours," he said.

UTCs, which operate from 8am to 10pm, bring key government and private sector services under one roof, including the Immigration Department, Road Transport Department (JPJ) and National Registration Department.Liow, who is also MCA president, said this at the NBOS Fiesta Mesra Rakyat Pahang 2018 at Felda Mempaga here Sunday.He said he would put in an application to open a "mini UTC" in Bentong for the convenience of the rakyat.

The NBOS Fiesta attracted about 6,000 residents who learnt about the services provided and shop at the "My Best Buy" fair that offered agricultural products and food items at attractive prices.Among the NBOS projects in Bentong include special assistance for orang asli students and transforming the town into a tourism hub.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/04/15/liow-60-million-people-have-benefited-from-21-utcs-nationwide/#RBC5AhjUOtzeo1pT.99

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