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China's new envoy treated to a durian feast in Bentong - January 5, 2018

BENTONG: China's new ambassador to Malaysia was treated to a durian feast as soon as he arrived here on Friday morning. A cup of durian coffee was served to Bai Tian at a food court, together with a plate of durian mochi (a glutinous rice dessert). He gave the thumbs up after sampling the treats. Bai was visiting Bentong on the invitation of Bentong MP Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who is also MCA president and Transport Minister. His day-long programme also included a visit to the Bentong Gallery, Bentong Chinese Assembly Hall and Kampung Chamang, as well as a lunch gathering with the local community.

At the Bentong Chinese Assembly Hall, Bai said he was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of Bentong and the delectable Chinese food. "Bentong has many attractive tourism resources. It will be a famous landmark under China's Belt and Road initiative, where Chinese tourists flock here for durian, homestays and local cuisine. "With the export of durians and other products to China, the locals will enjoy the benefits too," he added. 

Banking on tourism initiative - December 19, 2017

KUANTAN: The state government is targeting a return of RM6bil from the “Revisit Pahang” programme which will run for the first six months of next year. State tourism and culture committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin said about eight million tourists were expected to visit Pahang during the programme.

He said that “Revisit Pahang” was a tourism programme to maintain the momentum of the high number of tourists during the Visit Pahang Year 2017 (TMP2017), namely 11.5 million people as of September.

“We are optimistic that the target of 15 million tourists for TMP2017 can be met by the end of December and because of the school holidays. Mohd Sharkar added that the state government also received requests from hotels as well as tourism product producers and homestay entrepreneurs to extend TMP2017 because of the huge presence of tourists. — Bernama



Budget 2018 positive for consumer, construction, tourism - October 30, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The Budget 2018 proposals are positive, especially for the consumer, construction and tourism sectors, says Maybank Investment Bank Research. It said on Monday it retained its earnings forecasts, sector weights and stock calls. "We also maintain our end-2017 KLCI target of 1,800 and introduce end-2018 target of 1,865," it said. Commenting on the Budget 2018, the research house pointed out the government retained its discipline with a lower fiscal deficit target of -2.8% of GDP (2017E: -3.0%). There could be upside to the government’s revenue target (+6.4% on-year), which is based on an average crude oil price assumption of US$52 a barrel. Gross development expenditure is sustained at RM46bil (2017E: RM46bil). 
Official real GDP growth expectation for 2017 has been revised up to 5.2-5.7% range (from 4.3-4.8%; Maybank Research: 5.5%) while the newly introduced 2018 growth target is 5.0-5.5% (Maybank Research: 5.1%).

Measures to sustain consumption growth – a two percentage point cut in individual income tax rate at the lower chargeable income brackets would lift disposable income by an estimated RM1.5bil, special payments to civil servants/pensioners, BR1M sustaining at RM6.8bil - are positive for the consumer sector.

Beneficiaries would be those that offer mass market consumer goods e.g. Nestle, Bison, 7-Eleven, Aeon Credit and even Padini, Old Town and Berjaya Food . The start of construction of ECRL and Kuala Lumpur-Singapore Highspeed Railway in 2018 is positive for construction and building materials. 



The bringing forward of the Klang Valley MRT 3 construction has been flagged earlier; it will provide job replenishment for the construction sector in 2019.
“Higher tourist arrival target of 28 million in 2018 (2016: 26.8 million) will benefit aviation (MAHB, AirAsia , AirAsia X), casinos (Genting Malaysia), F&B (Only World Group), duty-free operat operator (Atlan), among others. Establishment of Pulau Pangkor as a duty free island may benefit YTL REIT and Atlan (presently, it has outlets in duty free islands of Langkawi and Tioman).

Maybank Reseacrh said the Budget 2018’s allocation of RM83.5mil to construct infrastructure for the first phase of Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) in Aeropolis, KLIA, reaffirms the government’s commitment in embracing the digital economy. 

“We believe that MAHB and the airlines will be the beneficiaries in the longer term,” it said. What is new in Budget 2018 is the development of a Special Border Economic Zone in Bukit Kayu Hitam, which the research house believes is part of a larger plan following the Second Finance Minister’s working visit to Thailand in September 2017. “Beneficiary, we believe, will be Atlan which has a duty-free outlet at Bukit Kayu Hitam and 772 acres of land, ripe for development,” said Maybank Research.

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/10/30/budget-2018-positive-for-consumer-construction-tourism/#EXT8yTTBe2Qs0Ces.99

Shahaniza: Include wedding fashion night in tourism calendar - December 15, 2017

KUANTAN: The Kuantan Wedding Fashion Night (KWFN), held for the first time recently, should be featured in the Pahang tourism calendar, said state women and family development, communications, and multimedia committee chairman Datuk Shahaniza Shamsuddin. She said that the event has potential to draw tourists, especially couples looking for attractive wedding packages for their big day.

“A wedding and reception with early and detailed planning are part of today's lifestyle to make it a memorable and perfect event,” she said when officiating at the event here. Shahaniza said the KWFN also provided an avenue for bridal boutique operators, not only from the Kuantan district but other districts as well, to promote their products and increase their income.

She said alongside the bridal boutique business, services such as printing of wedding invitation cards, photography, video recording and food catering were also available, thus forging networking among the industry operators. KWFN 2017, which was organized by the Teruntum Complex Malay Traders Association, involved the participation of 32 bridal boutique operators. – Bernama

MATTA lauds tourism-friendly proposals - October 30, 2017

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has lauded Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for recognizing the potential of tourism to generate revenue for the country.

MATTA president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said the association is delighted that 2020 has been declared as the next Visit Malaysia Year and that a target of 36mill visitors has been set with a view to bringing in at least RM168bill in tourism receipts by 2020.

"Major events, such as the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and World Congress on  Information Technology (WCIT) will also be held in conjunction with VMY 2020.”

“MATTA had proposed funding for capacity building in the travel sector and RM2bil was allocated to SMEs for training programmes, grants and soft loans under SME Corp. The allocation of RM500 million on infrastructure development will strengthen rural tourism and homestay, including eco-tourism facilities like jetties, toilets, and signage."

He also said that that MATTA had also asked that incentives are currently given to inbound and domestic tour operators be continued and conditions eased to help new and small players.

“With eVisa regional hub expansion, Malaysia is certain to attract more visitors from

countries with access to this facility. The upgrading of international airports in Penang

and Langkawi, and domestic airports at Kota Bharu, Mukah and Sandakan will ensure

greater comfort and convenience to air travelers.”

“With the completion of the West Coast Expressway linking Banting to Taiping and making Lumut within 90 minutes of Kuala Lumpur, Pangkor's tourism is set for expansion and will now boom with duty-free statuses like Langkawi and Labuan. But developments must be properly planned and controlled, and pristine parts of the island maintained for tourism to be sustainable, as the island is much smaller than Langkawi or Penang. It is a haven for ecotourism,” he added.


Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/10/30/matta-lauds-tourism-friendly-proposals/#10Mv9AwvAeJ7OTpM.99

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