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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.


Liow: Bentong to become satellite town of Greater KL - April 7, 2018

BENTONG: Bentong will be developed further to become a satellite town of Greater Kuala Lumpur, says Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. The incumbent Bentong MP and Transport Minister has pledged to develop Bentong as a well-known eco-tourism destination. "As of now, we already have in place the Central Spine Road project, which will be completed next year.

"The double-track East Coast Rail Link will also have a station in Bentong, shortening the distance between Kuala Lumpur and Bentong to 25 minutes," he said at a family day at Taman Sri Siantan here Saturday morning. Spanning 411km, the toll-free Central Spine Road will connect Pahang to Kota Baru in Kelantan. With the ECRL, Liow said more visitors can make their way to Bentong and boost economic activities here for the benefit of the locals.

He also told the residents that he hopes Bentong will retain its lush environment, instead of being developed into another concrete jungle. On the Barisan Nasional manifesto to be revealed tonight, Liow urged all to watch to find out about Barisan's promises and plans for the next five years that would propel the country to greater heights.

He also announced an allocation of RM10,000 to the Rukun Tetangga of Taman Sri Siantan.


Nazri Aziz: Tourism Tax collection will be split 50-50 between state and federal governments - March 12, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Half of the tourism tax imposed will go to the state where it is collected, says Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz. "I am pleased to announce that the Government will now distribute RM5 out of the RM10 collected to every state," said the Tourism and Culture Minister.He added that the distribution of the tax would now be just as it is now based on the amount collected by each state.

Nazri was answering a question by Anthony Loke (DAP-Seremban) in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday (March 12).Currently, RM1 out of every RM10 collected in tourism tax per room per night is returned to state governments.Nazri also said that state governments could now use that allocation for tourism, and promote the state more aggressively, organizing more tourism activities, develop human capital as well as for the maintenance of small-scale tourism projects.

Replying an earlier question, Nazri said that the Government had collected RM39,975,634 in tourism tax from Sept 1 to Dec 31 last year.He added that Kuala Lumpur, Sabah, Penang, Pahang and Johor were among the highest contributors to the tax since it was introduced.Kuala Lumpur contributed the highest tax at RM16,625,258, followed by Sabah (RM4,530,628), Penang (RM3,881,655), Pahang (RM3,473,803), and Johor (RM2,716,739).


MATTA Fair targets RM210mil in sales - 18 March 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: The MATTA Fair March 2018 is expected to clinch more sales than the fair held in September last year, says the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA).

As many as 110,000 visitors with RM210mil in sales are expected for the current fair, said its president Datuk Tan Kok Liang during his speech at the fair opening ceremony at the Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday. Later at a press conference, Tan said the total sales for MATTA Fair September 2017 was about RM205mil. “Globally, the outbound tourism industry is expected to grow at 5% (a year). Considering the general election, which is coming soon, we expect to achieve RM210mil in sales,” he said.

The three-day fair, which began on Friday, is expected to be the biggest in its 27-year history. A total of 26,377 tickets were sold on the first day, according to Tan. In his speech, Tan said MATTA has started working towards Visit Malaysia Year 2020. “Foundations are being laid and we are looking into aggressive overseas promotion, hosting overseas travel agents to do packaging and online marketing to create awareness on local destinations,” he said. He said MATTA has set up its first MATTA Pavilion at ITB Berlin 2018, the world’s largest travel trade show to promote Malaysia on a global scale.

It will also engage in sales missions to China, India, Britain, and Europe, he said. Tan said MATTA is working closely with the Malaysia Association of Hotels and the National ICT Association of Malaysia to set up a technology platform for members to use and compete in the market. It has recently developed a collaborative framework with the Asso­ciation of Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies to promote both countries as a single destination for long-haul markets. Discussions were also underway with Grab for it to integrate MATTA members’ vehicles into its services, he said.

Meanwhile, the Tourism and Culture Ministry is targeting 33 million tourist arrivals in 2018, with a receipt of RM118bil, said its secretary-­general Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah. The ministry hopes to increase the figures to 36 million tourist arrivals and RM168bil in tourism receipts by 2020, which is the Visit Malaysia Year, he said at a press conference after the MATTA Fair March 2018 launch.  “Last year, 75% of our arrivals were from Asean countries. We will continue to focus on the region, besides China, India and Japan,” he said.  Last year, Malaysia recorded 25.9 million tourist arrivals and RM82.1bil in tourism receipts.

Rashidi said Malaysia will collaborate with other Asean countries to promote the region as a single destination. He said the initiative encourages foreigners outside of Asean to visit several countries when they travel to the region, instead of just a single country. Read more at

Climbing route built at picturesque hillside - March 7, 2018

JERANTUT: Youths in Kampung Paya Gunung here and its neighboring villages will benefit from activities generated from the via ferrata (climbing route) installed into the hillside here. Tourism Malaysia eastern region director Zaliha Zainuddin said youths have an interest in rock climbing activities and with the via ferrata, it is now more accessible to them. With their own initiative, aid from the Government and promotion from the tourism industry, the youths can now look forward to developing the activity in their village. “Youths, locals and non-locals come here almost every day, particularly every weekend to learn and test their skills in rock climbing.

“They can also enjoy the view because once they scale the via ferrata, they can see a 360-degree view from the limestone rock of the Paya Gunung hill at 120m above sea level. “They can either be new climbers practising their skills or guides who assist tourists,” said Zaliha. Italian for the “iron road”, the via ferrata is a series of steel cables that allows climbers to scale the limestone rock hill. The 200m-long via ferrata is now a new tourist attraction in Pahang. Zaliha said the via ferrata would be recommended to be included in the Visit Malaysia 2020 packages for its eco-tourism and extreme sports attractions.

She said it was a first-of-its-kind attraction in peninsular Malaysia and the second in the country after the one at Mount Kinabalu, Sabah. Zaliha recently brought tourism players from Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang as well as her staff to try out the via ferrata with help from guides and local youths. She said more would be done to sustain the activities so that the attraction would not be wasted in the future. “We cannot totally rely on the Tourism Ministry to do the promotion.

“The villagers here have to play their part too in promoting and maintaining the product so that the activities can keep on growing. “On the Government side, we have provided the basic facilities such as public toilets, surau, dining hall, an open space for a small gathering and tarred road for easy access. “We also plan to provide an English language course for the youths here so that they can speak English better when dealing with foreign tourists,” Zaliha said. She said last year, some 122,000 tourists visited Jerantut district, which has other attractions like Taman Negara and the Kota Gelanggi caves.


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