Malaysia Travel Guide

STB to Ramp up Tourism Promo in the Netherlands

STB to Ramp up Tourism Promo in the Netherlands

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) is set to ramp its tourism promotion in the Netherlands with at least three Dutch operators who have expressed their interests in joint marketing collaboration.

“It’s timely as we are now promoting aggressively our Visit Sarawak Campaign”  said STB Chief Executive Officer, Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor after a destination briefing session which was attended by 15 Dutch operators and media partners here yesterday.

“I am glad we could offer a concrete proposal to the operators such as Fox Verre Reizen, Pangea Travel and Sawadee Reizen”, said Sharzede and adding that the agents are ready to go big time in Sarawak.

“What interests them is the destination that features responsible tourism and Sarawak has it, keeping to its theme as the destination that offers culture, adventure, nature, food and festival”, she added.

Sharzede admitted that “Sarawak has lost its ‘visibility’ in the Dutch market in the past years but we are determined to move in and partner these agents leveraging on the Visit Sarawak Campaign”, she explained.

“Yes, the arrival numbers were down, especially after the airline tragedy of 2014 when we lost the direct flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and that had affected the business of the Dutch operators” added Sharzede.

“After meeting the operators today, we are confident that we will be make inroads with our proposal offered to these operators to partner them in their promotional effort in the Netherlands”, she explained.

“What excites our Dutch partners are the new product experiences that we now have, including the central region and also the newly rejuvenated products like the Old Kuching Heritage Trail”.

“The Dutch have their ‘Kanaal’ and we too have canals in Mukah and these product similarities especially in the central region have aroused interests among our Dutch partners, giving us an opportunity to connect closely with them”, enthused Sharzede.

What we do now is ensure that these operators are shown and are able to experience the new products first hand, with familiarization trips organised by the Board partnering with local agents, she said.

Sharzede, who was joined by Rosni Mamat, First Secretary to the Embassy of Malaysia at The Hague, expressed high hopes in revitalising the Dutch-speaking markets, acknowledging that the destination product compatibility would take the Sarawak tourism industry to greater heights.

From the series of engagements we had with the Dutch operators, we believe the Dutch tourists look for experiential tourism and also choose destinations that subscribe to the principles of responsible tourism and as such Sarawak could leverage of these standards and values to position itself among the favoured destination in the region, she added.

Calling on the local industry partners to be industrious in churning out more tourism products and packages to remain competitive and be relevant, Sharzede was of the opinion that the long haul market of the Benelux will continue to be the main supplier of tourists in the coming years.

Meanwhile, both Product Managers from Fox Verre Reizen and Sawadee Reizen had also expressed their interests to do a familiarization trip to Sarawak in order for them to have a first-hand experience of the destination whereas the Product Manager of Pangea Travel had, indicated his intention to include the Central Region as a new product in their promotional catalogue.

STB is on a week-long tourism promotion mission to Finland and Holland to attend the MATKA Travel Fair in Helsinki and also conducted destination briefing and partners’ engagement session in Amsterdam with local Sarawak partners.

The mission was supported by Tourism Malaysia’s office at The Hague.

While in Helsinki on Tuesday, the STB delegation were guests at the office of the Malaysian Embassy’s First Secretary, Norhalilah Abdul Jalil.

Norhalilah (left) with Sharzede at her office.


Malaysia Travel Guide

Three Nordic Travel Agencies to Partner STB to Promote Sarawak

Three Nordic Travel Agencies to Partner STB to Promote Sarawak

Helsinki (Finland), Monday: Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) has secured three Nordic partners to spearhead its marketing campaign for the year at the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair which ended here yesterday.

It was indeed a fruitful outing and we secured among the best Nordic travel agencies to work with us and we hope to partner them to drive our campaign, said the elated STB’s Chief Executive Officer, Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor.

“We had fruitful engagements with Finland’s Olympia Air Travel Limited, Helsinki based Adventura Tour Operator Ltd, and Copenhagen based Malaysia Experten and we will be doing follow up with these region’s leading operators”

“For a start, familiarisation trips for their product managers will be the first step to introduce the State’s Culture, Adventure, Nature, Food and Festival’s product experiences”

“This is STB’s first foray into MATKA Nordic Travel Fair, and we find that there is great potential in this market as there is a match between the products that they are looking for and what we have to offer in Sarawak”, said Sharzede.

The three Nordic partners will be sending tour groups as early as next month for at least five to seven days tours in Sarawak and are currently selling tours with a departures also schedule in April.

Describing Sarawak as a favourite destination for those 50’s and above, Liisa Puolkkainen, Olympia Air Travel’s Product Manager, expressed confidence that Sarawak will continue to attract travellers from the Nordic countries particularly Finland where most of her clients look for nature and culture as their top choice in deciding their holiday destination.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Experten Business Development Manager, Charlotte Sandakumaran was of the opinion that Sarawak is a family destination for travellers from the Nordic region.

“My 15 years’ experience and having sold many Malaysia packages, Sarawak definitely captures interest of families as a safe and family friendly destination”, she opined.

Kuching based Ecogreen Holidays Director, Gary Speldewinde had high hopes for the Nordic market adding that MATKA Nordic Travel Fair was a good platform in educating Finnish travellers about the destination and the tours available.

“We have interests from 10 free independent travellers who were keen on Sarawak product experiences and we hope to be able to convince them of their choices and prepare them for their holidays” he added.

The annual Fair started on January 17 with the first day dedicated to trade visitors while the next three subsequent days were opened to members of the public.

Picture shows Sharzede (centre) with Charlottee (right) and Mustafa Ajan, Malaysia Experten Managing Director at a discussion at the fair.

Tourism Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Tower International Jump Malaysia 2011

October 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm

BASE (Building, Antenna, Span, Earth) jumpers all around the world were given another opportunity recently to come together and do the one thing that they love most – jumping off dizzying heights with only a parachute to delay their fall as gravity takes over. This prestigious event organised by the Kuala Lumpur Tower took place from the 28th September till 2nd October 2011.

All jumpers posing for a group photo during the opening ceremony on 28th September 2011

This time, the tower became the ‘leaping point’ as 93 jumpers from all over the world including Malaysia participated in this exciting event. Considering the high risk involved in this extreme sport, it is not uncommon for many to assume that women are not into extreme sports. It was therefore surprising to hear that out of the 93 people who participated, five were women jumpers. The participants who joined this event came from countries like Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, Finland, United States, India, Malaysia, Canada, Japan, Oslo, Chile, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, France and Poland. The five women participants were from India, the United States, Hungary, Germany and South Africa. The event was also made open to members of the public who were keen to come and watch the jumpers in action. Tickets were sold at a premier rate of RM 100.00 to RM 150.00 for day jumps and RM 150.00 to RM 200.00 for Night Jumps, which took place on 30th September and 1st October 2011.

One of the jumpers on his way to the landing area

It is amazing to see these jumpers leaping off the platform at the heights of 300 metres!

Some jumpers practise the way to leap off the building before actually jumping off with their friends

The closing ceremony for the Kuala Lumpur Tower International Jump Malaysia 2011, which took place on 2nd October 2011, coincided with the tower’s 15th years anniversary, hence it was a double celebration for both the jumpers and the tower’s management. The tower was officially launched by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on 1st October 1996, who was the current Prime Minister of Malaysia at that time. The event was held at the Megaview Banquet Hall at Menara Kuala Lumpur. It was attended by YB Datuk M. Saravanan, Deputy Minister Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing, Yg Bhg Tan Sri Dato’ Ir. Muhammad Radzi Mansor, Chairman of Menara Kuala Lumpur and Pn. Zuraidah Mohd Said, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Menara Kuala Lumpur.

YB Datuk M. Saravanan, Deputy Minister Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing presenting a Certificate of Participation to Mr Gary Cunningham

The closing event also proved to be a memorable day for 21 youths who shared the same birthday as Menara Kuala Lumpur. Their presence made the ceremony even more merrier as these youths joined in during the cake-cutting ceremony. A gift was also presented to all the birthday boys and girls, much to their delight. It definitely was a memorable birthday for them. After the cultural performances, the jumpers were all invited to the stage to receive their certificates from Kuala Lumpur Tower. Pn. Zuraidah also announced the dates for next year’s Kuala Lumpur Tower International Jump Malaysia, which will be taking place from the 26th till 30th September 2012. This is truly a great opportunity for most jumpers to break their own records as next year they will have five whole days to jump to their hearts’ delight!

The cake cutting ceremony to celebrate Menara Kuala Lumpur’s anniversary together with the birthday of Menara Kuala Lumpur Youths

There were also five special prizes prepared by Menara Kuala Lumpur together with one of its main sponsors, World of Watches II for five of the jumpers. The winners each received a watch from World of Watches II worth RM5, 000 each. The categories were:-

The Overall Jump
Most Jumps of the Day
Most Creative Jump
WWII Jumper (International Ambassador), and
WWII Jumper (Local Ambassador).

The winners were:

The Overall Jump – Jean-Phillipe Teffaud
Most Jumps for the Day – Adam Gardner
Most Creative Jump – Rob Heron from Canada
WWII Jumper (International Ambassador) – Brandon J Chance AND
WWII Jumper (Local Ambassador) – Hizam Sahibudeen

Winner of Most Creative Jumper, Mr Rob Heron from Canada

Winner of Most Jumps of the Day Category, Mr Adam Gardner

Winner of Overall Jumps Category, Mr Jean-Phillipe Teffaud

Winner of WWII Jumper Local Ambassador, Mr Hizam Sahibudeen

Winner of WWII Jumper International Ambassador, Mr Brandon J Chance

As the closing ceremony came to an end, many of the jumpers took the opportunity to mingle around with each other. Some even joined in the cultural dancers’ performance. All in all, the KL Tower International Jump Malaysia 2011 had a good start and ended with a great bang.

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Tourism Malaysia

Tribute to Sibelius

October 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Jean Sibelius was a famous Finnish composer of the later Romantic period. His music had an important part in the formation of Finland’s national identity. Born as Johan Julius Christian Sibelius, he began using the French form of his name ‘Jean’ during his years as a student. He is now known universally as Jean Sibelius. He studied Law for a while after his graduation from high school, but his love for music proved to be stronger and he later quit his law studies. From 1885 till 1889, Sibelius studied music in Helsinki music school.

Jean Sibelius

The Sibelius monument in Helsinki is dedicated to Finnish composer Jean Sibelius

Some of his best-known compositions include Finlandia, the Karelia Suite, Valse triste and The Swan of Tuonela. In 1908, Sibelius underwent a major operation for suspected throat cancer. Though the operation went well, his close encounter with death was said to have inspired the works that he composed in the following years. 18 years after his brush with death, many noticed a sharp decline in his output of musical works. After his Seventh Symphony, Sibelius only produced a few major works for the rest of his life. Jean Sibelius passed away at a great old age of 91 due to brain haemorrhage.

The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra will be performing three of this Finnish composer’s pieces, that is Finlandia, Violin Concerto and Symphony No. 2. The violin concerto will be performed by Mr. Barnabas Kelemen and Mr Olari Elts will be conducting the orchestra. The musical performance is scheduled for 15th October 2011 at 8.30 pm AND 16th October 2011 at 3.00 pm. Tickets are priced at RM 30, RM 60, RM 90 and RM 120. Patrons of the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas will have to observe its dress code, which is smart casual when attending the concerts. For more information, please log on to Dewan Filharmonik Petronas’ website.

Photo (c) robin-root

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