Genting’s First World Hotel earns second world record

With 7,351 rooms, First World Hotel at the Genting Highlands integrated resort near Kuala Lumpur has been named the world’s largest hotel once again by the Guinness World Records.

The hotel had won that recognition before between 2006 and 2013 when it had 6,118 rooms.

Guinness World Records adjudicator Alan Pixley presented the award to senior vice-president, hotel operations of Resorts World Genting Edward Holloway at the Guinness World Records office in London yesterday, a statement from the resort said.
“Our congratulations go to First World Hotel for the opening of the new block and for claiming back the Guinness World Records title for the world’s largest hotel,” said Pixley.

Holloway said the hotel had received over 35.5 million guests over the nine years since its first record in 2006.

“The endorsement by the world’s authority on this record-breaking achievement is icing on the cake, and more. It spells further excitement for the iconic hill resort even as it helps strengthen Malaysia on the international map for excellence in tourism and hospitality,” he said.

The new block, annex 2A, with its newly decorated rooms and accompanying entertainment and food and beverage outlets, offers a new phase to the hotel.

The transformation plans at Resorts World Genting have seen not only a higher number of rooms at First World Hotel but also a host of new features including Express Check-in and Check-out Kiosks – the first in Southeast Asia – and an innovatively-designed walkway leading to the lobby.

The hotel was originally designed as a basic hotel providing comfortable, clean and affordable rooms.

However, with today’s travellers demanding better quality rooms, the hotel had upgraded the facilities.

A study on customer requirements preceded one-and-a-half years of planning and renovations at the Tower 2 Annex at the cost of RM300 million, the statement said.

The resort will also be unveiling the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park, Genting Premium Outlet, brand new shopping mall Sky Avenue and a new cable system next year. – August 20, 2015.

Major drop in number of tourist arrivals in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Tourist arrivals as well as those travelling out have fallen significantly.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Ham­zah Rahmat (pic) said there had been a 30% drop in the last six months.

“This is very rare in the Malaysian tourism industry. We hope the situation will stabilise soon,” he said at a press conference promoting Hong Kong halal travel here yesterday.

Hamzah said there were many factors that influenced the drop, including the in­­troduction of Goods and Service Tax (GST), the soft world and local economy, and the current uncertain political situation.

Speaking on the promotion, he said the target market was Muslim families who want to visit tourist attractions such as the Hong Kong Disneyland.

“Families can move with ease in Hong Kong and food is not a major problem. Even the theme parks offer halal food options and with Internet, it is easy to find halal restaurants,” he said.

Hong Kong chief imam Muhammad Arshad said although Hong Kong was not a Muslim country, it was Muslim-friendly.

“I have been living in Hong Kong for a long time and we always welcome our Muslim brothers.

“There are facilities everywhere- from the airport to downtown – and many hotels and restaurants have been certified halal,” he said.

There are over 60 restaurants in Hong Kong that have been certified halal, with many more in the process of obtaining the certification.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board will have a promotional booth at the MATTA fair, scheduled to be held from Sept 4 to Sept 6 at Putra World Trade Centre.

source: thestar

Indonesia targets over 2 lakh Indian arrivals in 2015

Indonesia is planning its biggest push for Indian arrivals. The Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia in collaboration with Visit Indonesia Tourism Office (VITO) in India is gearing up to lure international tourists especially from India, by undertaking 2015 Indonesia Sales Mission to India. The event will run from July 28 to 30 in Mumbai and Delhi. India has been included in the top 10 visitors to Indonesia and is one of the primary markets in term of increasing the number of Indian visits increased about 16.23 per cent to 237,990 visits compared to 204,756 visits in 2013. Shelly Chandhok, Country Manager, VITO India, says, “We have seen a tremendous growth in Indian arrivals. This year our target is 250,000.”

source : Tourism Breaking News

Tigerair offers SIngapore – Chennai for Rs.3799/- join hands in Promotions with Singapore Tourism Board.

Tigerair on Tuesday lowered its fares by half for a limited period on its Singapore-bound flights from five Indian cities to celebrate the golden jubilee of Singapore’s independence and completion of 50 years of bilateral ties.

The airline, in which Singapore Airlines holds majority stake, also announced joining of hands with Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to celebrate the twin occasions, a release said.

Tigerair offers an all-inclusive one-way fare starting at Rs 3,799 for a journey from Chennai while all-inclusive return fare to Singapore will be Rs 7,999, the airline said.

These fares, however, varies from city-to-city, depending upon the distance, with the maximum fares under the promotion offer pegged at Rs 5,499 for a Bengaluru-Singapore journey. Passengers travelling from Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kochi and Trichy can undertake bookings from July 7 to 15 for a travel period between August 4 to November 6, the release said.

Tigerair operates a total of 40 weekly flights to Singapore from these cities.

“We are proud to partner with the Singapore Tourism Board to celebrate the 50th year of Singapore’s independence. We are confident that this collaboration will aid us in accomplishing our common aim, which is to give the opportunity to as many Indian travellers to experience Singapore. We are happy to invite Indian travel enthusiasts to be a part of this gala celebration in Singapore,” Teh Yik Chuan, director for sales and Mmarketing, Tigerair, said.

“As Singapore’s leading no-frills airline we feel compelled to showcase Singapore’s rich heritage to our outstation customers. The celebratory offer reaffirms Tigerair as the most affordable airline of choice to fly to Singapore,” he added.

As part of the golden jubilee celebrations, Singapore is rolling out a bonanza of promotions and special experiences and deals for overseas visitors, the release said.

“We are excited to partner with Tigerair and we’d like to invite our friends from India to join us in commemorating this special occasion,” STB Area Director Bridget Goh said.

India is among the top five visitor markets for Singapore with over 9,43,000 Indian travellers last year and the average length of stay increased to almost a week, Goh said.

Thai AirAsia flies to Bangalore

BANGKOK, 6 July 2015: Thai AirAsia will operate five weekly flights between Bangkok (Don Mueang Airport) and Bangalore in India, starting 1 September.

The airline CEO, Tassapon Bijleveld, noted that this year  Thai AirAsia has added services to Nan, Loei, Roi Et and Buriram.

For the latter half of the year, the airline plans to expand routes to China and India.

“Bangalore is one of south India’s most important cities. It is well-known for its educational institutions and attracts many students. This new flight will provide a great opportunity for both tourism and investment.”

inside no 5He added: “We are also working with AirAsia India to connect Indian travellers to our Thailand flights. In the past year, Indian travellers were among the top 10 most frequent visitors to Thailand. Also for Thai tourists, they will be able to discover many Indian destinations with AirAsia India’s flights to Kochi, Goa, Pune, Jaipur, Chandigarh, New Delhi, and Visakhapatnam.”

Bangalore, also known as Bengaluru, is the fifth largest city in India.

The city is known for its technology and education and is a centre for India’s IT and software industries.

Bangalore is also noted for its tourist sites such as Vidhana Soudha, an iconic buildings reflecting Neo Dravidian architecture. Visitors should also view Bangalore Palace, which was inspired by England’s famed Windsor Palace, or Mysore Palace, with over 500 years of history.

Flight Schedule Bangkok, Don Mueang (DMK) – Bangalore (BLR)inside-no-5.1

*Operates from 1 September onwards.

The airline has sets the lowest one-way fare on the route at THB1,490. Fare includes airport tax and fee.

SGD 20 million investing to boost Singapore tourism

The partnership will see the organisations investing S$20 million to boost the Singapore experience to leisure, business and MICE audiences in more than 15 markets worldwide.

Singapore Airlines (SIA), Changi Airport Group (CAG) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) are collaborating in a two-year partnership to strengthen tourism in Singapore.

According to a joint press release by SIA, CAG and STB on Tuesday (Jun 30), the partnership is the largest collaboration among the three partners to date. The partnership will see the organisations investing S$20 million to boost the Singapore experience to leisure, business and Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) audiences in more than 15 markets worldwide.

This will be carried out through the refinement and delivery of the Singapore experience to visitors coming to and through Singapore and Changi Airport, said the press release. In addition to ongoing work in attracting leisure visitors, the partnership will also boost marketing investment for the business traveller and MICE segments.

“This partnership demonstrates our commitment to further developing our home base as a travel hub and promoting Singapore as a destination of choice,” said Singapore Airlines CEO, Mr Goh Choon Phong.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF PARTNERSHIP

“One of the key initiatives in this collaboration is developing and enhancing joint programmes that will contribute towards strengthening the global mindshare and perceptions of both Singapore and Changi Airport,” said Mr Lee Seow Hiang, chief executive officer of Changi Airport Group.

A Singapore Stopover Premium package, which is an upgraded version of the Singapore Stopover Holiday, will be introduced. Targeted at premium leisure and business travellers, the package includes stays in selected five-star hotels with breakfast and Wi-Fi, priority hotel check-in services and private transfers, privileges such as spa discounts or shopping vouchers, and access to leisure experiences across the island.

Another key feature is the enhanced Free Singapore Tour. This programme brings transit passengers on a free guided tour of Singapore’s landscape, heritage attractions and city skyline.

The upgraded programme includes longer itineraries that cover more iconic sights, photo stops, additional tour timings across day and night, and the introduction of seasonal editions during festive periods. For example, tours would include Orchard Road during Christmas and Little India during Deepavali.

Mr Lionel Yeo, chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board, said: “Our airline and airport are an integral part of the Singapore experience. The new product offerings demonstrate SIA, CAG, and STB’s commitment to provide today’s discerning travellers with a more seamless and in-depth experience.”

10 MOST POPULAR CITIES FOR TRAVELERS IN 2015- Bangkok (No. 2), Singapore (No. 7), Kuala Lumpur (No. 8),

London, the city of the Tower Bridge (with a new glass walkway), drinks as dinner, royal babies and the world’s greatest tabloid headline writers, is forecast to be the most popular travel destination of 2015. Can’t say we’re surprised. MasterCard has just released its annual travel study, the Global Destination Cities Index, ranking 132 destination cities around the world in terms of total international overnight visitor arrivals and cross-border spending.

London came first in the study for the second year in a row. Bangkok lost its first place ranking in 2013, largely due to political unrest. But the report suggests that the Thai capital is showing signs of recovery and closing the gap with London. London will welcome 18.82 million overnight visitors in 2015 whereas Bangkok will receive 18.24 million. Not only will London have the most travelers, it’s estimated to see the most visitor spending, at $20.23 billion in 2015.

New York came second in visitor spending at $17.37 billion. Paris followed with $16.61 billion. London and Bangkok have taken the top two spots in the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index for the last five years. “This is an impressive achievement and it is similar qualities that have kept them both at the top,” said Eric Schneider, group head of MasterCard Advisors, Asia-Pacific. Despite their size, they are both relatively easy to navigate for a tourist, and even in Bangkok, English is often all you need to get around.

“Food and culture are also available in abundance. Finally, it’s the unique and seemingly limitless heritage, from temples to palaces in Bangkok or churches and castles in London, that keep enticing tourists to make the trip.”

Asia dominates, but lacks diversity. The ranking is heavily tilted toward Asia. Of the top 10 destinations, five are in Asia: Bangkok (no. 2), Singapore (no. 7), Kuala Lumpur (no. 8), Seoul (no. 9) and Hong Kong (no.10).

“Against a background of generally weak global economic growth and anemic pace of exports, a vibrant tourism sector is providing a powerful boost to income and job creation in Asia-Pacific,” said Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, chief economist and chair of the Academic Advisory Council at the MasterCard Center.

The report points out a lack of diversity in the source of tourism arrivals for some Asian cities. The top five visitor groups coming to Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for example, are all from the Asia-Pacific region.

Istanbul has the most diverse visitors, with half of its inbound tourists coming from 33 different countries. Diversifying sources of visitors means a higher resilience against long term economic instability, according to the report.

Among the 10 fastest growing cities in the world (based on data gathered over the last six years), seven are in Asia. Sri Lanka’s capital city of Colombo is first in growth with a staggering 21% surge, with Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province, following in second.

Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, ranked third in terms of growth; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, placed fifth.

Lima, Peru, is the wold’s ninth-fastest growing city, and the fastest growing city in South America.

Houston is the fastest growing city in North America since 2009 and is the only city in the United States to register double-digit growth over that period.

Top 10 destination cities for 2015 (by projected visitor arrivals)
1. London 18.82 million
2. Bangkok 18.24 million
3. Paris 16.06 million
4. Dubai, UAE 14.26 million
5. Istanbul 12.56 million
6. New York 12.27 million
7. Singapore 11.88 million
8. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 11.12 million
9. Seoul 10.35 million
10. Hong Kong 8.66 million

Top 10 cities for international overnight visitor spend for 2015
1 London $20.23 billion
2 New York $17.37 billion
3 Paris $16.61 billion
4 Seoul $15.24 billion
5 Singapore $14.65 billion
6 Barcelona, Spain $13.86 billion
7 Bangkok $12.36 billion
8 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia $12.02 billion
9 Dubai, UAE $11.68 billion
10 Istanbul $9.37 billion

Fastest growing tourist cities
1. Colombo, Sri Lanka 21.1%
2. Chengdu, China 20.7%
3. Abu Dhabi, UAE 20.4%
4. Osaka, Japan 19.8%
5. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 18.0%
6. Xi An, China 16.2%
7. Taipei, Taiwan 14.9%
8. Tokyo 14.6%
9. Lima, Peru 13.9%
10. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 12.9%

Article originally from CNN.