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International artiste to promote coral reef restoration

The Bunga Raya Island Resort spa will fly into the State the world-renowned Irish artiste, Ronan Keating, as part of their effort to promote the Marine Ecology Research Centre’s (MERC) work in coral reef restoration and giant clam propagation.

“Keating has agreed to perform and is excited to become part of it and has expressed eagerness to promote the cause,” said Bunga Raya Island Resort Spa’s owner, Gillian Tan, who pins the hope that the message to save the sea through coral reef restoration and giant clam propagation will spread throughout the world following Keating’s involvement in the effort.

Keating will give a dine-and-song performance at the resort on April 21, which is exclusive for in-house guests between 7.30pm and 11pm.

Tickets for the event is priced at RM1,000 per person.

He will appear the next day as a guest performer at the resort’s Marine Day Beach party which will take place between 9am and 5pm.

Tickets for this event are sold at RM200 each and are available at the Gayana Eco Resort’s office at Jesselton Point.

Patrons of the beach party will be provided with lunch, lucky draw prizes, a beach kit, music performances by local artistes and Keating, and Zumba with local fitness coach, Michelle Koh.

Patrons will also learn about the MERC’s effort in saving the sea through coral reef restoration and giant clam propagation and will bear witness to the release of 500 giant clam juveniles bred and raised since 2007 into selected ocean nurseries.

MERC will also transfer 1,000 planted corals to selected reefs surrounding the resort.

A total of 1,000 people are expected to turn up for the event and the proceeds derived from this event will be donated to MERC to ensure sustainability and a healthy environment for the future.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/03/20/international-artiste-to-promote-coral-reef-restoration/#ixzz1pe069v40

More recreational facilities for Lahad Datu

More recreational and ecotourism facilities are in store for Lahad Datu in line with the fast development pace taking place in this east coast district of Sabah, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said.

Apart from meeting an increasing demand for such facilities, Musa said it would also bring about benefits to the conservation areas in the district.

“Tourism sector is the second largest contributor to Malaysia’s economic growth after petroleum, therefore, it could not be denied that this sector could generate income to stimulate the state’s economic growth.

“It is for this reason that the state government approved RM4.2 million to develop Mount Silam,” he said in his speech at the launch of Menara Kayangan Lahad Datu (Lahad Datu Tower of Heaven) at Mount Silam, here yesterday.

His text of speech was read by Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.

Musa said that the facility would complement existing ecotourism attractions in the east coast of Sabah such as Danum Valley and Tabin Wildlife Sanctuary.

According to the Chief Minister, the tower is appropriate for recreational activities as it is located inside a forest ecosystem that is free from environmental pollution.

“I am also confident that this area has the potential to be one of the unique tourist destinations,” he added.

Meanwhile, State Forestry Director Datuk Sam Mannan in his speech said that Lahad Datu had proven that development does not necessarily mean environmental degradation.

He said Lahad Datu is one of the rapid developed districts in Sabah, yet still rich with natural resources. It also has the biggest area of forest reserves and all are protected forests and not opened for logging.

“We should be grateful as all the forest areas are reserves for conservation and people’s interest and able to be used for research, tourism, education and others,” he added.

Masidi said at a press conference later that the state government would strive to accelerate the establishment of a tourist information centre in Lahad Datu to promote the district as one of the important tourism destinations in Sabah.

“The establishment of the tourist information centre is seen as a need to provide information to tourists as many tourists visit this district without using travel agents,” he said.

Masidi added that he would recommend to the Chief Minister in the next Cabinet meeting on the fund to set up the information centre and hoped that the allocation would be released in the mid-term review of the 10th Malaysia Plan.

Also present were Deputy State Secretary (Administration) Datuk Maznah Abdul Ghani, Tabin Wildlife Holidays Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Yusoff Datuk Haji Mohd Kasim, Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister, Datuk Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur, Kunak assemblyman Datuk Nilwan Kabang and State Forestry deputy director Fidelis Edwin Bajau.

Source: Borneo Post (by Azmie Lim)

Domestic tourism on rise

A recent survey conducted by LivingSocial found that domestic tourism is on the rise with close to 60 per cent of Malaysians voting Sabah, Sarawak and Langkawi as the ideal local escape destinations in a recent survey.

More than 40 per cent of respondents chose Taiwan, Korea and Japan for Asian destinations while Europe received the highest vote followed by Australia for international destinations.

“Malaysia has a great deal to offer tourists, and we are delighted that the unique Malaysian travel experiences offered by LivingSocial are very popular among our subscribers,” LivingSocial Malaysia marketing director Irene Foo said in a statement yesterday.

The survey was conducted among 2,000 respondents across four Malaysian states.

She said the survey also revealed that a majority of people planned their travels at least six months ahead, and 98 per cent of the people who travel do it for leisure, 35 per cent search for family-oriented holidays, while 31 per cent look for romantic breakaways.

The survey found that 55 per cent buy travel packages from online group buying sites while 44 per cent buy from online travel agencies.

“More and more Malaysians are buying travel packages online and LivingSocial is committed to providing the best travel deals and experiences,” Foo added.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/03/17/domestic-tourism-on-rise/#ixzz1pdzEyQT0

Slovenian to defend Paragliding Accuracy World Cup title

Defending champion, Matjaz Ferarci, is in to defend his title against 65 paragliders in this year’s Paragliding Accuracy World Cup Sabah which begins today.
The Slovenian, who just turned 53 about four days ago, is also second in the world ranking. He is in the state after a paragliding trip in Indonesia earlier this week.

Held on the hilly area in Kampung Lohan, here, about 120 kilometres from Kota Kinabalu, it is considered as a sport for the future which has great potential in the sport tourism product for Sabah.

“Sabah can add another to its extensive list of tourism products,” said the event’s deputy chairman, Lieutenant Colonel (R) Basir Ab Rahman.

He said there is much potential to develop aviation sports particularly paragliding in places like Ranau and other sites in Sabah.

Malaysia, he added, has won the bid to host the second Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) Asian Paragliding Championship in 2014.

“Our plan is to bring FAI World Paragliding Accuracy Championship to Malaysia by 2015,” he said.

The participants, coming from 13 countries, will be competing in four categories, namely the Individual Open, Individual Women Open, Team Open and Individual Malaysia Open, offering cash prizes amounting to RM21,600.

Paragliding has been widely accepted in all European, East Asian and American nations, which naturally attracts a huge market for the tourism industry because of the sport’s popularity.

The natural geographical landscape in Sabah makes the state an ideal location to host the event, said Basir.

Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Seri Tengku Zainal Abidin marked the launching ceremony by flying in tandem with some 30 people, yesterday.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/03/17/slovenian-to-defend-paragliding-accuracy-world-cup-title/#ixzz1pdy4pkUq

Courtesy visit from the “3rd World Youth Congress of Jiangmen 2012”

3rd World Youth Congress of Jiangmen 2012
YB Datuk Masidi Manjun received a courtesy visit from the Organising Committee of the “3rd World Youth Congress of Jiangmen 2012” on the 15th of March 2012 at the minister’s office.

YB Datuk Masidi Manjun menerima kunjungan hormat daripada Jawatankuasa Penganjur “3rd World Youth Congress of Jiangmen 2012” pada 15 Mac 2012 bertempat di pejabat menteri.