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MOTAC proposes reactivating tourism activities in phases - July 22, 2021

PUTRAJAYA: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) will propose to the National Security Council (NSC) for the reopening of tourism activities in phases. The proposal covers four stages, with Tier 1 allowing intra-district travel and tourism activities within the district, Tier 2 for inter-district travel and tourism, Tier 3 (inter-state travel and tourism) and Tier 4 (international travel/ inbound tourists).

MOTAC in a statement today on efforts taken assist the tourism sector affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, said it also implemented several initiatives to help ease the burden of the tourism industry. They include relaxation of compound matters under the Tourism Industry Act 1992 (Act 482) such as compound payment discount of 40 per cent to all tour operators and licensed tour guides compounded by MOTAC before Dec 30, 2021. 

Another initiative is licence fee exemption for tour operators and tourist guides, licensed under Act 482, and relaxation of licence requirements for tour operators such as rental of business premises by co-sharing office space until Dec 31, 2021. MOTAC said it also prepared a framework to revive the tourism sector in three phases in line with the National Recovery Plan to help the government speed up the vaccination programme and make the Covid-19 Free Destination Programme a success.

For the first phase, Langkawi and Kuching had been selected as pilot travel destinations for the Covid-19 Free Destination Programme, it said. For the second phase, the programme will be expanded to other popular resort islands such as Redang, Perhentian, Pangkor and Tioman as well as other main attractions in various states such as Johor, Melaka, Penang and Sabah while the third phase involves other main destinations. "Hence, the programme includes efforts to increase the capacity in vaccinating the local population," it said, adding MOTAC was working closely with the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force to utilise the existing public vaccination centres (PPV) to accelerate the vaccination programme for the tourism frontliners. – Bernama

Source: NST

Singapore's Selo Group enters Malaysian property market - July 9, 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore's Selo Group has today announced its entrance into the Malaysian real estate and hospitality market with Samãja Selo Private Residences. The property is located at the southern end of Tioman Island in Pahang. Selo chief executive officer Andrew Corkery said Malaysia was now ranked among the top five preferred countries for Asian real estate investors. "We have prioritised a luxurious living experience that enhances a true connection to the destination and instills a sense of belonging in a private vacation community with a focus on owner's modern lifestyle choices that matter more than ever to our residents," he said in a statement. 

Samãja Selo Private Residences is a joint venture in partnership with Impiana Hotels Bhd. Impiana Group has emerged as a major regional player, creating a collection of some of the finest business hotels, resorts, private villas and spas across Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia for the last two decades.

Selo said the company, together with Impiana would combine their expertise to collaborate on all aspects of the development from the design and operational aspects to the management of the property. Samãja Selo Private Residences are available by invitation only from US$388,000 for Hilltop Lots and Beach Front lots from US$1.29 million.

Source : NST

Efforts underway to make Pulau Tioman tourism green bubble - June 28, 2021

KUANTAN: The Pahang government is accelerating vaccination in Pulau Tioman as part of its efforts to achieve herd immunity and reopen the island to visitors. State Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin said once 80 percent of the population on the island have been vaccinated, Tioman could be opened within a tourism green bubble similar to the plans adopted for Pulau Langkawi in Kedah. "The state government will speed up vaccination as this will be a good initiative to get domestic tourism back on track. Once Pulau Tioman achieves herd immunity, the travel bubble can be implemented to help the tourism industry players generate income.

"Once given the go-ahead, holidaymakers can travel straight to destinations placed under the tourism green bubble. The vital requirement includes that the tourism industry players and the travelers must have completed their vaccinations," he said when contacted. On Facebook, Sharkar wrote the travel bubble has helped countries like Australia and New Zealand develop the tourism sector as well as related economy involving transportation, accommodation and food.

"This meets the main strategy of tourism, which is to restore the people's confidence to travel and can go on to spur the domestic tourism sector. However, strict measures will be in place to ensure there is no Covid-19 outbreak when the tourism bubble is implemented. "Once the herd community is achieved, then other tourist destinations including Taman Negara Kuala Tahan in Jerantut, Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre in Temerloh, Cameron Highlands, Genting Highlands and Fraser's Hill can reopen," he said. On June 24, Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the government has started a mass vaccination exercise in Pulau Langkawi to make the island a tourism green bubble.

Tourism operators in Pulau Tioman were keeping their fingers crossed hoping for the vaccination programme on the island which began today would help pave the way for the island to achieve the green bubble. The National Covid-19 Immunisation Plan (NIP) for Pulau Tioman held between today and July 4 targets to vaccine some 1,700 people on the island. Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail is scheduled to visit Pulau Tioman and check on the vaccination progress tomorrow.

Source: NST

Impiana and Singapore's Selo Group to build private villas in Tioman Island - Julai 9, 2021

Impiana Hotels Bhd and Singapore-based Selo Group will develop beachfront and hilltop villas at the southern end of Tioman Island in Pahang. They will develop Samãja Selo Private Residences through a joint venture partnership. This will also mark Selo's entry into the Malaysian real estate and hospitality market. Both Impiana and Selo will combine their expertise to collaborate on all aspects of the development from the design and operational aspects to the management of the property. Samãja Selo Private Residence comprises a limited collection of private villas. It will combine vacation home ownership with numerous boutique hotel amenities.

There will be 23 villas up for sale and the preview is by invitation only. The hilltop lots are selling from US$388,000 (RM1.6 million), and the beach front lots are from US$1.29 million. The villas will be managed by Impiana Hotels & Resorts Management Sdn Bhd, the hospitality operating arm of the Impiana group.

Impiana currently owns and manages nine hotels and resorts – three each in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Selo chief executive officer Andrew Corkery said his company is thrilled to bring its exceptional style of hospitality to Malaysia, which now ranks among the top five preferred countries for Asian real estate investors. "We have prioritised a luxurious living experience that enhances a true connection to the destination and instills a sense of belonging in a private vacation community with a focus on owner's modern lifestyle choices that matter more than ever to our residents," he said in a statement. Corkery said Samãja Selo is a private lifestyle community curated for like-minded people who share common goals, interests, and experiences in proactively pursuing wellness.

 "We are excited that residents will soon have the opportunity to unwind in one of Asia's most unique beachfront island destinations," he said. Impiana executive chairman, Datuk Seri' Ismail @Farouk Abdullah said his company is delighted to be partnering with Selo on this very exclusive development. "We look forward to embarking on this project to develop one of our idle strategic land banks into this valuable gem of a resort, in the midst of this adversity we are now experiencing. We trust this partnership forged with Selo would bring out the best in the property and make it a popular holiday destination of choice in time to come," he said. Source : NST

 

RM20 million to restore Tasik Chini after mining aftermath - June 25, 2021

PEKAN: Some RM20 million is needed to rehabilitate 600ha in Tasik Chini near here which has been affected by mining activities. Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said the state government has set aside RM1 million from the Pahang Mine Rehabilitation Fund to be utilised to restore the abandoned mining sites.

"The rehabilitation works at the mining site will start in August. We estimate about RM20 million to reinstate the lake area," he said in a statement today. Wan Rosdy said besides channeling allocations from the Forest Development Fund, the Pahang government welcomes any individuals or non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who want to be part of the restoration works at the country's second-largest freshwater lake.  "The rehabilitation efforts will be done collectively between departments, education institutions along with research in various aspects such as flora and fauna, hydrology and other related fields. This is to ensure the aim to conduct forest and biosphere reserve site rehabilitation is achieved.

"The main challenges include rehabilitating the badly affected mining soil composition at the site. The recovery plan for Tasik Chini, which covers all aspects including biodiversity and hydrology, will be continuously monitored to ensure it becomes a success," he said. Wan Rosdy had earlier visited the lake to check the rehabilitation works. He said the State Forestry department will request for funds from other resources including Yayasan Hijau Malaysia and the National Conservation Trust Fund for Natural Resources (NCTF) from the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry.

Meanwhile, he said the Orang Asli living near the lake will be given the opportunity to be part of the rehabilitation efforts especially in producing forest tree seedlings or bamboo saplings suitable to be planted near the lake, and mining areas. "The Forestry department will set aside funds to build nurseries to be used by the Orang Asli community to produce stocks (plants) for this rehabilitation effort. NGOs and the public are encouraged to join the efforts to restore the greenery around the mining site at the lake." He said works to rehabilitate the lake had already begun two years ago, and not after the issue of the lake went viral recently. Meanwhile, Wan Rosdy said the state government was mulling the idea to set up a biodiversity corporation to safeguard the environmentally sensitive areas in Pahang including Tasik Chini and Tasik Bera.

"It will be easier for the state government to monitor and coordinate the assistance. For example, Sungai Ichat in Cameron Highlands is an example of such an effort. It was where we faced various challenges, but finally succeeded," he said, referring to Sungai Ichat, once embroiled in pollution issues, now has full Class 1 (minimum treatment) water quality. Tasik Chini came under the spotlight recently after news emerged that the Pahang government had given the green light for mining operations in the vicinity of Tasik Chini to a royalty-linked company. However, on June 12, the State Land and Mines director's office cleared the confusion saying no new mining licences were awarded since March 2019, and there would be zero-mining works near the lake next year once the licence of the two existing operators expires this year. On June 14, the Regent of Pahang, Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah, instructed for the Chini forest reserve to be expanded to provide better protection to plants and animals near the lake, and ordered mining works to stop. Source: NST

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