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Mice Asia Net : July 2008
malaysia at a Getting there Kuala Lumpur International Airport is served by 47 airlines servicing more than 100 scheduled destinations. Malaysia Airlines has a global network that spans across six continents with direct mid to long haul flights to Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Americas, Africa, Europe as well as an extensive domestic network. Weather Malaysia has a warm tropical climate with temperatures that range from 21 to 32 degrees C, with the year divided into a wet and dry season. The annual rainfall ranges from 2000mm to 2500mm. Strong world showing The recent release of the International Congress & Convention Association rankings for meetings and events for 2007 has revealed Kuala Lumpur holding position 19 in best performing cities globally. Even though the number of events tallied in Kuala Lumpur has risen since the previous year, the overall ranking has dropped five places. According to ICCA CEO Martin Sirk it’s wrong to make too many assumptions from a single year’s results as to why it has dropped places, which can be affected by numerous factors. However, Mr Sirk says Kuala Lumpur has cemented a strong position in Asia and the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre has been instrumental as establishing the city as a destination for large-scale regional and international association conventions. “The level of competition is constantly increasing, with tremendous new facilities in both established destinations and new entrants like Macau to Australia and India,” he said. It is probably good news then that Malaysia is increasing its offering of convention facilities beyond the capital in an effort to remain competitive with the global marketplace. New venues in Putrajaya, Johor, Sarawak (yet to be opened) and plans for new facilities in Sabah are all good news for Malaysia moving forward. “Malaysia has good international access, excellent hotels and congress centres, price competiveness and large numbers of English speaking professionals and front-line congress workers,” Mr Sirk adds. So what is in store for Malaysia’s business events industry? “The recent oil-price shock, financial market turmoil, and good inflation are big challenges that in the short term will disrupt international meetings, particularly in the more volatile corporate sector,” Mr Sirk adds. Visa requirements Citizens of ASEAN countries don’t require visas, however some foreign nationals will. These can be obtained from an overseas Malaysia representative office before arrival, with a multiple entry visa probably the best choice for business traveller. For more information go to www.tourismmalaysia.gov.my. Key contacts Tourism Malaysia www.tourism.gov.my Sarawak Convention Bureau www.sarawakcb.com Helpful phrases English Welcome Goodbye Thank you Malay Selamat datang Selamat tinggal Terima Kasih Dining The majority of cuisine is Malaysian, and there is also Indian and Chinese. Some popular meals include: Nasi Lemak which is fragrant rice on a platter with cucumber slices, small dried anchovies, roasted peanuts, hard boiled egg, pickled vegetables and hot spicy sauce or sambal and can be accompanied with chicken, cuttlefish, cockle or beef curry. Sarawak Laksa: originating from Kuching, this spicy noodle dish is made up of a soup with tamarind, sambal, galangal, lemon grass and coconut milk which is topped with omelette strips, chicken, prawns, fresh coriander and lime. miceAsia.net 41 glance