Month: November 2018

Home / 2018 / November
Growing trend among Asean tourists to use Rail Europe

Growing trend among Asean tourists to use Rail Europe

The Germany Intercity Express connects all major German cities. — RailEurope

DENPASAR: There is a growing trend among Asean tourists to use Rail Europe to tour France and its neighbouring countries, with Thais and Indonesians topping the list.

Rail Europe, South East Asia area representative Juliana Gan said the company had been making about €15 million (RM73.6 million) in sales yearly from Asean tourists, with the figure expecting to grow with the increasing number of tourists from Asean, especially Thailand and Indonesia.

Rail Europe, with major train stations located in the heart of the cities in France had been a convenient mode of transport for tourists to travel from one destination to another, and recorded five million travellers per year, she said.

She said this to Bernama on the sideline of the three-day Douce France or Sweet France 2017 programme organised by Atout France, French Tourism Development Agency at Club Med Bali here recently.

The Douce France launched last year, was to showcase French attractions to Asean travel agents and media.

This year, Atout France brought along representatives from Club Med which is well known for its mountain resorts in France, Air France-KLM Group, Rail Europe, designer outlet La Vallee Village, and cabaret and burlesque show Lido de Paris.

Others were department store Printemps, cosmetics and pharmacy stores Group Monge, McArthurGlen designer outlet, Evian Tourisme and Congres, destination management company MGTC and also the Monaco Tourism and Convention Bureau.

According to Atout France Asean regional director Morad Tayebi, the growing number of repeat visitors to the country since late last year had been overwhelming.

"For this year, France recorded 88 million visitors and is on the right track to fulfill its target of 100 million visitors a year by 2020," he told Asean media in a briefing about the programme.

He said visitor arrival to France decreased by 2.2% in 2016 to 82.6 million from 84.5 million in 2015, with the biggest drop of 3.8% comprising tourists from Europe; on the other hand, the number of visitors from outside Europe recorded a 3.8% increase.

The decrease of visitors to France in 2016 was attributed to the waves of terrorist attacks, strikes over labour reforms, and floods.

However, the number increased following aggressive campaigns carried out by the French government, particularly Atout France last year.

Tayebi said tourism had been an essential industry in France, contributing to 7.4% of France's gross domestic product, with the number of visitors higher than the country's population of 66.8 million.
"Nevertheless, we have not been resting on our laurels and are looking at new products and promoting our provinces to maintain the positive note," he said.

To this end, he said France would among others, be hosting various international games such as the 2018 Ryder Cup Golf Tournament in Sept, Rugby World Cup in 2023 and the 2024 Olympics.

Meanwhile, Atout France, Asean marketing and event coordinator Winnalia Lim said the agency was also looking at new products to draw more Malaysian and Singaporean tourists.

France recorded a decline by 20% of Malaysian visitors last year to 120,000, from 150,000 in 2015.

Despite the dwindling number, Malaysian and Singaporean tourists were still the biggest spenders among Asean since France is a shopping paradise, she told Bernama.

She said France was also anticipating more visitors from Asean following its move on Nov 1 to approve issuance of visas within 48 hours. — Bernama

Source : The Sun Daily

Rail Europe: Swiss Transfer Ticket – the perfect winter ticket

Rail Europe: Swiss Transfer Ticket – the perfect winter ticket

Sparkling snow, superb skiing, and spectacular scenery: In Winter, Switzerland turns into a magical snowy wonderland! The best method to avoid icy roads and traffic congestions along the way is by train with the Swiss Transfer ticket. Thus, an all-around wonderful vacation already starts on the way to the skiing destination!

To your winter vacation – safe, relaxed, and at an attractive rate.

All guests benefit from the world’s densest public transport network. Traveling by train, bus, boat or mountain railway, visitors experience a piece of true Swiss quality and reach even the most remote valleys and most scenic summits reliably and punctually. Closed mountain passes and congested streets are comfortably bypassed. Passengers can lean back and relax while the snowy winter wonderland passes by outside the window.

Das Swiss Transfer Ticket.

The Swiss Transfer Ticket can be used to travel from any Swiss airport or border railway station to any holiday destination and back again. Thus, the journeys there and back are covered by one single ticket, whether for city trips or skiing holidays. The Swiss Transfer Ticket costs CHF 154 in 2nd class and CHF 247 in 1st class. It is valid for one month. By comparison: the regular return fare from Zurich Airport to Zermatt is CHF 246 in 2nd class and CHF 432 in 1st class.

Luggage service SBB: Easy traveling with ski & snowboard.

For all-around trouble-free winter holidays, Swiss Federal Railways offer luggage transport services. Apart from cases and bags, skies and snowboards can also be transported. With the service “Express Luggage”, passengers hand over their luggage at one of 30 selected stations in the morning and can pick them up at the destination station the very same day. Ideal for air-travelers is the service “Express Flight Luggage”: From an international airport, the luggage is sent directly to the desired Swiss railway station.

How can we help you? Do you have a question or comment for us? or would you like to make a suggestion, voice a concern or share a compliment? Send us an email using our web form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Send us an email

For further enquiries, please contact us at: or any of our offices at:

Kuala Lumpur
Level 6, Lion Office Tower, 1, Jalan Nagasari, 50200 Kuala Lumpur
T: +603 2141 3080 | F: +603 2148 1357

Unit 118, 1st Floor, Penang Plaza, 126 Jalan Burmah, 10050 Penang
T: +604 229 3754 | F: +604 226 9654

Kota Kinabalu
Suite M1-03A,Mezzanine Floor, Menara MAA, 6 Lorong Api-Api Satu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu
T: +6088 484 730 | F: +6088 484 740

3rd International Film Festival & Awards‧Macao poised to unfold a New Avenue to the World of Films in early December

3rd International Film Festival & Awards‧Macao poised to unfold a New Avenue to the World of Films in early December


Kuala Lumpur, 16 November 2018 – The 3rd International Film Festival & Awards‧Macao (IFFAM) will take place in Macao Cultural Centre from 8th to 14th December, 2018, poised to
uncover new dimensions and boundless potential of the cinema under the theme “A New Avenue to the World of Films” once again.

The IFFAM Organizing Committee has invited preeminent international film stars and rising stars to dazzle the Film Festival this year, bringing Macao further onto the global stage. Talent Ambassadors of the year include winner of the Oscar for Best Actor and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, Nicolas Cage, award-winning best actor in Asia, Aaron Kwok and rising Korean star Lim Yoon A. Aaron Kwok and Nicolas Cage are celebrated as prestigious film actors in the Chinese and Western worlds of films respectively, while Lim Yoon-A starred in several television dramas in Mainland China before her recent portrayal in films, her stellar performance winning wide recognition.

The Jury of IFFAM consists of leading filmmakers including internationally-renowned film director Chen Kaige, who assumes the role of Jury President. Chen Kaige directed his first film “Yellow Earth” in 1984, which garnered a number of awards and ushered in the new era for Chinese cinema. Recognized as one of the Chinese film classics, his acclaimed masterpiece “Farewell My Concubine” (1993) won the Palme d'Or at the 46th Cannes Film Festival in the same year, making Chen the only Chinese director who has received this top accolade to this day. Other Jury members include Hong Kong film director and producer Mabel Cheung with the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Director under her belt, Australian film producer and director Paul Currie, Indian film actress Tillotama Shome, and Oscar-winning Bosnian film director Danis Tanović, with among other figures.

Yao Chen will be this year’s Actress In Focus at the IFFAM. The three films starring Yao Chen within the IFFAM programme are Lost, Found (2018, Lü Yue), Caught In The Web (2012, Chen Kaige (IFFAM Competition Jury President)) & Journey To The West: The Demons Strike Back (2017, Tsui Hark).

The Opening Film “Green Book” will lift the curtain on this edition of IFFAM. Directed by Peter Farrelly, the film unfolds the story of an African pianist and his white driver on a concert tour across the United States in the early 1960s. Rising above conflicts sparked by racial prejudice, the two build an unusual friendship beyond their differences in ethnicity and social status.

Over 50 Chinese and Western films will be screened through various sections in IFFAM including Competition, Gala, Flying Daggers, Best of Fest Panorama, New Chinese Cinema, Director’s Choice, Special Presentations, Family Gala and so forth. 14 outstanding film entries of Macao Local View Power will also be presented to the audience.

This year, the IFFAM Organizing Committee joins hands with Screen International, one of UK’s prestigious film magazines, to present “New Chinese Cinema” as a new competition section which pits six films against each other for the Best New Chinese-language Film of the Year. Hong Kong film director Shu Kei, British film critic Nick James as well as Australian film critic and editor Stephanie Bunbury will be jury members for this new Competition section.

The 3rd IFFAM will present movies filmed in Macao, including “Nobody Nose” starring Gordon Lam and “Empire Hotel” starring Rhydian Vaughan, Talent Ambassador of the 1st IFFAM. The session “Gala” will feature a gastronomy-themed film named “Aruna & Her Palate” in line with the 2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy.

The films featured in the IFFAM programme will be screened at Macao Cultural Centre, Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Centre, and Cinematheque・Passion. Visitors can purchase film tickets on or at the abovementioned screening venues during the Film Festival.

For more information about the 3rd International Film Festival & Awards‧Macao, please visit:

(Source: Organizing Committee of International Film Festival & Awards‧Macao)



Media inquiries:

Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO)
Representative in Malaysia
Tel: +603 2144 2500
Facebook Page: Macao Tourism Malaysia
Instagram: @macaotourismmalaysia
YouTube: MYMacao TV

Seabourn Elevates 2019 Alaska And British Columbia Season With New UNESCO Banff National Park & Rocky Mountaineer Journey

Seabourn Elevates 2019 Alaska And British Columbia Season With New UNESCO Banff National Park & Rocky Mountaineer Journey

 Head Deep Into The Canadian Rockies 
New pre-cruise Seabourn Journey for 2019 season in Alaska and British Columbia
 SEATTLE, November 5, 2018 – Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury travel experience, is announcing a new pre-cruise opportunity for guests to explore the beauty of western Canada during the upcoming 2019 season in Alaska and British Columbia through the UNESCO Banff National Park & Rocky Mountaineer Seabourn Journeys package. Guests will experience the grandeur of the majestic Canadian Rockies, the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage site of Banff National Park and picturesque Lake Louise, including two days on one of the world’s most spectacular rail journeys in a luxury, glass-domed coach.
The signature seven-day land program is designed along the lines of other pre- and post-cruise Seabourn Journeys around the globe, offering in-depth experiences of local culture, history and natural wonder with transportation and accommodations at first-rate hotels and restaurants included. This exclusive and optional Seabourn Journey is available in conjunction with select departures for the 2019 Alaska and British Columbia cruises onboard Seabourn Sojourn.
“This new Seabourn Journey is a perfect example of how Seabourn heightens cruising with a land-based exploration of the stunning scenery and culture of the most beautiful places on the planet, with the rail cars being a perfect complement to the overall luxury travel experience,” said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. “For anyone planning a trip to Alaska and British Columbia in 2019 this will be a relaxing, eye-opening adventure in a stunning region that guests will not want to miss.”
Highlights of the weeklong UNESCO Banff National Park & Rocky Mountaineer Journey include:
  • Take a scenic drive by premium motor coach through the Canadian Rockies to Banff, with captivating sights along the way including Hoodoos rock formations, Tunnel Mountain Drive, and Surprise Corner where views suddenly open up into picture-postcard-worthy perspectives on Banff.
  • Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Banff and Yoho National Parks on a full-day guided tour to dreamy destinations such as Lake Louise, Takakkaw Falls, Spiral Tunnels in Kicking Horse Pass, and strikingly shaded Emerald Lake, the largest of Yoho’s 61 lakes and ponds, surrounded by unique flora.
  • Tap a Seabourn Journey Escort to plan a day of touring on your own in Banff National Park with possibilities including upscale shopping on Banff Avenue, the Banff Museum, soothing soaking in famous hot mineral springs, and more.
  • Ride the rails deep into the heart of the Canadian Rockies with two days through scenic canyons, valleys, and the lush coast of British Columbia onboard Rocky Mountaineer. Spacious seating in the bi-level, glass-domed GoldLeaf Service coach with historic storytelling from attentive hosts ensure a memorable trip, with Instagram-worthy moments around every bend.

The UNESCO Banff National Park & Rocky Mountaineer Seabourn Journeys package is available on the following voyages from Vancouver:

  • June 7, August 20, 2019: 11-day sailings from Vancouver to Anchorage (Seward)
  • July 2 and September 14, 2019: 12-day roundtrip cruises from Vancouver

Seabourn’s 2019 Alaska and British Columbia season will include a series of 11-, 12- and 14-day voyages between June and October 2019. Itinerary highlights include:

  • Ultimate Alaska Sojourn – An 11-day voyage northbound from Vancouver, British Columbia to Anchorage (Seward), Alaska. Three departures from June to August will feature Ketchikan, Sitka, Haines/Skagway and Juneau, as well as scenic cruising to Tracy/Endicott Arm and Misty Fjords. Departures June 7, July 14, August 20.
  • Ultimate Glacier & Fjord Adventure – A 14-day sailing southbound from Anchorage (Seward), Alaska to Vancouver, British Columbia. Three departures from June to September will begin with scenic cruising of the beautiful Kenai Fjords and Aialik Glacier before visiting Alaska’s marquee ports and adding Prince Rupert and the First Nations villages of Klemtu and Alert Bay in British Columbia’s breathtaking Inside Passage. Departures June 18, July 25, August 31.
  • Ultimate Alaska & Inside Passage – A 12-day round-trip Vancouver voyage sailing four times between July and September. These voyages visit Sitka, Ketchikan, Wrangell and Juneau in Alaska and traverse the beautiful Canadian Inside Passage to Prince Rupert, Klemtu and Alert Bay en-route back to Vancouver. Departures July 2, August 8, September 14, September 26.

All 2019 voyages in Alaska and British Columbia will offer highly coveted Ventures by Seabourn optional for-charge shore excursions featuring guided Zodiac cruising and kayak excursions launched directly from the ship, as well as hiking and wildlife viewing. Guests will not only enjoy glaciers, fjords and rustic Alaskan ports that every Alaska cruiser expects but also the signature “hidden gems” that larger ships cannot access. The excursions will be led by Seabourn Sojourn’s expedition team of naturalists, science, wildlife, and historical experts who will be available to interact with and inform guests in many ways throughout each sailing.

In addition to the new UNESCO Banff National Park & Rocky Mountaineer package, Seabourn also offers an additional Seabourn Journey to explore Alaska more in-depth with the Denali Experience, which is available before or after select Seabourn Alaska voyages. The five-day Denali Experience is a fully escorted, custom-designed land adventure promising awe-inspiring wonder with luxury accommodations and culinary options. Venturing into the Great Land, Seabourn guests will soar high above glaciers in a flightseeing plane, as well as head deep into the protected wilderness of Denali National Park with a guide to spot grizzly and black bears, wolves, moose, caribou and more.


Scenic wins ‘Best River Cruise Line’ in inaugural Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards

Scenic wins ‘Best River Cruise Line’ in inaugural Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards

 Scenic wins ‘Best River Cruise Line’ in inaugural Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards.

Cruise Critic, the world’s leading cruise reviews site and online cruise community, has named Scenic winner of ‘Best River Cruise Line’ in the inaugural Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards.

The awards, which are aimed exclusively for Australian cruisers, name the best cruise lines of the year in more than 15 categories and are featured on Cruise Critic’s dedicated Australian site.

Scenic was recognised for its impressive attention to detail in all areas, especially service, dining and cabin comforts.

The generous inclusions and the addition of butlers for everyone were acknowledged as welcome steps in a more luxurious direction. Plus it is consistently rated highly by passengers.

“Australians love to cruise and we’re seeing cruise lines send some of their best ships to our region, reflecting the increase in popularity,” explains Louise Goldsbury, Cruise Critic’s Australia Editor.

“With more selection than ever before, we launched our Australian Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards to highlight the top cruise lines and help travellers narrow down their options to plan their next cruise.”

Commenting on the win, Michelle Black, GM Sales and Marketing, said: “We are delighted to have won such a hotly contested award in the inaugural Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards. The editors are widely regarded as cruising experts so we really value their opinion, as do our guests.

We are really proud of our river cruise product and after a very busy 2016 launching four new ships, we will continue to deliver a 5-star luxury travel experience in Europe and South East Asia.”

This is Scenic’s fourth award win in the past 12 months after picking up Cruise Passenger Magazine’s ‘Best Luxury River Cruise Line’ award in their annual Reader’s Choice Awards in December; ‘Best Luxury Tour Operator’ for the second year running in Luxury Travel Magazine’s prestigious 2016 Gold List Awards; and being named one of Australia’s ‘Most Trusted Cruise Operators’ in Reader’s Digest 2016 Trusted Brands Survey, an independent annual survey which recognises the products and services most valued by Australian consumers.

Source: Scenic News