Malaysia Wins Travel and Leisure India and South Asia’s India’s Best Awards 2012

Malaysia Wins Travel and Leisure India Awards

Malaysia Wins Travel and Leisure India and South Asia

Malaysia has once again proven itself as a leading tourist destination in the region by winning several accolades at Travel + Leisure India and South Asia’s India’s Best Awards 2012. The Felicitation and Awards ceremony took place at the Taj Lands End in Mumbai on 23 April 2013. Malaysia won the award for Best Green Destination (World) while Langkawi was awarded the Best Honeymoon Destination (World). The Kuala Lumpur International Airport received the award for Best Airport (World), Runner-Up.

Other categories in the awards include best emerging destination, best cruise, best business hotel, best airport, best luxury train, and best spa and honeymoon destination.

Travel + Leisure is a premier travel and lifestyle magazine based in New York, with a readership totaling to 4.8 million. It has been conducting the iconic World’s Best Awards for over 12 years, and after five successful years in the South Asian region, Travel + Leisure India & South Asia launched the first India’s Best Awards in 2011, and again in 2012.

The awards come as a proud addition to a string of other accolades that Malaysia garnered recently. Last year, Kuala Lumpur was ranked the second best shopping destination in Asia Pacific by Globe Shopper Index, while CNN listed it as the 4th best shopping city in the world. Earlier this year, a survey carried out by Crescentrating, a Singapore-based Muslim travel consultancy, placed Malaysia as the top Muslim-friendly holiday destination, ahead of Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

This is a good indicator of Malaysia’s booming tourism industry, which has seen a steady growth in terms of tourist arrivals and receipts over the last decade. Last year, its tourist arrivals rose to 25 million, registering a growth of 1.3%, while its tourist receipts climbed to RM60.6 billion, which was an increase of 3.8%.

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Lazada turns one in Malaysia

Lazada 1st anniversary party Malaysia

Lazada turns one in Malaysia

Lazada, Southeast Asia’s fastest growing online department store, celebrated its first year in Malaysia with a big bash during which the media and its business partners got an exclusive look into the business, its accomplishments in 2012, and what the future looks like.

With more than 12 categories to choose from, Lazada makes shopping online a breeze in Malaysia. From tablets, cameras, home appliances, health & beauty products, sports, books to baby items, there is something for everyone.

“We are proud to say that Lazada Malaysia is currently the number one online shopping mall site in Malaysia. Almost 70 per cent of Malaysians are actively online, and more than half do their shopping on the web. Being in the e-Commerce industry we have one great advantage, and that is our access to immense data where we can analyze what the audience is looking for and present them with their desired products via online marketing channels. From this point onwards online shopping will be the way forward because of it’s the dynamic experience and massive product assortment that Lazada.com.my will continue to provide,” said Igor Pezzilli, CEO of Lazada Malaysia.

Igor Pezzilli

Igor Pezzilli, the CEO of Lazada Malaysia

“Based on these three key elements – offering a great range of products, providing an excellent shopping experience, and ensuring exceptional customer service, Lazada will inevitably attract more savvy online shoppers” commented Max Bittner, CEO of Lazada Southeast Asia at Lazada’s first birthday bash.

Maximilian Bittner, CEO of Lazada: “For a long time, the e-commerce market has been underestimated in SEA, but we did not. With a broad range of products – from consumer electronics, household goods, toys to sports equipment –, secure payment options, quick deliveries and free returns, we convince more people every day of Lazada.”

In celebration of the first anniversary, Lazada will be launching some of their key business expansion initiatives, such as the Lazada Smartphone App and other e-Commerce initiatives. Other efforts include Lazada’s partnership with Digi, one of Malaysia’s premier companies, as well as MasterCard Worldwide, which gave Lazada the opportunity to reward their base here in Malaysia and the region. The 6-month long partnership has allowed Lazada to reach out to MasterCard’s base with exceptional results.

Lazada Malaysia

Crowd at Lazada Malaysia’s 1st anniversary party

Central to its success has been the Lazada Promise campaign, which includes a commitment to deliver goods to buyers within 48 hours to 78 hours, a best price guarantee when comparing to other key retailers, and a 14-day hassle-free return policy.

What is unique about the organization is the vast bank of knowledge and learning’s that are shared across the globe. Weekly calls are organized for each team to share latest findings or best practices. This factor has also been critical for the company to gain young energetic employees who are eager to gain the ultimate ecommerce experience.

Lazada is a part of Rocket Internet, one of the world’s largest online retail groups, which has more than 10 years of experience in the e-commerce business. Rocket Internet has been credited for founding more than 100 market leading companies.

Jump on the e-commerce bandwagon and enjoy these offers now. Lazada Malaysia provides convenience for all your purchases such as free delivery, cash on delivery payment mode, varying payment methods, free return or exchange for free and most importantly, warranty from the manufacturer itself.

Borneo Jazz Festival 2013

BJF 2013

Borneo Jazz Festival 2013

The Borneo Jazz Festival 2013 full line-up was announced by Sarawak Tourism Board for the 8th edition of this stunning jazz festival that is set to take place at Parkcity Everly Hotel in Miri, Sarawak from 10-11 May this year. As after a successful 7 festivals, this year’s festival will be the most diverse in term of musical genres that would cater to all types of jazz fans.

This is also dubbed to be among the prestigious Jazz Festival in Malaysia and set to draw bigger number of fans this year, the festival will see for the first time, the energetic spicy groovy funk group from Germany, Mo’Blow who are described by Berliner Zeitung as “one of the hottest live bands”. The other international act confirmed is Hazmat Modine from the East-Coast of USA. Their song “Bahamut” will be used on the Fox television show “So You Think You Can Dance?.

The other international acts confirmed for the Borneo Jazz this year include, the energetic and toe-tapping music by Jump4Joy from Sweden that is popular energy entertainment group with a strong New Orleans flavor. A capella jazz group from Canada, The Nylons well known for their slick performance and most heralded vocal groups in the world with seven gold and platinum records. Represented by members from Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines and Thailand, The Asian Jazz All Stars Power Quarter is the big names
of the Asian jazz circle, which consists of the most innovative and exciting drummers to emerge in the Asian jazz scene. Scott Martin Latin Soul Band from West-Coast of USA has performed all over the world with many artists but best known for his successful tenure winning a Grammy. Last but not least, the ethno jazz musician and artist from Australia, Lisa Young Quartet the winner of “Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album 2007” and was re-nominated in 2012.

As the Borneo Jazz name suggest, the organizer wish that the Borneo element to be presented by the local talent on this international platform. Deserved to be on stage will be the West Jazz Band from Sarawak who will play the fusion jazz and everything from Swing to Latin to electrifying funk jazz music.

Sarawak Tourism Board will also continue with its internship and volunteer programme, which was first initiated in 2011. “In this program we will provide a unique learning experience for international volunteers and interns whilst at the same time being exposed to the product experiences of Sarawak’s culture, nature and adventure on the island of Borneo” says Dato’ Rashid Khan, Chief Executive Office of Sarawak Tourism Board. The Board will also collaborate with the academia as part of an industry advisory platform in enhancing the quality of graduates that is relevant to the need of the industry and to undertake this initiative as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility program. The aim is to have majority of the students participating in this program from outside Sarawak. This is another step towards bringing the festival to the international stage. STB will also invite school bands to perform at the venue to expose them to such an international event.

The Board is also collaborating with the private sector to design packages to attract visitors not only from neighbouring Brunei and Singapore but also from the region and overseas. With these travel packages, visitors would be able to attend the festival and at the same time they can travel to various places of interest within Miri and its surrounding.

Apart from the main shows on 10-11 May, the event will consist of Previews on the 7 & 8 May in Kuala Lumpur. There will also be fringe events comprising of Craft Bazaar that offered to local craftsmen and artisans as a venue to display the local handicrafts and arts for sale.

Since the past few editions of Borneo Jazz, the Board has sought to lessen the carbon footprint of the festival by following green initiatives during the festival. This year, the Board will continue organizing a tree planting ceremony that will be held at Curtin University Sarawak campus in Miri.

Borneo Jazz has grown steadily since its first edition in 2005, going from 3,000 spectators eight years ago to over 8,000 last year. This growth is a reflection of the successful plan and promotion by the Board over these years. In a whole, it is also a sign of growing appeal of jazz enthusiast around the region.

Organiser is expecting an influx of 9,000 fans from both local and international for this year’s two-days festival. This will thus augur well for the local business community and also contribute to a significant number of visitor’s arrivals into Sarawak as a whole. The festival will also have stalls selling a wide variety of local and fusion food and beverages as well as stalls selling festival memorabilia at the venue.

Tickets for the main shows are priced at RM63 for adults and RM33 for children aged 3-12 and RM103 for a 2-day pass for adults and RM53 for children. All tickets available on Internet purchase only at http://www.jazzborneo.com or http://www.ticketcharge.com.my. For enquiries, contact STB Leisure & Property at leisure@sarawaktourism.com (email) or +6 082-239171 (office hours only, 8:00AM – 5:00PM) This festival is organized by Sarawak Tourism Board, supported by the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia and Ministry of Tourism Sarawak and endorsed by Tourism Malaysia for the 8th edition of the Borneo Jazz Festival 2013.

The Little Big Project in Thailand

Little Big Project Thailand

The Little Big Project is a voluntourism competition hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Its aim is to inspire worldwide travelers to do something different, something purposeful, while on vacation. Now is your chance to use a LITTLE power to make such a BIG difference here in Thailand.

The Mission: To help others. One overseas competitor (You) and one Thai competitor will team up and work together on a volunteer project of their choosing, anything from helping Save the Elephants at a nature park in Chiang Mai, to a community development project for Hill Tribe Children, to Marine Conservation in Koh Talu.

The event lasts 2 weeks, and during that time you’ll have the chance to share your philanthropy efforts with a world-wide audience by making blog posts, uploading photos and videos, and telling your story through social media.

The Reward: A dream fulfilled. And a bit of a prize, too! Your efforts will be judged by a panel of TAT representatives and internet voters, and the team with the most votes for their blog will win $5,000 USD for continued funding of their project; the team whose video receives the most views will win an Apple Gift Card valued at $1,000 USD. (Winners have 3 weeks after returning home to promote their video, after which they will receive their prizes.)

For more details, please visit : www.thelittlebigprojectthailand.com.

Earth Day with Timberland Malaysia at Raja Musa Forest Reserve

Raja Musa Forest Reserve 2013

Earth Day with Timberland Malaysia at Raja Musa Forest Reserve

Once again, Timberland Malaysia was involved in a pre-Earth Day event at the Raja Musa Forest Reserve in Selangor with an exciting turn out of 100 people who included volunteers, staff, media and officials. The event which started at about 9.00 am saw an introduction and speech by relevant officials and district officers who explained the day’s itinerary. There were two main groups where a tree planting and canal blocking session was conducted where a local Malaysian lunch was prepared for the hungry group.

For ‘Timberland Malaysia, other than actively participating in tree planting efforts in the Horqin desert in Inner Mongolia, Timberland takes this initiative and brings it local through its partnership with Global Environment Centre (GEC), specifically contributing towards the conservation of Malaysia’s tropical habitats via its “Peat Swamp Rehabilitation Programme at Raja Musa Forest Reserve”.

Raja Musa

Timberland Malaysia at Raja Musa Forest Reserve

Peat Swamp Forest (PSF) is a unique ecosystem unlike any other ecosystem. It is characterized by the accumulation of organic matter (peat) derived from dead and decaying plant materials in water saturated condition. The black peat water is slightly acidic and the ground is wet and spongy. PSFs represent an ecosystem that supports tolerant species that can survive in its unique environment, thus playing an important role in the conservation of biological diversity and storing freshwater resources. It also serves as carbon sink; able to sequester and store carbon as un-degraded organic matter for thousands of years.

Timberland Malaysia understood the importance of reviving this unique wetland ecosystem, and has established a partnership with GEC since 2011, to commit volunteers and financial resources for rehabilitation initiatives across the North Selangor region, one of the largest remaining contiguous areas of Peat Swamp forest in Peninsula Malaysia.

Timberland Malaysia Global Steward 2013, Ms Cheryl Chang, continues, “Timberland is committed to this project and wants to help restore the peat ecosystem through tree planting and multiple canal blocking. We have been working on this project for 2 years since 2011, and in 2013, we will continue to contribute at least 1500 volunteer hours from Timberland staff & associates as well as continue to commit to the 2 years programme funding of RM127,900. We believe this initiative is a great platform for us to do something for our country’s environment, as well as inspire the community around us to be involved to take protective action.”

Canal Blocking at Raja Musa

Volunteers fill bags with sand for the Canal Blocking

“Environment conservation initiatives require not only funds, but we also do need people who are willing to get their hands dirty to do the actual hard work. We are really grateful to Timberland Malaysia’s employees for taking time off today to help us. Every bit they do today, will go a long way in helping us save the environment for our next generation and ensuring the sustainability of the Raja Musa Forest Reserve Rehabilitation Programme,” says Mr Nagarajan, Senior Programme Office from GEC.

Over 50 Timberland Malaysia employees, business partners and volunteers took time off today from their busy schedules today to help to do their bit for Mother Nature. They were there a full day planting suitable trees to re-vegetate the degraded peatland areas, as well as to restore the peatlands canals to keep the peatlands hydrated to reduce risk of fires.

Championing environmental causes has consistently remained as one of Timberland’s core Corporate Social Responsibility ideals. From production process to meeting the design criteria and the usage of renewable materials, Timberland has shown great commitment to being an eco-conscious lifestyle brand, reinforcing its identity in being a brand that embodies STYLE + PERFORMANCE + GREEN.

Canal Blocking at Raja Musa

Timberland Volunteers doing the Canal Blocking at Raja Musa

About Timberland Global Steward Program

The Timberland Global Stewards are a team of 24 committed leaders from around the world who are tasked with maximizing the positive impact Timberland makes in communities worldwide. The Global Stewards will serve as ambassadors of Timberland’s Corporate Social Responsibility platform and will provide leadership, motivation and drive towards specific goals.

About Timberland

Timberland, a wholly owned subsidiary of VF Corporation, is a global leader in the design, engineering and marketing of premium-quality footwear, apparel and accessories for consumers who value the outdoors and their time in it. Timberland markets products under the Timberland®, Timberland PRO®, Mountain Athletics® and Timberland Boot Company® brands, all of which offer quality workmanship and detailing and are built to withstand the elements of nature. The company’s products can be found in leading department and specialty stores as well as Timberland® retail stores throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, South America, South Africa and the Middle East. Timberland is committed to doing its part to address environmental challenges and to minimizing its impact. From product design to manufacturing and shipping, the company is constantly finding new ways to be a little lighter on the environment. The Timberland Earthkeepers® Collection incorporates recycled PET bottles in linings, recycled rubber in soles, leather from silver and gold-rated tanneries and organic content throughout the apparel line. Timberland’s dedication to making quality products is matched by the company’s commitment to “doing well and doing good” – forging powerful partnerships among employees, consumers and service partners to transform the communities in which they live and work.

Timberland Malaysia

Timberland Malaysia team with GEC member, Raj

About Global Environment Centre (GEC)

Global Environment Centre is a Malaysian non-profit organization established in 1998 to work on environmental issues of global importance. GEC works regionally and internationally both directly and through many partners. GEC is registered in Malaysia as a non-profit organization (Reg. No. 473058-T). GEC’s mission is to support the protection of the environment and sustainable use of the natural resources to meet local, regional and global needs, through strategic partnerships with communities and like-minded organisations.

GEC is registered in Malaysia as a non-profit organization (Reg. No. 473058-T) which assists the Earth Day with Timberland Malaysia at the Raja Musa Forest Reserve in Selangor.