Tanjung Rhu Resort eyes niche market
By Vasantha Ganesan
LUXURY hotel Tanjung Rhu Resort Langkawi plans to build villas at the 8ha resort to capture a new and niche market segment.
A total of 20 villas with private swimming pool are scheduled to be built and completed by end-2011.
"We expect to open five or six of the four-bedroom pool villas in the fourth quarter of 2010 and the remaining in 2011," general manager IZ Melvin said.
"This concept is popular in resort islands like Bali, Phuket and Koh Samui ... but there are only two resorts in Langkawi offering luxury villa accommodation.
"We want to target a niche group especially those who want privacy," he said.
Tanjung Rhu is owned by Tanjung Rhu Land Sdn Bhd and operated by hospitality group Signforce Sdn Bhd.
The 136-rooms are set to undergo some changes, to keep the hotel fresh and more relevant for its market mix. Its last upgrade was in 2005.
The property, owned by Promet Bhd, was originally built as an apartment in 1991. In 1993, the current owners bought the property and converted into a hotel and brought in Radisson Hotels & Resorts Group to operate the property.
Then in June 1999, Signforce took over the management of the hotel. Melvin, who is also Signforce's chief operating officer said that since its entry the average room rate (ARR) at the resort has swelled.
"When Signforce came in the ARR was RM350. Since then, our rates have picked up at an average of 9 per cent to 12 per cent year-on-year," Melvin to Business Times during a recent visit to his resort.
The hotel last year filled 62 per cent of its rooms and enjoyed RM1,500 per occupied room for two which includes food and beverage. About 95 per cent of its guests eat at the hotel and contribute towards 34 per cent of food and beverage revenue.
Last year, Tanjung Rhu's gross operating profit (GOP) was 52 per cent. GOP is gross revenue (from rooms, food and beverage, laundry or business centre) minus cost of operations (wages, electricity and amenities).
This year, however, as a result of the global economic downturn and the H1N1 flu, the hotel is expected to see occupancy slip to 58 per cent and per occupied room spend to be RM1,450.
On a more positive note, business in July 2009, saw a sharp improvement with occupancy reaching 80 per cent.
The hotel predominantly caters to the leisure group from the UK, Japan, Australia, Holland and France.
Only 12 per cent of its business is the corporate crowd which is mostly during the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition.
When asked on how Tanjung Rhu emerged as the top three on the island in terms of rates despite being a locally-owned hotel, carrying a local name and run by locals, Melvin said that it has to do with the hotel's guest experience.
"When it comes to leisure accommodation, people not necessarily look for a brandname but rather an experience. Our biggest selling point is, we sell experiences," he said.
And in support of this, he said, a quarter of its guests are repeat visitors.
Wooing yacht owners to register vessels in Langkawi
By Kang Siew Li Published: 2009/09/22
THE Transport Ministry has stepped up efforts to attract yacht owners from all over the world to register their vessels in Langkawi.
There are now 130 yachts and 26 yachting entities registered with the Langkawi International Yacht Registry (LIYR), but targets 150 yachts by the end of the year, the ministry's special maritime adviser Datuk Captain Abdul Rahim Abd Aziz said.
"Spearheading the ministry's efforts is secretary-general Datuk Zakaria Bahari. To date, vessels registered with the registry include those from the US, France, the Netherlands, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand, Italy and Indonesia," he told Business Times in an interview.
LIYR, which is operated by the Marine Department, was launched in October 2003 by the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to help make Malaysia and Langkawi better known to yacht owners throughout the world and promote tourism.
"However, there was not much activity (to attract yacht owners to the registry) until 2007, when the momentum picked up and we became more recognised in the yachting industry," said Abdul Rahim.
Abdul Rahim has been tasked among other things to promote LIYR and is going to various media to do so.
However, he is aware that the local registry faces stiff competition from established international yacht registries like Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Panama and the US.
"For instance, many yacht owners in the US choose to register their vessels in the Caribbean region such as Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Seychelles.
"And in the Mediterranean, you have popular port of registries in Barcelona, Marseilles and Monaco," he said.
Nearer to Malaysia's shores are fast growing yacht registries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Perth, Melbourne and Auckland.
Still, the yachting industry remains one of the fastest growing in the world.
"By having Langkawi-registered yachts, it would make the island and Malaysia better known as the vessels would be flying the registry's flag," said Abdul Rahim, adding that the country's marinas can take yachts of 12m to super yachts of 200m and offer world-class facilities.
They include the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, Rebak Marina and Telaga Harbour in Langkawi; Admiral Marina and Avillion in Port Dickson; the Royal Selangor Yacht Club; Tanjong City Marina in Penang, Sebana Cove in Johor; and Sutera Harbour Marina in Sabah.
The Langkawi International Yacht Registry has competitive registration fees of between RM1,140 and RM3,800, depending on the vessel's tonnage.
"In addition, companies that had registered their yachts in the island are allowed to carry out activities in yacht-related businesses such as construction, servicing and repair," said Abdul Rahim.
According to the International Ship and Aircraft Registries, every yacht has to be registered in an internationally recognised jurisdiction to provide proof of nationality and ownership.
A yacht assumes the nationality of the jurisdiction where it is registered, and is therefore subject to the regulations laid down by the governing register.
LANGKAWI, Sat: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said there is no need for the government to build a bridge linking Pulau Langkawi and the mainland as it will only cause traffic congestion on the island.
He said if too many vehicles converged on Langkawi, it would create traffic congestion and hamper efforts to turn the island into a tourist destination of international standard.
He said this when asked to comment on the request by the Langkawi Umno division head, Datuk Nawawi Ahmad, that the government build a bridge between the island and the mainland through Kuala Perlis for the convenience of the people on the island.
Nawawi said the islanders had requested that the bridge be constructed as this would save cost and time for them to travel between the island and the mainland.
Dr Mahathir said Langkawi would develop rapidly into a popular tourist destination because several villages such as the French Village, Italian Village and British Village had been created. -- BERNAMA
LANGKAWI: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has expressed happiness over the change for the better in the livelihood of the people of Langkawi following the development which has come to the legendary island.
He said he noticed that many wooden dwellings lacking basic facilities had transformed into concrete houses over the years, and attributed the development partly to a cement factory established in Teluk Ewa, Ayer Hangat.
“This was part of the intensive development which Langkawi had undergone and was being felt by the islanders,” he said at a dinner Saturday night to raise funds for the Langkawi branch of the National Association for the Prevention of Drug Abuse (Pemadam Langkawi).
Also present was Dr Mahathir’s wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.
Dr Mahathir received cheques amounting to RM65,000 from various bodies for Pemadam Langkawi.
The former prime minister said there was still room to further develop Langkawi, in terms of providing employment opportunities and setting up business such as barter trade at the Teluk Ewa port.
He also advised parents and teachers to create awareness in children on the dangers of taking drugs. -- Bernama
GHM continues to manage Langkawi's The Datai
By Vasantha Ganesan Published: 2010/01/20
GENERAL Hotel Management (GHM) Ltd, an operator of luxury hotels including Bali's The Chedi Club, and The Legian, seems to have ended three hotel management contracts in Malaysia over a span of four months - one each in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Langkawi, Kedah.
Singapore-based GHM, which started managing The Andaman in Langkawi since 2002, stopped managing the property on December 9, 2009.
The hotel is now under the management of Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
On December 31 2009, GHM's management of Carcosa Seri Negara came to an end as the government decided to take it over for renovations.
GHM's management of The Saujana and The Club at The Saujana Subang will also end on March 1 2010. GHM has been operating The Saujana since it was rebranded in May 2005 and The Club at The Saujana since its opening in September 2008.
In a press statement made on Monday, it said that termination of the contract was mutual.
It was reported recently that GHM may no longer manage The Chedi in Phuket and the YTL group, which partly owns the property, may operate The Chedi.
But GHM continues to manage another property in Malaysia, The Datai, Langkawi which is located adjacent to The Andaman. This is GHM's first property in Malaysia, which opened in October 1993.
It now manages 10 properties in eight countries with expansion plans in Asia, Europe and the US. It has some 11 properties under development, eight of which will carry The Chedi name.
Hi Fi and Evolution Racing share Langkawi lead
January 15, 2010, Friday
LANGKAWI: Australia’s Evolution Racing and New Zealand’s Hi Fi shared the lead on the fourth day of the Royal Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR) 2010 at Royal Langkawi Yacht Club (RLYC) here yesterday.After seven races, both yachts collected nine points while Hong Kong’s Jelik came in third with 15 points, ahead of Royal Malaysian Navy’s Zuhal, helmed by Mohd Razali Mansor (22 points).
As for the final day today, both Evolution Racing and Hi Fi will surely give their best shot to take the title in the prestigious annual event.
Kevin Costin skippered Hi Fi since the first day as owner and experienced skipper Neil Pryde was not available when the race got underway on Monday but he is expected to arrive in time to help his team today.
With Pryde’s presence, Evolution Racing, skippered by Ray Roberts, can expect a tough challenge in the final race.
Spectators and organisers can’t wait to see who among the two experienced skippers, Roberts who has led Quantum Racing to win the RLIR IRC Racing Class for four consecutive years or Pryde, a seasoned campaigner with New Zealand in world-class sailing events, would emerge victorious today.
Yesterday’s results also showed that a number of teams in the different classes, had pulled away from their rivals with a huge advantage in the number of points collected.
Among them are Phoenix (IRC Class), RQYS (Sports Boats) and Astra (Ocean Rover) while in other classes, the tight battle remains in store when the yachts set sail today.
Yachts from Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Holland, United Kingdom, United States, Norway, South Africa, Germany, Singapore and Malaysia are competing for the Prime Minister’s Challenge Trophy (internationally registered yachts), LADA-IRC Challenge Trophy (IRC Class), Langkawi Sports Trophy (Sports Boat Class), Malaysian Multihull Challenge Cup (Multihull category) and Commodore’s Challenge Cup (club-registered cruisers). — Bernama
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