Legoland Park goes to Malaysia
East Asia’s first Legoland Park will be built in Iskandar Malaysia, in the
southern state of Johor. This park will be known as Legoland Malaysia.
The joint venture project is the result of a landmark agreement signed on
December 13, between Iskandar Investment and Merlin Entertainments, the
world’s second largest visitor attraction operator.
Merlin Entertainments will design and operate the park, and will be a 20 per
cent shareholder, while a consortium led by Iskandar Investment will own the
The RM750 million (US$210 million) project to be located in the north-east
corner of Medini Iskandar Malaysia is scheduled to be opened in 2013.
Medini Iskandar Malaysia is a 929.2-hectare international mixed-use
development in the heart of Nusajaya.
Legoland Malaysia will be the centrepiece of a 58.6-hectare integrated
complex that will include a unique lifestyle retail centre, offices, hotels,
serviced apartments and residential units. This integrated complex, which
will be substantially completed by 2013, will have a gross development value
of more than RM3.5 billion.
The park will be similar to the company’s four other hugely popular and
successful Legoland Parks - Legoland Billund, Legoland Windsor, Legoland
Deutschland, and Legoland California.
It is targeted at families with children between the ages of 2 to 12 years.
TAT issues statements to visitors, trade
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has issued two statements - one for
visitors to Thailand and one for members of the travel trade - amid a
positive sign that Thai politics looks set to be more stabilised under the
new Abhisit Vejjajiva administration.
The message for visitors to Thailand is a simple note of apology with TAT
governor, Phornsiri Manoharn, offering her sympathy to tourists affected by
the closure of Bangkok’s two airports.
Ms Phornsiri said in her note: “We hope you have reached home safely and
that your confidence and trust in Thailand has not been affected... I am
happy to inform that the Thai travel and tourism industry is back to normal.
“Thailand is and continues to be a wonderfully diverse tourism destination
with great beaches, savoury, food, health and wellness centres, luxury
accommodation, unspoilt nature, and of course, warm and friendly smiles.”
The message for members of the travel trade conveys TAT’s appreciation for
their help and co-operation with the Thai NTO during the incident period. It
also puts into perspective how TAT plans to move forward to regain the
confidence of foreign visitors and investors.
Both statements reiterate how Thailand’s travel trade made it its first
priority to help stranded passengers, reaffirming the industry’s trademark
resilience in the face of crises.
Meanwhile, inbound tour operators reported seeing new bookings for Thailand
Asian Trails CEO, Luzi Matzig, said new bookings from Europe for after the
New Year had started to come in, albeit at a sluggish pace, due to declining
spending power of European travellers under the tough economic situation.
However, he maintained the main reason for the drop in bookings for Thailand
was the global economic situation that was made worst by the closure of
Bangkok’s two key airports.
Diethelm Travel Group COO, Richard Brouwer, said: “Apart from receiving new
bookings, we are not getting anymore cancellations. In fact, some cancelled
bookings have been reinstated.” (TTG)
Annual Red Cross Winter Fair and Beauty Contest
The annual Winter Fair held in aid of the Chiang Mai branch of the
Red Cross will be held between December 27 and January 5 at the grounds
behind Chiang Mai city hall. It will feature stalls selling all kinds of
goodies and exhibitions from both the government and the private sectors.
During the fair, the annual Miss Chiang Mai beauty contest will take place,
with the winner receiving a beautiful crown and sash, a cheque for 150,000
baht and other prizes. Runners-up will receive 50,000 and 40,000 baht