Sepang Goldcoast to add more tourism facilities

SEPANG (March 27,2012): Sepang Goldcoast Sdn Bhd plans to attract more tourists and "Malaysia, My Second Home" programme applications by adding more tourism-related facilities at its development in Selangor.

This, say company officials, includes a cruise terminal, a water theme park, three and four-star hotels, factory outlets as well as resort homes for retirees at the south-western tip of Selangor here.

The additional features will be undertaken under the second and third phases of the Sepang Goldcoast development, as the company has successfully completed phase one comprising 392 luxury Golden Palm Tree Resort & Spa villas, said Darren Saw, its Vice President for Hospitality, Retail & Property Management.

Sepang Goldcoast is a joint venture between Sepang Bay Sdn Bhd, an investment company privately owned by Indonesian investors, and Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd.

The joint venture company has been entrusted to develop a stretch of prime sea area and sea-front land stretching 22 km from Bagan Lalang to Tanjung Sepat, said Saw in an interview.

The sea front land covers an estimated 1,870 hectares or about 4,621 acres. "At present, we have only developed less than five per cent of the land area allocated, and so, there is plenty of potential for us to grow and help the state's tourism industry,"  said Saw, who added that the project was the brainchild of Yanki Regan, the company's Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

For a start, Sepang Goldcoast is expected to launch the resort homes for retirees later this year and aims to blend it with the natural environment by next to a mangrove forest. Saw said the resort would provide many amenities for occupants to feel
"very much at home" and they would also be looked after by trained personnel. As for the proposed cruise terminal, premium factory outlet, water theme park and affordable hotel development proposed for Tanjung Rhu Sepang Goldcoast,

Saw said these would be submitted to the authorities for approval once details are finalised. He said Sepang Goldcoast was inspired by the fact that the area under the proposed development was also part of the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley
Development Plan for tourism and hoped its proposal would be considered and approved.

Saw said the company would also be inviting other investors to participate in the development of the tourism hub at Sepang Goldcoast in a win-win partnership, like the construction of affordable hotels, as Sepang Goldcoast wanted more people to be able to enjoy this coastal stretch of Selangor.

"We believe that good amenities and exciting activities will attract people to this area as we have proven with the Golden Palm Tree Resort & Spa,"he added.

The company, he said, would also propose a highway to be built from the KLIA in Sepang to Sepang Goldcoast, thereby reducing the travel time to 15 minutes, from the present 30 minutes or so.

"We feel the highway will be a crucial part of the development plans. We want to enable air travellers from KLIA to come to Sepang Goldcoast and for passengers from the cruise terminal to get on to major highways for travel to Kuala Lumpur and other parts of the country with relative ease," he added.

Saw said the establishment of a cruise terminal at Tanjung Rhu would be a good fit to the overall tourism plans for the country as more people were going on cruises for holidays, and its proximity to KLIA would be a plus point in terms of flexibility for both tour operators and travellers.

On the Golden Palm Tree Resort & Spa, which is managed by Swiss-Belhotel International, the resort's Director of Sales & Marketing, Bennet Chang, said it had been receiving very good response, after starting operations in July 2010, with the overall occupancy for last year at about 60 per cent.

"It's an encouraging sign and have started to turn in profits. We are also encouraged by the strong response at overseas trade and consumer shows," he added.

Chang said for example, the resort was completely booked during the recent Chinese New Year period, especially by local tourists and from Taiwan. "Foreign tourists often like the rustic setting of Bagan Lalang, where they can undertake cycling tours to nearby plantations, a cruise along the river next to mangrove forests or walk on the tidal sand plain at low tide, to watch
various types of animal life by the sea.

"In addition, they can also participate in the recently introduced Extreme Park Games with facilities such as go-karting, ATV (all terrain vehicles), paintball shooting and archery," he added.

He said Golden Palm Tree Resort & Spa, which had earned a reputation for being a trendsetter in the hospitality industry in the region through its unique resort-style leisure concept, would aim to add more guests by also promoting it as a destination for meetings, incentives, convention and exhibition (MICE), for those seeking good wellness and spa facilities, and exclusive weddings with its unique romantic settings.

"We have already started the resort and now it is up to us to be more aggressive in promoting our unique offerings," he added.
Meanwhile, Saw said another heartening aspect of Sepang Goldcoast's development in Bagan Lalang to date, was the creation of job opportunities for local youths and business spin-offs among local entrepreneurs, like thoserunning sea food restaurants, batik and handicraft shops.

"I never fail to get a salute from the local ikan bakar (grilled fish) restaurant operator, because his business has increased many times over, since we started operations here. It's a good sign for us and it has gone according to the plan envisaged by
our chairman," he added.-- Bernama

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