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Friday, June 10, 2011

i-City looks to tourism for sustainable income

Working together: (From left) Eu, Viacom International Media Networks executive VP Indra Suharjono, Dr Ng, MTV VJ Holly and I-Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong marking their strategic partnership.

KUALA LUMPUR: I-Bhd is looking to create sustainable income sources for i-City by tapping into the tourism market.

Apart from its sole property investment in Shah Alam, the company is looking at opportunities to invest in international events and functions to boost i-City's image locally and globally.

i-City now has about 90,000 visitors each week, of whom 90% are locals.

I-Bhd CEO Datuk Eu Hong Chew said there were plans to push up the number of foreign visitors so that tourism would eventually become a recurring income source for the company even after fully developing i-City.

The company was collaborating with MTV Networks Asia to strengthen i-City's positioning as a family leisure night tourism spot in the Klang Valley, Eu said yesterday in an event to mark the strategic partnership between both companies.

The event was witnessed by Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

The partnership will see a multitude of activities by MTV as well as Nickelodeon, targeting youths as well as children.

I-Bhd has allocated US$5mil for advertising and promotions with MTV and Nickelodeon from March this year to the next.

“This partnership is a significant investment but it's not so much about the financial investment but time, effort and commitment put into making this work,” he said.

Eu is looking at the partnership from a brand positioning point of view rather than as revenue contribution.

“If we were to promote i-City to various countries, it would need a lot of money so we're leveraging on international events like MTV World Stage,” he said.

“Right now, we want to bridge the gap between content and digital technology at i-City,” he said, noting that the location had attractive visual technology while MTV would have the content to draw the audience.

Under the partnership, i-City will become the host for MTV World Stage Live in Malaysia 2011, an international concert featuring pop stars from abroad and here.

The concert will be held on July 24, with an expected crowd of 50,000.

Eu also said that he looked forward to tie-ins with MTV Networks Asia's parent company, Viacom International Media Networks, for their online games and other entertainment platforms.

According to Eu, the gross development value of i-City will be RM2bil. He revealed that RM200mil had been spent on the project so far, resulting in 20% development of the 72-acre land.

By The Star

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