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SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - A luxury Malaysian beach resort has come up with a novel way for guests to actually look forward to a downpour on their holiday: a free night if the rainfall exceeds 3 cms (one inch).
The Tanjong Jara resort, owned by the YTL Hotels group, is located on Malaysia's east coast and its "Everybody Loves Rain" promotion comes during the area's main rainy season, which starts in November and ends in February.
Monthly rainfall for Terengganu state where the resort is located was in excess of 8 cm in December 2008, according to Malaysia's Meteorology Department.
"Our package proves that every cloud has a silver lining," said Sarah Cairns, executive vice president of marketing for YTL. "The chances of rain are very high this time of year, so are your chances of a free night."
To qualify, guests must book an all-inclusive, 3 day/2 night package starting at 710 Singapore dollars ($513) per person. Rainfall is measured from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. by the hotel's own rain water gauge.
The Meteorological Department (www.met.gov.my) currently has a heavy rain warning for Terengganu and warns of flooding and high waves in the state.
The promotion, which is valid from December 1 to February 28, is part of YTL's efforts to raise its profile in Asia and beyond, with the group planning hotels in several destinations including St. Tropez, Borneo, Japan and Los Angeles in the near future.
YTL Hotels is the hospitality arm of YTL Corporation.
YTL's expansion plans come at a tough time for the travel industry, with the latest figures from the Pacific Asia Travel Association showing a 6 percent drop in the number of international visitors to the region, equivalent to about 10.5 million people, in the first half of the year.
Many people in Asia, where several economies have not been as hard hit by the economic downturn as in Europe or the United States, are choosing to travel within the region, and several hotels are targeting these travelers with special packages.
Writing by Miral Fahmy, Editing by David Chance