Tourism Malaysia launches photography and video contest on diving

If you have photos or videos of marine life taken at diving spots in Malaysia, like this one at Lankayan Island in Sabah, then you may want to join the ‘Dive Into The Unimaginable’ competition by Tourism Malaysia. — Tourism Malaysia

Calling all photography and videography enthusiasts: Tourism Malaysia has just launched an international diving photography and video contest.

Held in conjunction with the Malaysia International Dive Exhibition, the competition is called “Dive Into The Unimaginable – Unfold Your Story” and is open to everyone, from now until Aug 25. Participants stand a chance to win diving packages in Malaysia worth RM50,000.

All you need to do is submit recent – nothing before 2019 – pictures or videos that were taken at any of Malaysia’s many diving locations. These high resolution images and videos must include stunning marine life and coral reefs, and need to be shot using either action cameras or DSLR.

Participation is based on an individual basis, with a maximum of three entries allowed for submission in each category.

Datuk Dr Ammar Abd Ghapar, director-general of Tourism Malaysia, said in a statement: “From muck diving to wreck diving, Malaysia’s tropical islands offer rewarding world-class diving experiences with popular sites attracting both seasoned and budding divers and marine life aficionados.

“Our Sipadan Island in Sabah, for example, is often listed as one of the top diving destinations globally and has many dive points to venture into, with some of the notable marine protected areas, including Barracuda Point.”

Barracuda Point is well-known for its large schools of barracuda fish, forming what is popularly known as the “barracuda tornado” – which makes for a spectacular sight for underwater photography.

For more information or to check the rules and regulations, head to the contest page on the Tourism Malaysia website.

Meanwhile, Tourism Selangor is also currently running a competition, though it is only open to Malaysians. The agency recently launched the third Tourism Selangor Pitching Competition with the theme “Sustainable Tourism”.

This means that the pitches submitted would need to focus on, or feature the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, including including gender equality, economic growth, climate action, sustainable cities and communities, and quality education.

The pitches are meant to help boost the state’s tourism industry – with the goal of making Selangor the preferred destination of domestic tourists – and must be presented in either Bahasa Malaysia or English.

All proposals must be submitted by July 2. As many as 15 winning entries will be chosen; a total of RM150,000 in project grants will be distributed to the winners.

The pitching competition will provide opportunities to tourism industry players, non-governmental organisations, local community hosts, higher educational institutions and others to revitalise Selangor’s domestic tourism sustainably and boost the country’s tourism industry.

The project has two categories: individual and group (not more than four people per group). For more information, visit Selangor.Travel or any of Tourism Selangor’s social media pages.

Committed to improve

Hyatt Centric Kota Kinabalu in Sabah was recently awarded a Silver Certification by GreenRE, Malaysia’s leading green building certification body, for its commitment to green building excellence.

The hotel’s general manager, Ruben Schrijver, said in a statement, “We are dedicated to fostering collective efforts towards sustainability by spreading awareness among our staff, guests and business associates. Despite being a young establishment, we have the vision to emerge as one of Malaysia’s prominent eco-conscious hospitality providers.”

Hyatt Centric Kota Kinabalu has also put in place many other sustainable practices within its establishment. It is the first hotel in Sabah to utilise air-cooled chillers with 300 tonnes of cooling capacity, eliminating the need for condenser pumps and saving up to 35% of energy consumption.

It also runs a water condensation programme that recycles water from air conditioning, which is then used in the hotel bamboo gardens, restaurant and rooftop bar.

The hotel also prioritises responsible sourcing of food and beverages and is actively seeking Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certifications to ensure sustainable seafood procurement.

Coral planting is one of the activities being organised at some Outrigger properties around the world, in conjunction with World Ocean Month this June. — OutriggerCoral planting is one of the activities being organised at some Outrigger properties around the world, in conjunction with World Ocean Month this June. — Outrigger

It collaborates with local organisations like Arm of Hope Sabah, Happy Plastics and Jireh Home to support local communities, businesses and initiatives too.

Elsewhere, in celebration of World Ocean Month this June, Outrigger Resorts & Hotels is organising activities connected to ocean health and conservation throughout all its resorts, and will continue to do so until the end of the month.

Each event will empower, educate and inspire guests and hosts to care for our oceans. Some of the activities include coral planting at its Fiji resort, releasing baby crabs at its Koh Samui, Thailand property and planting 2,000 mangrove trees, which reduce shoreline erosion, at Khao Lak Beach Resort, also in Thailand.

Since the founding of its global Outrigger Zone conservation initiative in 2014, the brand has preserved, protected and planted approximately 100 football fields of coral reef.

Another hospitality brand that is making waves with its sustainability efforts is Minor Hotels, which recently saw 119 of its properties being added to the GHA Green Collection. The Green Collection is a new initiative from GHA Discovery, the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, and brings together nearly 200 hotels globally that are demonstrating a strong commitment to protecting people and planet.

Every property in the Green Collection has attained at least one globally recognised certification, including EarthCheck, Green Growth 2050, Green Key, Green Globe, and Green Seal.

The Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara is one of the properties listed in the GHA Green Collection. — HandoutThe Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara is one of the properties listed in the GHA Green Collection. — Handout

Hotels from each of Minor Hotels’ eight global brands, located across 21 countries, are represented in the collection. Some of the brands include Anantara, Avani, NH Hotels and Tivoli.

As there is a growing number of travellers today who want to be more proactive and support sustainability efforts in the tourism industry, the Green Collection makes for a great reference for them when researching about where they holiday.

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