VETERAN developer and hotelier Tan Sri Low Yow Chuan was lost for words after he was honoured with the Mayor’s Commendable Award for Outstanding Contribution at the Kuala Lumpur Mayor’s Tourism Awards (KLMTA) 2014.
The Low Yat Group chairman received the award from Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah at Thursday’s ceremony held at Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
“I feel very honoured. I have worked hard since Merdeka to promote tourism in the country.
“Now that my children are grown up, I hope they will continue what I have done and contribute to the tourism industry.
Low, 81, advised the younger generation to learn more about the hotel industry and said Malaysia has a lot of potential to draw more tourists.
“I have never regretted being involved in this industry for the past 50 years,” he said at the event.
KLMTA, which was initiated in 2011, is held every three years to recognise the best service provider in 15 different categories with the aim of raising standards in the tourism industry.
In the citation by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), Low was acknowledged as a driving force in the Kuala Lumpur tourism industry since the early 1960s.
He took over the management of Malaysia’s first international class hotel, Federal Hotel Kuala Lumpur that was built by his late father, Tan Sri Low Yat, in 1957.
He was responsible for establishing a number of international-class hotels, not just in Kuala Lumpur but also other parts of the country, namely The Federal Beach Hotel in Port Dickson, The Federal Hotel in Ipoh, The Federal Hotel in Penang and The Plaza Hotel in Kuala Lumpur in the 1970s.
On Aug 28, 1985, exactly 28 years after the opening of the Federal Hotel Kuala Lumpur, he launched the hotel management company, Federal Hotels International.
The management company went on to manage three other hotels, namely Prince Hotel on Jalan Imbi, the Ferringhi Beach Hotel in Penang and the Federal Hotel in Singapore.
Low also pioneered the concept of integrated developments with the City Square Centre project in the mid 1990s.
It comprised the City Square Shopping Centre (11 storeys), the five-star Crown Princess Hotel Kuala Lumpur (34 storeys) and the Empire Tower Office Complex (63 storeys).
The City Square project earned him two FIABCI Awards, one for the design of the complex and the other for “Property Man of The Year”.
Low was also a founding member of the Hotels and Restaurants Association of Malaysia and became its president in 1969.
He has also held numerous positions in tourism and building related organisations including executive member of the ASEAN Tourism and Hotel Trade Committee, deputy chairman of the Accommodation Sub-Committee of the 1972 Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Conference, member of the Joint Labour Advisory Council, member of the National Advisory Council on Industrial Training, member of the Tourism Development Corporation, deputy chairman of Finance Sub-committee of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, member of the Hotel & Catering Wages Council and a committee member of the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation.
The other winner under the Mayor’s Commendable Award category were Going Places Tour Sdn Bhd in-house guide Jagdip Rai who was honoured as Outstanding Front Liner, while a merit award was given to KL Hop-On Hop-Off.
StarMetro was also a winner on the night, taking home the Platinum Award in the Print Media - Local category.