Negri royal wins MATTA award


  • Nation
  • Monday, 01 Jul 2019

Inaugural winner: Tunku Iskandar (second from left) holding his MATTA Tourism Icon Award as (from left) Muhammad Bakhtiar, Tan and Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Musa Yusof look on during the awards ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR: Veteran travel industry player and member of the Negri Sembilan royal family Datuk Seri Tunku Iskandar Tunku Abdul­lah is one of the winners of the first ever MATTA Awards.

Tunku Iskandar was presented the MATTA Tourism Icon Award at the awards presentation ceremony and gala dinner here yesterday.

The award was among the nine categories presented at the MATTA Awards 2019, organised by the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA).

MATTA president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said the awards were meant to recognise the achievements of its members and their contributions to the Malaysian tourism industry.

“The awards are also meant to encourage more travel and tour operators in the country to be more innovative, especially to meet the challenges of disruptive technology,” he said.

Tan said the awards were also to recognise the resilience of travel and tour operators in the country.

“For the past few years (as technology changes travel), there have been many opinions on whether tour and travel agencies will go bust, but they (the agencies) have only been going stronger,” he said.

He added that one factor behind their staying power was being innovative by embracing technology.

Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik, who was the special guest, praised MATTA for organising the awards.

He hoped the winners would serve as a quality benchmark for their peers in the travel industry.

He said since the ministry was eyeing 30 million tourists and RM100bil in tourist receipts for Visit Malaysia 2020, he was confident that MATTA members could contribute positively to achieving the targets.Tunku Iskandar, in his acceptance speech, said he was “deeply honoured” to win the award.

“I did not expect to be honoured, but this is truly memorable,” he said.Other winners were Asian Overland Services Tour and Travel Sdn Bhd (Best Tour Operator – Inbound), Apple Vacations and Conventions (Best Tour Operator – Outbound), Borneo Eco Tours Sdn Bhd (Best Tour Operator – Respon­sible Tourism), Hwajing Travel and Tours (Best Travel Agency – Cruise), Toranj Tour and Travel Sdn Bhd (Best Travel Agency – Start-up), Andalusia Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd (Best Travel Agency – Umrah and Hajj), Ice Holidays Sdn Bhd (Most Creative Marketing Cam­paign) and Naam World Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd (Most Creative Tour Packages).

Platinum sponsors for the event were Malaysia Airlines, Hong Leong Bank and Boost.

Other sponsors included Sunway Putra Mall, Ice Holidays Sdn Bhd, Petronas and Sarawak Tourism Board.

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