KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 — The upcoming 2019 World Top Tourism Awards and 3rd World Top Gourmet 2019 Awards to be held here next month can help position Malaysia as a world-class cuisine centre as well as garner greater recognition for its tour, travel and hospitality sector.

However, the country’s potential could be maximised further through concerted efforts by the government, private sector and consumers working in unison to enhance the country’s global branding in these areas, seen strategic as a major revenue earner in the services sector.

“Malaysians have a penchant for adapting quickly and savouring international and diverse cuisines while offering attractive tourism products, which is why both awards would be ideal platforms to showcase the country as an international cuisine centre and hospitality and food & beverage sector,” said World Gourmet president Peggy Chong.

“Malaysians love eating and have adventurous taste buds, wanting to try all sorts of international cuisines, as evident by their fondness over Japanese and Korean foods, for instance,” she said when interviewed on “Bernama Today,” a Current Affairs talk show hosted by Tehmina Kaoosji on Thursday Oct 19, 2019, which aired over BNC CH502.

Also interviewed in the programme was Ada Poon, managing director of AMLeisure and World Tourism president, who felt that marketing creative tourism products would be strategic initiatives to attain the 30 million tourist arrivals and RM100 billion revenue target set by the government in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year next year.

The 2019 World Top Tourism Awards and 3rd World Top Gourmet 2019 Awards to be held on Oct 16 — expected to draw more than 1,000 participants — would serve as an ideal platform to encourage international participants and create greater awareness of what Malaysia has to offer by way of cuisines as well as travel and tour products.

Poon said that such awards would encourage hoteliers, tour and travel agencies, and players in the food and beverage industry to participate as it would raise their company’s profile and push their branding onto the global stage, which was also made possible due to a large part of support from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

Chong meanwhile said gourmet awards would see increased participation from faraway such as Australia, as well as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore.

“Malaysians are strong contenders and if they can win by offering very good food ranging from authentic to fusion serving styles, it could very well boost their popularity, and knowing the Malaysian penchant for good food, they could be making a beeline for their restaurants which could even include patronising casual dining,” she said.

She said both events would be a timely marriage of sorts as it would be an opportunity for participants converging in Malaysia to share experiences and knowledge in related fields and inspire each other to greater heights.

— BERNAMA

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