KOTA KINABALU: The ability of the President of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Malaysia, Datuk Tan Kok Liang to clinch the much-coveted Tourism Promotion Organisation (TPO) Best Award – Best Tourism Industry Leader is a remarkable achievement.
Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Christina Liew made this remark after presenting the award to Tan at the launching of KK Street Art Trail and KK Mural Painting Competition Prize Presentation Ceremony organised by Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK), Thursday.
“This Award is deservedly accorded to him in recognition of his valuable contribution to the development of the tourism industry in the Asia-Pacific Region. He is a good and shining example of an unrelenting tourism industry player who walks the extra mile to promote Sabah to the outside world, among other aspects,” she said.
DBKK, which is a member of the TPO for Asia-Pacific Cities, nominated Tan for the Award.
Describing his accolade as an inspiration to other tourism players, Liew called on them to emulate Tan’s accomplishments.
She noted that the award winner has vast experience in the travel
industry, and has promoted Sabah for the last 30 years and attended numerous international trade shows.
As the President of Matta, Tan has instituted several key initiatives which include setting up the Malaysia-based on-line booking engine to ensure members’ business interests are protected, engaging with e-hailing transportation providers, initiating aggressive overseas promotions to China, India, UK and Europe as well as promoting Asean and domestic tourism.
He started his career in the travel industry in 1990 and is currently the General Manager/Director of Borneo Trails Tours Travel Sdn Bhd which he pioneered in 2005.
Tan, who holds a Master’s degree in Tourism from the University of Toulouse, France, was a member of the lead team with Sabah Tourism Board (STB) to increase fight connectivity from Vladivostok, Seoul, Tokyo and Perth to Kota Kinabalu.
His eco-lodge in Sukau, Kinabatangan (known as Borneo Nature Lodge) won the Excellence in Service Award (Lodge Category) in the Sabah Tourism Awards (2016-2017).
Among those who attended the event were Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai, Director-General Datuk Ir. Hj Amrullah Kamal and Member of the DBKK Board of Advisers, Datuk Nancy Ho who is also Chairperson of the Tourism, Culture and International Relations Committee.-pr/BNN