The inaugural MATTA Awards 2019 presented the trophies to 8 winners and 1 lifetime achievement award on 30 June 2019 in Kuala Lumpur. The awards were presented by MATTA President Datuk Tan Kok Liang and accompanied by Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, YB Tuan Muhammad Bakhtiar bin Wan Chik and Tourism Malaysia Director General Datuk Musa bin Yusof.

From Left: Datuk Tan Kok Liang, Dato’Sri Koh Yock Heng, YB Tuan Muhammad Bakhtiar bin Wan Chik and Datuk Musa bin Yusof.


Best Tour Operator (Outbound)
Apple Vacations & Conventions Sdn Bhd
Dato’ Sri Koh Yock Heng, Group Managing Director:

We give thanks to all the customers who have continuously supported us as we value their patronage and confidence in us. I would also like to thank all the “Applenian” who played their roles in a responsible, accountable manner.


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From holidays on sunny beaches to walking amid ancient ruins and, its newest product, visiting ‘the last unchartered land on earth’ Antarctica, Apple Vacations has moved with the times in offering customers amazing travels. Innovation and customer service are pivotal to its success, Group MD Dato Sri Koh Yock Heng tells RACHAEL PHILIP.

There are many definitions for the Japanese word omotenashi. A quick substitute for the word in the English Language is hospitality. Another explanation tells us that ‘omote’ means public face, the image you wish to present to outsiders, while ‘nashi’ means nothing. Put together it implies service that is honest and from the heart.“Omotenashi is about doing things invisibly with great attention to details,” offered Group MD of Apple Vacations and Conventions Dato Sri Koh Yock Heng, fondly known as Kohsan.


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Cabin crew, children aged below two years as well as airline passengers transiting in Malaysia and leaving the country within 12 hours will be exempted from the levy.PHOTO: REUTERS


KUALA LUMPUR – From September, all travellers flying out of Malaysia will have to pay a departure tax of between RM8 and RM150 (S$2.65 and S$50), Malaysian media reported on Friday (Aug 2).

The Malay Mail Online website reported that the departure levy rates were set out by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng in a ministerial order gazetted by the Malaysian government on July 31. A separate order, also dated July 31, said the departure levy will be imposed from Sept 1.

The levy imposed on travellers will depend on the destination and the class of airline flights.


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How Malaysia’s women tour guides are paving the way for travel
For female tour guides, work can sometimes be overwhelming.
But nothing beats the satisfaction of globetrotting with – and caring for – curious tourists.

Trying to catch a connecting flight, sticking to a travel schedule and staying safe in a foreign country can be stressful for some people. But can you imagine doing all that while caring for a group of tourists?

For many women travel guides and tour leaders, navigating their way across new destinations presents its own set of unique challenges. At times, they find themselves dealing with chauvinistic clients who undermine their authority, or folks who just can’t be satisfied with anything.

Living out of a suitcase also impacts personal relationships.

All that, however, is secondary next to the joy that they derive from helping others better understand the world and have a good time on their holidays.

Elspeth Ooi travels about eight times a year for work. Photo: Elspeth Ooi


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