Malaysia Asia Wins Best Online Media at Sabah Tourism Awards 2011

Sabah Tourism Awards Winner

Malaysia Asia Wins Best Online Media at Sabah Tourism Awards 2011 and this is my first actual award after three and a half years of travel blogging. It came to me as a shock because I was not informed of this until I got into Kota Kinabalu city after a flight from Kuala Lumpur on that day itself. Initially about two weeks prior to the awards, I was invited to the black tie event by Sabah Tourism Board to attend the occasion and little did I know that I was nominated under the "Award for Best Tourism Article and Documentary on Sabah" in the Online Media section. Was I stunned? You should have seen my face when my designated guide picked me up from the airport and informed me that I was one of the nominees.

Sabah Tourism Awards Online Media
Sabah Tourism Award for Best Online Media

The Sabah Tourism Awards (STA) are held every two years and is a prestigious event where tourism industry players are invited to this black-tie event held at the Magellan Sutera Harbor Resort. Nominees are selected by the board members and only revealed on the day itself. This is the sixth STA ceremony after being introduced back in 1997 where it was inaugurated to celebrate Sabah's industry’s achievements and to acknowledge the commitment to excellence.

The nominees include contributors to the state and national tourism developments in various fields including front liners, agencies, hotels, resorts, businesses, and the media which includes print and online. For the state of North Borneo also known as The Land Below The Wind, The Sabah Tourism Awards is the highest prestige given only to the crème de la crème of the tourism industry and I am very thankful for receiving this award.
Malaysia Asia Sabah Tourism Awards
Certificate of recognition for Best Online Media at Sabah Tourism Awards 2011
It was a night of glamor and excitement as I walked through the main doors of the stylish Magellan Ballroom at the Sutera Harbor Resort and was greeted by the staff of Sabah Tourism. As they ushered me to my seat, I took a look around noticing that the function room looked simply beautiful while the massive screen on the main stage area stole the attention of the guest who were all dressed to the nines. 

I was happy that I choose a black suit with a gold tie as I blended in with everyone else here. As the emcee and host read out the awards for each category, the crowd was very supportive with each of the winners. During each interval, there was a performance or show by various artist and well known celebrities from Sabah.

Sabah Awards Night
STB Awards 2011 in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

A special surprise performance at the awards was local girl Che'Nelle who made it huge in the United States and globally with her hit 'I fell in love with the DJ' which got the crowd excited and some singing along. She sang three numbers before the awards reached the last category. For the final gambit, the staff of Sabah Tourism Board gave a performance that rocked the house. They had been practicing the 'Shuffle' from LMFAO's Party Rock Anthem and made a grand entrance straight to the stage area. Dressed in their suits and gowns, the staff shuffled away along with professional dancers impressing the VIPs and guests. Some even joined in and they partied on the dance floor for a number of songs before ending the night.
 Che'Nelle Sabah
 Che'Nelle performing at the Sabah Tourism Awards 2011

Sabah Tourism Awards Party Night
 Sabah Tourism Board staff doing the Shuffle to LMFAO's Party Rock Anthem

Staff Sabah Tourism Awards
Sabah Tourism Awards 2011 staff shuffling for the end gambit

The night ended with VIPs, guest and staff networking and socializing at the lobby area of the hotel and I caught up with lots of new and old friends there while we congratulated and chatted over wine and beers to celebrate the occasion. I was also fortunate to be introduced to Sabah's Tourism Minister - Datuk Masidi Manjun by the STB General Manager Datuk Irene Benggon and later have my picture taken with him (my opening picture in this post).

As this is my first actual physical award for Malaysia Asia, I would like to say Thank You Very Much to Sabah Tourism Board, my family and friends and to my followers and readers of Malaysia Asia. Without your support, I would have not got to where I am today. I will continue to do my best in sharing my travel experiences, information and photographs with everyone around the world by using my blog, Facebook and Twitter. As I am still on cloud nine, I honestly never expected that Malaysia Asia could win Best Online Media at the Sabah Tourism Awards 2011.