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MATTA Awards

2019 MATTA Awards

The inaugural MATTA Awards was held for the first time on 30th June 2019 and at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel in Malaysia. 

After decades of working with tour agents around Malaysia, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents or MATTA as it is known finally came up with an award series for the tourism industry players. 

The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents has been around for 44 years, and it is about high time to create something exciting for the industry players. 

MATTA Awards

These special tourism awards were created as a way to recognize the achievements of its members and their contribution to the Malaysian tourism industry. 

The inaugural MATTA Awards were also praised highly by the Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik, who was a special guest at the event. 

Also present at the ceremony was YBhg. Datuk Musa Bin Yusof, Director General of Tourism Malaysia, and a total of 500 local and international tourism industry players. 

In total, 50 nominations were submitted for the MATTA Awards 2019, and out of that, only 13 category winners were selected. 

Winners of MATTA Awards 2019
The winners of the MATTA Awards 2019. Click to enlarge

Winners of MATTA Awards 2019

Below is a list of the people and companies who won the inaugural MATTA Awards this year;

  • Best Tour Operator - Inbound: Asian Overland Services Tour and Travel Sdn Bhd 
  • Best Tour Operator - Outbound: Apple Vacations and Conventions  
  • Best Tour Operator - Responsible Tourism: Borneo Eco Tours Sdn Bhd
  • Best Travel Agency - Cruise: Hwajing Travel and Tours
  • Best Travel Agency - Startup: Toranj Tour and Travel Sdn Bhd
  • Best Travel Agency - Umrah and Hajj: Andalusia Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd
  • Most Creative Marketing Campaign: Ice Holidays Sdn Bhd
  • Most Creative Tour Packages: Naam World Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd
  • MATTA Tourism Icon Award: Datuk Seri Tunku Iskandar Tunku Abdullah

2019 MATTA Tourism Icon Award
Datuk Seri Tunku Iskandar Tunku Abdullah with the MATTA Tourism Icon Award

How Are The MATTA Awards Selected? 

According to the organizers, the nominees are suggested by the MATTA Committee themselves and then voted as the winners. 

Only members of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents are eligible to participate in these awards. 

Nomination forms were made available to MATTA members by downloading them from the awards website. From there, the nominations could be done for a company or person, or for themselves. 

The winners are then selected by an independent panel of judges based on a strong operational knowledge of the industry and also with years of experience in the tourism industry.

Possibly in the future, there would be another system to select and determine who the nominees will be, and also how the judging process will work. 

I believe it would be much better to have both the public and also the tourism industry players to have their votes for selecting the winners. 

Best Tour Operator MATTA Awards 2019
The MATTA Awards Trophy and Certification

Who Came Out With The MATTA Awards Idea? 

The concept of these awards was actually brought forward by MATTA President Datuk Tank Kok Liang. 

One of the other reasons the awards were held was also to recognize the resilience of travel and tour operators in the country, especially in the face of disruptive technology. 

MATTA President Datuk Tank Kok Liang had this to say during an interview with a local newspaper;

“The Awards were meant to recognize the achievements of MATTA members and their contributions to the Malaysian tourism industry. It was also meant to encourage more travel and tour operators in the country to be more innovative, especially in the face of disruptive technology.” 
“For the past few years, there have been many opinions about whether tour and travel operators will go bust, but they have only been going stronger. One factor behind their staying power was being innovative by embracing technology.”

Naam World Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd
Naam World Travel and Tours with the Most Creative Tour Package Award

Original MATTA Award Categories

According to the MATTA Awards website, there was a list of 13 categories that were selected by the organizing committee and they were;

  • Best Tour Operator (Inbound)
  • Best Tour Operator (Outbound)
  • Best Tour Operator (Domestic)
  • Best Tour Operator (Responsible Tourism)
  • Best Tour Operator (MICE)
  • Best Tour Operator (Land Transportation)
  • Best Travel Agency (Start-Up)
  • Best Travel Agency (Umrah & Hajj)
  • Best Travel Agency (Cruise)
  • Best Travel Agency (Air Transportation)
  • Most Creative Tour Package
  • Most Creative Marketing Campaign
  • MATTA Tourism Icon Award

Out of the 13 categories, only nine were presented during the MATTA Awards 2019.

MATTA Awards Gala Dinner

As with most award ceremonies and presentations, there will always be a gala dinner included, and attendees will be required to dress formally for the awards. 

For the inaugural tourism awards by MATTA, the gala dinner was held at the Hilton Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on the 30th of June 2019 and from 7.30 PM to 10.30 PM. 

Tables were made available for members and non-members to purchase in individual seats or by entire tables. The gala dinner table pricing was;

MATTA Members 
Tier 1 = RM 3,000.00 (per table/10 pax)
Tier 1 = RM 300.00 (per seat)
Tier 2 = RM 2,500.00 (per table/10 pax)
Tier 2 = RM 250.00 (per seat)

Non Members
Tier 1 = RM 3,500.00 (per table/10 pax)
Tier 1 = RM 350.00 (per seat)
Tier 2 = RM 3,000.00 (per table/10 pax)
Tier 2 = RM 300.00 (per seat)

Who are the Sponsors of the MATTA Awards?

There were different categories of sponsors for the MATTA Awards which ranged from platinum, gold, and silver. Below are the sponsors for this year's awards;

Platinum Sponsors
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Hong Leong Bank
  • Boost
Gold Sponsors
  • Apple Holidays
  • ICE Holidays
  • Innogen
  • Sunway Putra Mall
  • UOB
Silver Sponsors
  • China Mobile/CMI Travel
  • Effortless Beauty Malaysia
  • Sarawak Tourism Board
  • Petronas
The event was also supported by;
  • Backstage Skills
  • iAdventure Escape
  • Sunway Putra Hotel Kuala Lumpur

For more information on these tourism awards, you can visit the official MATTA Awards website as there is contact information available there. 

2019 MATTA Awards
Albert Chin holding the Best Tour Operator award for Responsible Tourism

When is the Next MATTA Awards? 

With the success of the inaugural awards, the next one will possibly be held at the same time which is around mid-year. The MATTA Awards 2020 would also possibly see more nominations for all 13 categories. 

Again, to be nominated in the next MATTA Awards 2020, the tour company needs to be a member of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents. 

Suggestions And Opinions

Personally, I think this is a great move by MATTA for the tourism industry players and a very positive one. But for the future awards, I would also consider adding in categories for the smaller tour agents. 

While the large agents always seem to be at the forefront, let us not forget about the smaller tour agents and companies. They too are bringing in tourists into Malaysia, and also contribute to our tourism economy. 

I would also love to see a category for Best Tour Guide in various sub-categories like city guides, historical guides and also nature guides. 

With everyone talking about the digital revolution and digital media, there should also be a special segment for those who utilize social media platforms to promote. 

Under the digital tourism category, there could be sub-categories like best social media promotions, best online tourism articles, the best website and so on. 

Final Thoughts on the MATTA Awards

Overall, awards are always welcomed by all industries, no matter tourism or non-tourism, and it is these kinds of things that help drive the industry forward. 

As I have been writing about tourism in Malaysia for the last 10 years, I too hope that the MATTA Awards will consider adding a category for online tourism articles by others as one of the categories. 

At least this way, I know that it would attract more people to write about tourism articles and promotions in Malaysia and also out of Malaysia.

1 comment

Diana Diane Teo said...

I believe the MATTA President's name is Dr Tan, without the "k". He is quite well-known in Sabah, especially for accounting and auditing industry.