Asean Food & Travel Awards 2024
Events & News


In an interview with Dato’ R. Rajendran, the Advisor of ASEAN Food & Travel publication, during the Asean Food & Travel Awards 2024, exciting details emerged about the much-anticipated “Visit Malaysia Year 2026″ campaign. Rajendran shed light on why Malaysia is poised to become a hotspot for tourists in the coming years, attributing much of the allure to the nation’s rich culinary landscape.

“Malaysia boasts an unparalleled variety of gastronomic delights,” remarked Rajendran, emphasising the diverse culinary offerings that set the country apart. He highlighted that beyond merely providing sustenance, Malaysian F&B outlets offer an immersive experience, evoking nostalgia and a myriad of emotions from different eras.

YBHG Tuan Mohd Yusri bin Mohd Yusoff, the Deputy Secretary General (Culture), Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture

“Restaurants and cafes in Malaysia are not just places to eat; they are portals to the past, invoking feelings ranging from the 60s to the 90s,” Rajendran explained, spotlighting the unique charm embedded within these establishments. He expressed confidence that this distinctive quality would draw in a plethora of tourists seeking not only delectable cuisine but also cultural immersion and nostalgia.


YBHG Tuan Manoharan Periasamy, Director General of Tourism Malaysia

Furthermore, Rajendran underscored the pivotal role of excellent service in driving tourism growth. “If the F&B sector continues to deliver top-notch service, it will undoubtedly contribute to the flourishing of tourism in Malaysia,” he affirmed. With Malaysia offering a comprehensive range of experiences among the ten ASEAN countries, Rajendran expressed optimism about the nation’s potential to attract a diverse array of visitors.

Highlighting the fusion of cultures within Malaysia, Rajendran noted that some eateries in the country can transport patrons to different corners of ASEAN itself. “For instance, a Thai restaurant in Malaysia doesn’t just serve Thai cuisine; it encapsulates the essence of Thailand, offering a taste of the country within our borders,” he elaborated.


Lee Seng Chee (RHA Media’s Managing Editor), YBHG Tuan Manoharan Periasamy, YBHG Tuan Mohd Yusri bin Mohd Yusoff & Dato’ R Rajendran, Advisor of ASEAN Food & Travel publication

As Malaysia gears up to showcase its culinary treasures and unique dining experiences to the world during “Visit Malaysia Year 2026”, it is evident that the country’s F&B sector stands as a cornerstone of its tourism appeal. With a focus on variety, nostalgia and exceptional service, Malaysia is poised to leave an indelible mark on the global tourism landscape, inviting travellers from far and wide to indulge in its culinary delights and rich cultural tapestry.

The third ASEAN Food & Travel Awards 2024 honoured 50 Malaysian personalities and brands for their contributions to the culinary and tourism industry. Organised by ASEAN Food & Travel Media in collaboration with ‘Top 10 of Asia’ and ‘NiagaTimes’, the event celebrated individuals and businesses dedicated to excellence in their fields. The event attended by the movers and shakers of the tourism industry was officiated by YBHG Tuan Mohd Yusri bin Mohd Yusoff, the Deputy Secretary General (Culture), Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture and YBHG Tuan Manoharan Periasamy, Director General of Tourism Malaysia. Established to recognise achievements in various sectors of the ASEAN food, travel, tourism, and hospitality industries, the awards aim to promote ASEAN’s offerings and acknowledge outstanding contributors.


The awards aim to honour exceptional businesses and individuals in the food and travel industry within the ASEAN region. The event recognises outstanding personalities, SMEs and entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence in their respective fields. A panel of judges, comprising media experts, researchers, and food and travel critics, impartially evaluated entries based on predefined criteria to select the winners. Notable recipients included Hard Rock Café Kuala Lumpur, Distinguished Pizza Chef Jofliam, Wyndham Acmar Klang Hotel, Influencer Chef Nurhayati Zainol Abidin, Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents (MATTA), Outstanding Celebrity Chef Dato Fazley Yaakob, Boraombak Marina Putrajaya, Nasi Kandar Restaurant Hameediyah, Malaysian Petroleum Club and Sama-Sama Hotel.

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