GEORGE TOWN, March 25 – The Penang State Executive Councillor for Tourism and Creative Economy (PETACE) Yeoh Soon Hin was awarded “the Most Innovative Tourism Leader of the Year 2022” in recognition of his leading role in overcoming the challenges of the pandemic and reviving the industry through innovation and creative practices. Yeoh received the award at the Asian Tourism & Hospitality Awards 2022 jointly organized by the Asia Hospitality Human Resources Association (AHHRA) and Travel Industry Network Media at Kuala Lumpur on 17th of March 2023.

This award seeks to recognise work of distinction and is given for distinguished and exceptional achievements in the tourism and hospitality industry across Asia.This tourism industry award has received nominations from more than 20 different countries, and is also supported by the ASEAN School of Tourism, Asian Hospitality Academy and many authoritative organizations in the tourism industry to recognize the hard works, dedications, commitments and contributions to excellence in the tourism and hospitality industry.

On the very same day, the guests attending the awards ceremony included Deputy Entrepreneurship Development and Cooperatives Minister K Saraswathy, former Deputy Minister of Tourism and newly appointed Chairman of My Creative Venture Datuk Muhammad Bakhtiar bin Wan Chik, State Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment of Sabah Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, Secretary General of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Datuk M. Ali, and etc. After receiving an award as the “Most Innovative Tourism Leader of the Year 2022”.

Yeoh said that he believes that “teamwork makes the dream work” and thanked the Chief Minister of Penang YAB Chow Kon Yeow for supporting PETACE’s initiative, together with the strategic cooperation from the industry players, which have accelerated the recovery of Penang’s tourism and creative economy. Since the government reopened the country for tourism in last April, PETACE has recovered around 60% of tourism activities at pre-pandemic levels in the past eight months, and we will continue expanding the tourism industry through innovation and creative practices.

Yeoh pointed out that during the pandemic, the Penang State government immediately launched a number of strategies, and vigorously promoted the recovery of the tourism industry, and took the initiative to cooperate with relevant local and international industry players and agencies, such as airlines, hotel operators, tour guide associations, associations of tourism attractions and various embassies. Driven by multiple strategies, it not only led Penang tourism to break through difficulties, but even made a strong rebound after the pandemic.

Yeoh was conferred with multiple awards for his outstanding achievements and contribution to the industry, such as 2004 Top Ten Outstanding Youth of Penang, the JCI Ten Outstanding Young Malaysian Award 2014 (Political, Legal and/or Governmental Affairs), the nominee of the JCI Ten Outstanding Young People of the World 2015, the Corporate Social Responsibility Award – Distinguished Leaders That Have Brought Positive Impacts to the Development and Well-Beings of Asia Pacific (Macao) 2019, Penang Top Achievers 2019- Industry Excellence in Tourism,

Malaysia Most Impactful Tourism Leadership and Innovation Award 2020, the 7th International Most Impactful Awards 2020 by Malaysia Profession Influential Entrepreneurs Organization (PIEO), and CHT Excellence Awards 2022. Winning the latest “Most Innovative Tourism Leader Award” in Asian Tourism & Hospitality Award again this time, has given a higher recognition to the efforts made by Yeoh.

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