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SEVERAL destinations in Pahang won awards at the International Conference on Cultural Tourism and Education (ICCTE). Cameron Highlands Mossy Forest, Rompin State Park and Pulau Tenaga Hijau in Pulau Tioman were recipients of the Green Tourism Award at the event held in Cyberjaya, Selangor. Perkampungan Kraf Diraja Tunku Azizah in Pekan, Homestay Kampung Kuala Medang in Lipis, Kuil Sri Marathandavar Aalayam in Maran and the Sang Riang Senior Citizens’ Home in Bera took home the Cultural Tourism Award. University College of Yayasan Pahang was presented the Tourism Education Contributor Award. The ICCTE was jointly organised by the Malaysia-China Cultural Tourism Association and the Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Heilongjiang Province, China.

The conference brought together 17 universities as well as over 30 corporations and organisations from Pahang, Selangor and Heilongjiang Province for dialogues, cultural tourism cooperation discussions as well as educational exchanges. In her speech at the event, state unity, tourism and culture committee chairman Leong Yu Man said the theme for Pahang’s tourism was “This Is Pahang-Unlimited”. 

“In April 2022, Malaysia opened its borders and within nine months, Pahang received 10.2 million tourists. “The number of Chinese tourists accounted for 73,520 people and it has continued to grow. “Pahang is becoming more and more popular among Chinese tourists,” Leong noted. “In addition to our beautiful islands, beaches, highlands and food, we believe that by promoting cultural tourism and education, we can also attract Chinese youths to come and explore the state. 

“These community tourism and ecotourism experiences cannot be obtained in the classroom,” she said. For 2023, Pahang aimed to attract 13 million tourists and at least 23 international tourism events would be held to draw young people from China. “We hope to continue maintaining friendly relations with China and to offer different experiences to the youths of both countries through cultural exchanges and educational connections. “Cultural tourism can also create business opportunities for our local youths and promote community development,” said Leong.

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