Monday, December 9

Shopping malls a boon to local tourism

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KUCHING: Shopping malls in the city are an ideal avenue to spur tourism industry.

For one, Plaza Merdeka Shopping Centre which won the most innovative shopping centre award under the stand alone shopping centres category at the recent 19th Malaysia Tourism Awards 2015, is a strong testament to that view.

Plaza Merdeka Holdings Sdn Bhd’s chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Morshidi Abdul Ghani believed Plaza Merdeka Shopping Centre possess a few strong attributes which enable the shopping centre to win the prestige award for the first time.

“The mall stands out because of a number of factors. One of it is cleanliness besides the trade mix and professional management,” he said during an appreciation dinner Thusday evening.

“The participation of the mall in local events like Malaysia Super Sale, Street Dancing competitions, Moon Cake festival, Chinese New Year and Hari Raya celebrations to name a few.

“As well the joint support and participation in internationally visible events like the Kuching Marathon, cyclathon puts Plaza Merdeka on the map and enhances its profile.”

With the recent addition of The Waterfront Hotel, Morshidi said the completion of the covering India Street Pedestrial Mall, the Golden S-shaped bridge, history museum and other significant projects in the planning stages, this neighbourhood and the old city centre will become a tourism mecca.

Morshidi who is also the State Secretary, observed that winning the award was no easy task. Plaza Merdeka Shopping Centre had to compete with other malls throughout the country to emerge as winner.

“The award is a real testament to each and every person on the team, your effort, commitment and contribution,” he outlined.

Meanwhile, Plaza Merdeka Holdings Sdn Bhd’s managing director Dato Steve Ng said he appreciated the support and contributions from its partners and the management team for making the achievement a reality.

Ng also thanked the co-operation from Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) especially its Datuk Bandar Datuk Abang Wahap Abang Julai for their effort in making the mall’s surrounding a vibrant place for shoppers to conduct their shopping activities.

Among those present at the appreciation dinner were Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) chief executive officer Tan Sri Datuk Amar Wilson Baya Dandot, Plaza Merdeka Holdings Sdn Bhd’s directors Datuk JC Fong and Datin Azerina Mohd Arip and Ng’s wife Datin Anriza Cordero Ng.

Also present were India Street Pedestrian Mall chairman Dato Wee Hong Seng, Kuching Old Market Community Association president Dato Dr Sim Swee Yong, Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association advisor Sim Kiang Chiok, Plaza Merdeka Shopping Centre general manager Cheah Kheng Mun, The Waterfront Hotel general manager Alan Tang as well as representatives from retail partners.

To note, the Malaysian Tourism Award which are held every two years by the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia has attracted 60 entrants throughout Malaysia at its 19th edition on Feb 17, 2016 at Putra World Trade Centre.

Entries were divided into two categories of shopping centres, namely stand alone shopping centres and integrated shopping malls.