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KUCHING 21st September 2022 – More than 500 Indian delegates and speakers gathered for the inaugural Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) Convention held in Sarawak from 20th – 22nd September 2022 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK). 

Themed ‘Build Back Better’, the TAFI convention aims to draw more Indian tourists to the state and to educate TAFI delegates on efforts needed to build a more resilient tourism industry post-pandemic by promoting sustainable and responsible tourism practices, conservation and advanced greening efforts.

Sarawak Premier,YAB Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg in his speech read by the Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry & Performing Arts (MTCP) YB Dato Sri Hj Abd Karim Rahman Hamzah during the welcoming dinner last night said that the Malaysian-Indian bilateral ties that have grown firmly for more than six decades is a solid foundation for new areas of cooperation with Sarawak, which includes renewable energy, healthcare, religious tourism and media exchange.

“Sarawak is brimming with economic potential due to its strategic location which is at the centre of the key growth area of Asia Pacific with access to vast market opportunities attractive to investors. In 2020, Sarawak became the ideal choice to invest among our foreign visitors, having received the highest total of foreign direct investment (FDI) at RM15.8 billion in the first nine months of 2020,” the Premier said in his speech at the convention’s gala dinner at BCCK. 

“The TAFI Convention 2022 is a good start for us to connect and further promote Sarawak’s visibility to the Indian market.” he added.

During the dinner, the TAFI- Travel Biz Monitor Tourism Awards were also presented to recognise prominent figures who had contributed significantly to the tourism industry.

Among the award recipients under the Super Women of Tourism Category are Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor, CEO of Sarawak Tourism Board for Conservation and Environment as well as Amelia Roziman, CEO of Business Events Sarawak for Innovation & Marketing Leadership. The Global Ambassador of Sustainable Tourism Award was given to YB Dato’ Sri Hajah Nancy Syukri, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia under Special Award for Sustainability Category.

The Torch Bearers of Tourism (Malaysia) award was given to YB Dato’ Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Sarawak for the Torch Bearer of Sarawak Tourism award and Dato Zainuddin Abdul Wahab Director-General of Tourism Malaysia for the Torch Bearer of Malaysian Tourism award.

Mr Hii Chang Kee, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts Sarawak was presented with the Special Recognition award in recognition of his pursuit of excellence while championing the cause of Sarawak Tourism.

Among the highlights of the three-day convention are TAFI-TravelBiz Monitor Awards presentation; four stimulating dialogue sessions featuring industry players, state government representatives as well as leaders from the tourism industry from both India and Sarawak; and a Business-to-Business (B2B) engagements with more than 60 Sarawak tourism-related organisations.        


About TAFI

Representing the travel trade in India, TAFI is a progressive and vibrant association with a nationwide membership base of 1,400 members and growing. The majority of TAFI members are IATA Accredited agents and contribute to more than 75% of the outbound business in India.

TAFI has organized their convention in Malaysia twice, in 1999 in Kuala Lumpur and 2007 in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. This is their third convention to be held in Malaysia, with Sarawak as the chosen state for the first time. 

Apart from STB, TAFI Convention 2022 is also a collaboration with Tourism Malaysia and supporting partner, Business Events Sarawak as an exemplary strategy in developing the Indian travel market in Malaysia and to help bridge the gap between India and Malaysia.


Tafi Travel Biz Monitor Awards 2022 Recipients

  1. Super Women of Tourism Category
  2. Conservation & Environment – Sharzede Datu Hj Salleh Askor
  3. Innovation & Marketing Leadership – Amelia Roziman
  4. Business Leadership – Liberatha Kallat
  5. Tourism Advocacy – Jyoti Mayal
  6. Education & Digital Transformation – Natalia Bayona


  1. Special Award for Sustainability Category
  2. Global Ambassador of Sustainable Tourism – YB Dato’ Sri Hajah Nancy Syukri


  1. Special Appreciation Category
  2. Datuk Tan Kok Liang – President of Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents (MATTA)
  3.       Lars Thykier- World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA)
  4. Torch Bearers of Tourism (Malaysia) Category
  5. Dato Zainuddin Abdul Wahab – Torch Bearer of Malaysian Tourism 
  6. YB Dato’ Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah – Torch Bearer of Sarawak Tourism
  7. Torch Bearers of Tourism (India) Category
  8. Anukush  Nijhawan – Torch Bearer for Travel Innovation
  9. Dev Karvat – Torch Bearer for Travel Innovation


  1. Showcase Award Category 
  2. Global Business Leader – Zubin J Karkaria


  1. Special Recognition Category 
  2. Hii Chang Kee – In recognition of his pursuit of excellence while championing the cause of Sarawak Tourism 


  1. Face of Tourism Malaysia in India 
  2. Manoharan Periasamy – In recognition of his immense contribution to the cause of developing tourism and being the face of Tourism Malaysia in India during a record-breaking stint 


Lighting Ceremony


CEO Award

Sharzede received the Superwoman of Tourism Award for Conservation and Environment