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In the highly competitive tourism business, every country on the planet is trying to identify unique selling points that will make them stand out from the crowd and help them attract the world’s top high yield tourists.

Here in Malaysia we are blessed with more than our fair share of desirable tourism products and attractions, but in my humble opinion there is only one that really does stand out from the rest – the sheer quality and diversity of our food! Ask any Malaysian who travels overseas, or any foreigner who has experienced this country for any period of time, and they will tell you the same.

The last few years have been an amazing experience. We have enjoyed watching the Festival blossom and grow, from our first, uncertain steps in 2001 to last year’s Festival which attracted a record number of restaurants and diners and which saw us being rewarded with the Pacific Air Travel Association Gold Award for Marketing.

Today, the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival can lay claim to being one of the country’s best known international brands. It has helped make fine dining accessible not only to local Malaysians, but to the world at large which of course is terrific for attracting those high yield tourists.

But we cannot be complacent – and we know it. In fact, I would go as far as to say that all hands are now needed on deck as we strive to maintain our current lead and compete with neighbouring countries who now realise the full value of international food tourism – with some even trying to take ‘ownership’ of our local cuisines!

This is why the Festival is so important. It continually raises the bar and each year our participating restaurants excel themselves in creating Festival Menus that stretch imaginations to the full and combine international flair with the best of local ingredients and cooking techniques. This year is no different.

So this November, leave your diets at home and take your friends, family and business associates out to as many Festival restaurants as you can. Remember, no one can copy the full Malaysian experience. For it’s not only our unique cuisine and friendly service that set us apart - it’s our relaxed approach to life. Dining is fun!

Jemput makan!

YBhg Dato’ Steve Day
Organising Chairman
Malaysia International Gourmet Festival


It is a pleasure to welcome back the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2008 for its 8th successive appearance and, as always, it is a great honour for me to be the Royal Patron of this prestigious event.

It is heartening to have watched this wonderful festival grow from humble beginnings in 2001, to the internationally recognised and award winning event it is today. The calibre of participating restaurants, the extensive media coverage, the range of activity and the sheer fun of it all have contributed in building up what is now a remarkable reputation over the years.

As all of you know, these are challenging times on the world front and the current bleak economic climate does not augur well for the food and beverage industry. This is why I am so pleased to see so many Festival restaurants pulling together in a collective effort to boost a sector that is so important to the economy of the country.

As in past years, we hope that Tourism Malaysia will lend their support to the Festival now that the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival has taken its place as one of the premier food festivals of the world. The spin offs are immense especially in the way the Festival helps raise industry standards given the context of the country’s growing reputation as a preferred Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions destination.

In closing, I think it is important to mention that apart from attracting revenues and creating jobs, a healthy dining scene has many intangible effects too. Not only does it add to our overall quality of life it also emphasises Malaysia’s position as a safe and sophisticated place in which to reside, make a second home, take holidays or even base a new corporate headquarters in.

On that note, I wish to congratulate the Organisers for their sterling efforts in bringing us the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2008. To the participant restaurants and Festival diners, I truly look forward to joining you in experiencing some memorable cuisine.

Happy dining & bon appétit!

Tunku Naquiyuddin ibni Tuanku Ja’afar
DYMM Tuanku Pemangku Yang DiPertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan
Royal Patron, The Malaysia International Gourmet Festival

Epicure Malaysia 2008
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