: With Malaysian food gaining popularity at restaurants and hotels here, its diversity will be capable of attracting tourists to Malaysia, said Malaysia''s Ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim.
According to him, Malaysian food promotions in Indonesia could create added value to promotional strategy in nurturing awareness of Malaysia as a tourist destination.
He said the strategy to promote Malaysia as a ''food haven'' was a new approach to enhancing the country''s tourism industry because apart from visiting interesting sights and shopping, tourists would also want to enjoy the country''s local cuisine.
"In promoting a destination, food can be focused as a tourism product," he said when launching a Malaysian Food Promotion at a hotel in Depok, about 60km from here, last night.
He urged domestic and international travel agencies to provide interesting holiday packages which included food exploration for tourists to enjoy the real flavour of a country.
In conjunction with the Malaysian food promotion, Tourism Malaysia in Indonesia flew in several Malaysian chefs to teach Indonesian hotel chefs on how to cook authentic Malaysian dishes.
Tourism Malaysia director in Indonesia, Roslan Othman said Indonesians form the second largest group of foreign tourists to Malaysia and the agency is currently diversifying tourism products and services to meet various demands and interests.
"For a start, we are offering tour packages to explore traditional Kedah, Penang and Perak cuisines and we will later introduce more food tour packages to include food from other states," he said.
He said the food tour promotion was organised in collaboration with hotels in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Depok deputy mayor Pradi Supriatna said the Malaysian food promotion was interesting as not many people in the area were aware of Malaysian food prior to this event.
He said it was amazing to see Malaysian and Indonesian chefs sharing special recipes and food experiences and hoped this could be developed further as a training programme. - BERNAMA