InterContinental Kuala Lumpur was officially launched by Malaysia’s Deputy Minister of Tourism, Yang Berhormat Dato James Dawos Mamit, on 30 March 2011.
The ceremony took place in the hotel’s Grand Ballroom witnessed by 115 members of the media. On hand to welcome the deputy minister were Adam McDonald, General Manager of InterContinental Kuala Lumpur and Thomas Lee, Director of MTJ Development Sdn Bhd, accompanied by a drumming performance by 1 Malaysia, which consisted of the Chinese ‘Ghu’, Indian Tawil and Marbingan and Malay Jidor drums.
The launch started with a speech delivered by Alan Watts, IHG’s Vice President of Operations for Southeast Asia, who presented the vision and story of IHG.
MacDonald, the hotel’s GM, went on the say that property will undergo an 18-month refurbishment of all rooms, restaurants and other facilities. The present Japanese restaurant Tatsu is currently closed for renovation and will be open for business at the end of June.
Dr Mamit spoke about the tourism industry in Malaysia and congratulated IHG and MTJ Development Sdn Bhd for the decision to bring in the InterContinental brand into Malaysia to cater to the influx of tourists that Tourism Malaysia is anticipating in the coming months and years.
“Currently, tourism is the second largest foreign exchange earner after manufacturing and created millions of employment opportunities. It has been identified as one of the key industries that will contribute to the achievement of the Malaysian Government’s Economic Transformation Programme to become a high income nation,” said Dr Mamit.
The deputy minister also prepared the signature Malaysian dish ‘nasi ayam’ (chicken rice), and unveiling a plaque as a mark to officially launch the hotel. Nasi ayam is one of the three signature local dishes that Tourism Malaysia is promoting this year.