Pavilion Bukit Jalil witnessed the inauguration of the 3rd Malaysia International Durian & Cultural Fest 2023. This grand durian buffet and cultural festival, held at Piazza Pavilion outdoors, was opened by Dato Dr. Ammar abd Ghapar, the Director General of Tourism Malaysia. He was joined by Brand Event Ambassador Dato Aaron Aziz, Amber Chia, and Chan Fong. The event was a joint effort by Malaysian companies DKing and LKE Musang Queen. The aim? To establish this as an annual Durian Day or DurianFest, promoting Malaysian durian and culture globally.
In his welcome speech, Mr. Leron Yee, the founder of DKing and organizer of the fest, expressed gratitude to the guests and collaborators. He highlighted the challenges faced in June 2023 due to the unforeseen black spot illness affecting durians. But the day showcased the resilience of their team and sponsors. Attendees, upon paying the RM68 entrance fee, were treated to high-quality durians. Varieties on offer included D101, D24, Red Prawn, Butter King, and the esteemed Musang King. Additionally, attendees could partake in lucky draws and enjoy live entertainment. Brand Event Ambassadors even served some guests directly. The feast is only from 8 September 2023 till 10 th September 2023.
Mr. Jeremy Chin, co-founder of LKE Musang Queen, emphasized the event’s significance. He celebrated the enduring partnership of the King and Queen, looking forward to future collaborations. He also spoke of the Durian Fest’s origin in Malaysia and its growing global appeal. Durian enthusiasts were promised a memorable experience, with attractive goodies and enticing lucky draws.
Dato Dr. Ammar abd Ghapar highlighted the potential benefits of such events for the Malaysian economy. Beyond boosting the durian industry, sectors like food and beverage, hospitality, and retail stand to gain from increased international tourism. This year’s target? A whopping 16.1 million international tourist arrivals and RM49.2 billion in receipts. This year, the festival drew over 3,000 local and 600 international durian enthusiasts, and 1,200 participants in a durian-themed fun run. It wasn’t all about the fruit, though. Activities such as the Durian Fun Run, kids’ talent showcases, and catwalks promoted family bonding and nurtured Malaysia’s future talents. Tourism Malaysia expressed hopes of making such positive events an annual tradition.
In an intriguing turn, during a media interaction, it was revealed that Brand Ambassadors Dato Aaron Aziz and Amber Chia were initially not durian eaters. Their shift to becoming durian aficionados underscored the fruit’s quality as a key attraction.
Dato Dr. Ammar also promoted other durian-infused products like cakes, ice creams, and chocolates. These can serve as introductions for international tourists unfamiliar with the raw fruit.
The event will culminate on 10th September 2023 at 8pm. A closing ceremony will be officiated by Y.M Tengku Dato Dr. Hishammuddin Zaizi bin Y.A.M. Tengku Bendahara Azman Shah Alhaj of the Royal Selangor Family. They will witness the breaking of TWO Malaysian Book of Records on the final day.