The general standard practice among people travelling today would be to reduce travel time from one point to another, resulting from the desire to tick off as many attractions at the destination on their list as possible. More often than not, flights or bullet trains are the preferred mode of travel as opposed to slower vehicles such as motorcycles.
However, for motorcycling enthusiasts, the journey leading to the destination is more important than the destination itself – the ‘real’ tour, they might say. The experience riding the motorcycle gives riders not only pleasure or the motivating challenge to test their riding skills, but also to ultimately discover the hidden gems through multiple stops along the journey.
Recognising that motorcyclists are high potential travellers, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC) – with the help from Gaya Travel Magazine – organised a convoy called Eat, Travel, Ride (ETR) 2017 as a way to boost biker tourism among local and international motorbike enthusiasts. This programme also marked the first collaboration between MOTAC and Kingz Motorcycle Group (MG) Malaysia, a club established since 15 December 2015 that constitutes Harley-Davidson riders. Today, the club has 80 members in Malaysia and 12 members in Singapore.
“The club’s ride-and-respect principles have helped to challenge the cliché that the society has towards bikers. We also practice solidarity and camaraderie by taking the pleasure of being among bikers and their families during our annual rides; the first one was the Kuala Lumpur-Penang expedition in conjunction with Hari Malaysia,” said the Vice President of Kingz MG Malaysia Mr. Khairul Anuar bin Juri during the launch ceremony.
The three-day event took the convoy participants comprising 50 Harley-Davidson riders and 10 media practitioners on a 300-kilometre plus journey one way starting between Kuala Lumpur and Iskandar Puteri in Johor, with a day trip to Singapore in between. Throughout the programme, the participants explored various attractions such as KL City Gallery in Kuala Lumpur; Mini Malaysia and ASEAN Cultural Park in Melaka; and Forest City (media only). The participants also savoured local delights at Malacca Lot 85 in Melaka; Putu Bambu Juriah in Johor; and Kari Kambing 40 Hari, also in Johor.
Besides, the convoy participants also visited the latest motorsports-themed hotel called Hype Motorsports Hotel in Nilai, located approximately 20 minutes from Kuala Lumpur International Airport and 15 minutes from Sepang International Circuit. The hotel has 75 rooms and the average rates are between RM150 and RM280 per room per night. It is said that Malaysia’s very own motorcycle racing prodigy, Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah, also stayed here.
ETR 2017 is also an offshoot of the Eat.Travel.Write media familiarisation programmes founded by Gaya Travel Magazine with the aim of promoting Malaysia as a tourism destination of choice through social media sharing and #SayangMalaysia hashtag campaign.