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On the 28 January 2016, Going Places, Malaysia Airlines’ award-winning in-flight magazine, unveiled an all-new design and content at a relaunch cocktail reception with clients, partners, VIPs, sponsors and prominent brand managers from the local travel industry. The event simultaneously announced the winners of the Going Places Readers’ Choice Awards 2015, honouring the industry’s best.

Held at The Oak Room, Bangsar South, the event was attended by 250 guests who were to be pleasantly surprised by a slew of the evening’s highlights, including a symbolic lion dance troupe.

Attendees had their photos taken with a teaser backdrop of the revamped February cover, and then preceded to mingle while tasting assorted canapés and a variety of refreshing beverages from the bar. For fun, a photo booth was set up on the side, where guests could pose for ‘cover photos’, framed by the new Going Places cover template. A silhouette artist amused guests by presenting them with their cut-out side portraiture too.

The party, hosted by the elegant Bernie Chan, officially kicked off when Geraldine Lee, Managing Director of Spafax Asia Pacific, came onstage to address the guests. “We are very proud of our strong and friendly relationship with Malaysia Airlines, and the relaunch of Going Places is a testament of our ongoing commitment. With the new Going Places and our suite of content and media platforms, we will continue to innovate, entertain, communicate and bring value to our readers, advertisers and partners,” she declared.

Charles McKee, Head of Marketing of Malaysia Airlines, delivered an enthusiastic keynote next, sharing that “the new editorial line up will feature fresh and exciting content produced with the insight and intelligence that readers expect from our team of talented writers.” Finally, Editor Julie Goh took to the stage to warmly welcome and thank everyone for their support.

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A roll of the drums ushered a lion dance troupe performance, which was an auspicious highlight symbolising fresh beginnings and good fortune as well and to herald the coming Chinese New Year. Flanked by the lion troupe and a pair of flight attendants, Charles, Geraldine and Julie unveiled the February cover, which debuts the new, progressive look with a distinct cover design, more illustrations and colours. Adding to the magazine’s cornerstone offerings, six new sections have been introduced, profiling prolific Malaysians, globetrotters’ travel tips, insider guides, and new network maps.

The event carried on with the Readers Choice Awards 2015, which ran from June to December last year, giving readers the chance to vote the best of 16 categories in the travel industry, including Best 5-Star Hotel, Best Restaurant, Best Beach Resort, Best Spa, Best Travel Luggage, and many more. The Awards attracted 8,561 online votes, which saw industry winners walking away with porcelain Noritake Winner Plates each. Following are the categories and their winners:

  1. Best 5-Star Hotel – Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur
  2. Best 4-Star Hotel – Four Points by Sheraton Puchong
  3. Best Boutique Hotel – Hotel Maison Boutique
  4. Best Beach Resort – Club Med Cherating Beach
  5. Best Eco Resort – BEST WESTERN PREMIER The Haven Ipoh
  6. Best Serviced Residence – Ascott The Residence
  7. Best Theme Park – Sunway Lagoon
  8. Best Restaurant – Troika Sky Dining
  9. Best Nightspot – Providence @ The Intermark
  10. Best Shopping Mall – Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
  11. Best Spa and Wellness Centre – The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat
  12. Best Convention Centre – Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre
  13. Best Travel Companion (Gadget) – Samsung Galaxy S6
  14. Best Travel Luggage – Samsonite
  15. Best Local Telco – Celcom
  16. Best Accommodation App – Agoda

To thank the online voters, one lucky voter, Hazwan Nordin, landed the grand prize of an exclusive Bell & Ross watch worth nearly RM10, 000, who was there to receive the gift from Julie. The event culminated in an exciting lucky draw for 15 prizes, including exclusives like free hotel stays in Kuala Lumpur and Sydney, cameras, jewellery, beauty hampers, a dive computer and MAB Business Class tickets to Narita.

On their way out, guests picked up goodie bags with a copy of the February issue, exclusive red packets with the February Going Places cover, a model of a Malaysia Airlines plane and a white mascot teddy bear.

Going Places and Malaysia Airlines would like to thank their sponsors and partners for making the event a memorable success.