Friday, March 23, 2007

Tea as a Tourist Attraction

Talk time: Maznah (second from left) talking to Boh Plantation chairman Tristan Russell while Caroline and Datuk Meriam Yaakob representing Permoladan Nasional Berhad look on.
The home of the country’s favourite and leading tea brand, from Boh Plantations in Cameron Highlands, has been one of the main tourist attractions in Pahang.

It is learnt that more than 5,000 visitors per week, both locals and foreigners, spend their time having a taste of the uniqueness of the tea, and some make purchases for their consumption at home from the plantation.

Recently, the company officially opened its new Boh Tea Centre in Sungai Palas to provide tourists with a unique and comprehensive experience of the tea industry.

Fresh: Caroline explaining a new product to Maznah.
Pahang Tourism, Arts, Culture, Heritage, Women and Family Development Committee chairman Datuk Maznah Mazlan, who officiated at the ceremony, said the Boh Tea Centre was more than just a commercial entity as the plantation has helped in environment preservation.

Maznah said most visitors spend at least two hours at the centre while having their “tea break” and enjoying the greenery.

“It is a beautiful landscape where tea trees are grown on the hills in rows. It is such a wonderful sight,” she said after the launch of the centre recently.

Modern method: Caroline explaining the machinery used in processing the tea leaves.
The company’s chief executive officer Caroline Russell said the visitors participating in the conducted tours at the centre will gain first hand information of how tea is grown and processed to provide the “ummph” (the wonderful taste as advertised), that Boh is known for.

“The centre also boasts a 6.096m (20ft) overhanging platform which presents a spectacular view of the estate and this balcony is a favourite spot for visitors as they immerse themselves in the beauty of the surroundings while savouring one of Boh’s many types of tea,” Caroline said.

According to Caroline, the Boh Tea centre has received recognition for its design, and in 2006, the Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia (PAM) has awarded the centre a honorary mention in the category of public and civic buildings for the building’s design quality supported by the surrounding environment.

Patience: A worker sifting tea leaves at the factory.
“The timely launch of the centre is in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2007 and aims to complement the efforts and enhance tourism in Cameron Highlands.

“By launching the centre officially, I believe it will cater and contribute to the increasing flow of visitors to the highlands and our estate,” she said.

Boh Plantations is the largest tea-growing company in the country and owns four tea gardens in Fairlie, Bukit Cheeding, Boh and Sungai Palas, all in Cameron Highlands.

It started operations in 1929 and has been the tea pioneer and tea expert since then.

The plantation covers 1,200ha of tea gardens in highland and lowland areas and produces four million kilogrammes of tea annually, which translates to about 5.5 million cups of tea per day.

Source : STAR
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