Lee Ee Hoe
Lee Ee Hoe
|Residence||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
|Education||Tokyo International University|
|Occupation||Group Executive Chairman|
Dato' Sri Lee Ee Hoe, JP (Chinese: 李益輝; pinyin: Lǐ Yìhuī; born 5 July 1964), also known as Leesan, is the first recipient in the tourism industry worldwide to be bestowed the Imperial Decoration Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays by the Emperor of Japan in 2015. This is in recognition of his longstanding contributions in the development and promotion of tourism between Japan and Malaysia, as well as his bold move to lead the first tour to Japan soon after Japan's devastating tsunami and earthquake in 2011.
On 17 July 2015, Lee launched his first book at the Hong Kong Book Fair about his travel experiences and his perspective of the world.
As of October 2018, Lee has traveled to 119 countries and is a member of Traveler's Century Club located in California, United States.
Early life and education
Lee was born in Yong Peng, Johor. His interest in travel and sharing travel information started at a young age. In school, he and his friend and future business partner, planned scouting trips for their school troops. After secondary school, he became a licensed tourist guide in Malaysia. He continued his tertiary education in Japan and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Tokyo International University. After graduating, he returned to Malaysia with experience in the Japanese tour industry and set up a travel agency, Apple Vacations & Conventions in 1996.
Lee is the co-founder and Group Executive Chairman of Apple Vacations & Conventions, the first overseas travel agency to receive the "Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner’s Commendation Award". Apple Vacations also introduced Malaysia Airlines' first charter flight to Hokkaido in 2010. He is the Lifetime Overseas Advisor of Taiwanese Leisure Farming Development Association since 2009.
He is also best known for his work in the tourism industry and is an active columnist for newspapers, magazines and other publications.
Currently, Lee is also the Executive Director for main board-listed company Yong Tai Berhad (7066), which holds the licence to produce and stage Impression Melaka. The Impression Melaka show, scheduled to launched in February 2018, is expected to attract 1.2 million tourists per year, generating RM179 million of gross national income for Malaysia. It is a tourism project under the National Key Economic Area. In February 2013, a memorandum was signed with China Impression Wonders Art Development Co Ltd. The project was endorsed by Malaysian Tourism and Culture Minister Dato' Seri Nazri Aziz and the project launch in May in Beijing was witnessed by former Tourism Minister Tan Sri Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.
International business ventures
In 2014, Apple Vacations & Conventions started collaborating with Marriott International to develop the first Courtyard by Marriott in Malacca. It is planned to be in Malacca's central tourism district and to open in 2017.
Honours and awards
- 2015 – "Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays" by Emperor of Japan
- 2014 – "Mie Prefecture Overseas Tourism Ambassador" by Government of Mie Prefecture Japan
- 2013 – "Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner’s Commendation Award 2013" by Japan Tourism Agency
- 2014 – Honoured with the Individual Award of "1st Malaysia Golden Entrepreneurs Award – Best Of The Best Leading Industry Award of 2013" by The Federation of Malaysia Chinese Guilds Association
- 2013 – Conferred with the Title of "Dato' Sri" by the Sultan of Pahang
- 2008 – Appointed with the Title of "Justice of the Peace" by the Sultan of Negeri Sembilan
- 2007 – Conferred with the Title of "Dato" by the Sultan of Pahang
- 2004 – Conferred with the Public Service Medal by the Sultan of Negeri Sembilan
- "Conferment Ceremony of 2015 Spring Imperial Decorations". Embassy of Japan. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
- "Travel company founder receives Japanese honour". The Star Newspaper. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
- "The Order of the Rising Sun honor". Senyum Japanese Lifestyle Magazine Malaysia. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
- "Gifu Prefecture Promotional Event". Embassy of Japan. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
- "Apple Vacations promotes Japan itineraries". TTG Asia. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
- "Apple's Hokkaido-bound tours prove popular". TTG Asia. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
- "Travel with your heart". Sin Chew Daily Newspaper. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- Lee, Joy (27 February 2014). "The world at their feet". The Star Online. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- "Travel agency stays at forefront". The Star Newspaper. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Seamless flight from KL to exotic Hokkaido". Retrieved July 29, 2010.
- "Leisure farm owners in town to share experiences". The Star Newspaper. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
- "Double Happiness Knock At Door APPLE Founders Bestowed with Dato' Sri Title". Apple 101. 7 August 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- "Tour company expands into property development in Malacca". The Star Newspaper. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
- "Tourism National Key Economic Area". The Economic Transformation Programme Malaysia. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- Wong, June (3 September 2013). "Malacca set to make an Impression". The Star Online. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- "Marriott to debut Courtyard in Malaysia". TTG Asia. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- Courtyard by Marriott, Malacca. "Hospitality tie-up for Malacca". Retrieved April 19, 2014.
- "Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner's Commendation Award 2013". The Star Newspaper. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
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