by HARIZAH KAMEL/ pic by ARIF KARTONO
THE outlook for Malaysia’s business events industry remains on the positive side as many events that were due to take place were postponed instead of cancelled, said Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (picture).
The tourism, arts and culture minister said the number of business events, which is secured and supported by the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), looks promising with only 24 events being cancelled and 64 postponed.
“Due to the pandemic, international travel continues to run at a low despite governments’ efforts to contain the virus.
“Many events are still on hold, international travel for leisure has largely ceased and businesses greatly affected,” she said at the Meet in [email protected] Business Events Week (MBEW) 2020 in Kuala Lumpur (KL) yesterday.
MyCEB’s flagship event is taking place beginning yesterday until today at the World Trade Centre KL and has seen around 250 delegates in attendance.
This year, MBEW is on a hybrid mode to make opportunities for its international partners and industry players outside of Malaysia to be a part of the event as international borders remain closed.
“I would like to commend MyCEB and industry players for building a solid ground before the pandemic hit, and I am very sure that once it is time to fully bounce back, Malaysia will be on the top list of destinations,” said Nancy.
Last year, MyCEB supported 330 business events, bringing in a total of 177,816 international delegates and 480,127 local delegates with a total visitor expenditure of RM1.1 billion and generated RM2.5 billion in estimated economic impact.
Its CEO Datuk Seri Abdul Khani Daud said the growth of the business events industry this year is targeted to increase by 5% from the total amount that was achieved last year.
“This year, we were supposed to receive over 400,000 participants with an economic impact of RM2.5 billion. The 5% mentioned was in international arrivals which were calculated before Covid-19 but with the pandemic, some of the travellers might change their mind from attending overseas events.
“However, thanks to the Health Ministry (MoH), Malaysia is one of the best countries in controlling the pandemic. This will create confidence and we shall use this as our marketing element to the world to entice participants to come to Malaysia,” he said.
Abdul Khani said despite the pandemic, MyCEB is positive to secure more in 2021 onwards.
On another note, Nancy affirmed that her ministry, together with various other ministries, is doing its best to keep the tourism industry afloat and restore it at a swift pace.
“The recent Dewan Rakyat session, which took place on Aug 6, witnessed the gathering of parliamentarians providing their contributions on how to revive the tourism industry.
“We are exploring ways to offset the expenses of the people by addressing senior citizen travellers through discount packages, actively promoting local historical arts and culture, increasing tourism hubs for eco-tourism especially with the potential of locations such as Hulu Selangor and encourage the demand for local handmade arts and crafts,” she said.
She added that there are more proposals, which have been discussed and are being thoroughly weighed to further support the execution.
“We are also looking into new ways of looking at the green bubble. It is not just countries, but more to destinations like islands. We are looking into the niche tourism sectors like golf and diving.
“We are working together with the MoH, Wisma Putra and the National Disaster Management Agency, and we have been tasked to come up with a concept paper within this or next week to look into the possible ways of arranging this, so that we can move on with new openings of the economy,” she said.