PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is still winning bids to host international business events up until 2030, according to the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB).
MyCEB CEO Abdul Khani Daud said there were only 14 cancellations this year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, while 66 others chose to postpone their meetings to next year.
“We have won a couple of bids in the last couple of weeks during the recovery movement control order (RMCO). We have a programme of events up until 2030.
“This is something we are pushing for. This is an area where we can assist the tourism industry,” he said at a press conference after the launch of the “Meet in Malaysia” campaign here today.
While events such as meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) have resorted to online conventions and webinars because of the pandemic, Khani said this would only be a temporary solution.
“Our business is to bring people here. Hybrid or virtual conventions are hopefully a temporary solution, not long-term.
“In the long-term, we want travellers to come to our shores. That will benefit the whole industry,” he added.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri said the launch of today’s event was the first step towards restoring confidence in the nation’s ability to hold face-to-face exhibitions and events.
She maintained that the safety of everyone must remain the priority, calling for understanding regarding the limitations to the size of events.
“The government has not allowed for more people in events (instead of just 250). As long as our people can comply with SOPs, until it becomes a new norm for us, perhaps we can have more events,” she said.
In her speech at the campaign’s launch, she said MyCEB played a key role in drawing business events to the country, pointing out that the country has seen around 2.1 million business travellers over the past decade.
She said the agency had secured and supported some 3,863 events last year, which brought RM26.9 billion in economic benefits for the country.
“This augurs well for our aim to recognise the business events sector which will help Malaysia become a high-income nation by 2024,” she said.