KUCHING: The business events and meeting industry is a lucrative market that the country will be wise to capitalise on, said tourism, arts and culture minister Nancy Shukri.
Speaking at the “Meet In Malaysia @ Sarawak” event here today, she said taking advantage of the huge economic benefits of the industry had long been on the government’s agenda, and aligned with the goal of achieving high-income status.
She said the establishment of the dedicated Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) in 2009 was pivotal to this agenda, as business events offer direct economic benefits and create local jobs.
Even during the pandemic, her ministry had been working to secure deals to keep the sector going as the country emerged from the pandemic.
“Despite the pandemic, Malaysia through MyCEB and its partners have won 15 international conferences to be held in our country from 2022 to as far as 2030, where we are expecting to see around 16,000 international delegates, contributing to RM140 million in estimated economic impact.”
She pointed to a study conducted by the Events Industry Council and global forecasting body Oxford Economics, which found that the sector generated RM4.45 trillion in delegate spending and RM2.59 billion in gross domestic product contributions, and produced 10.3 million jobs annually.
“This amplifies the significant impact of the business events industry and Malaysia must tap into this lucrative market segment in a strategic manner.”
Nancy said Malaysia must not be complacent as competition for a slice of the meetings industry pie would be stiff, “especially as other top destinations know what it takes to win a bid, with some destinations having a larger budget for conventions than ours”.
She said she was delighted that MyCEB was working well with Business Events Sarawak as “Keluarga Malaysia” in bidding to host international business events.
“I was told there are a few bids in progress for Sarawak, and I hope Malaysia wins all the bids that are in progress.”
She commended Sarawak’s efforts to promote itself as a leading business events destination, driven by state agency Business Events Sarawak.
“On the international scene, Sarawak is seen as a frontrunner as it has won numerous accolades as a business conference destination over other major destinations around the world.”