Over the recent weekend of 19 to 21 July, Malaysia became the first Asian country to host the Soroptimist International (SI) Convention, which is expected to push US$4.44 million into the economy and fetch about RM9 million in visitor expenditures.
SI last held their three-day summit in Malaysia back in 1991, and brought back their 21st edition to Kuala Lumpur this year. The global volunteer movement spans 132 countries and over 80,000 members, seeking to transform the lives of women and girls.
Attended by over 1,500 participants - of which over 70% are international attendees - this year's theme "Soroptimist Enable A Sustainable World: Global Connections, Empowered Women" touched on topics aligned with United Nations' Sustainable Goals, including technology and innovation, youth social activism, trafficking and exploitation, climate action plan and etcetera. Apart from talks, there were also interactive workshops, themed gatherings and a CSR programme as well.
The event joins the nearly 80 international conventions, incentive groups and trade exhibitions leading up to next year, together delivering an economic value of RM978.5 million. These numbers bid well for the country's Visit Malaysia 2020 goals to have business tourism fetch RM3.9 billion in Gross National Income (GNI) to the country and create more than 16,000 additional employment opportunities by 2020.