In a bid to showcase Penang as a global destination for business events, the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) has launched a new campaign and unveiled four new initiatives to freshen up the Malaysian state's business events offerings.
Called 'Penang 2020: BE Unfiltered', the campaign will be held in conjunction with Experience Penang Year 2020 and Visit Malaysia 2020. It will run till December 2020.
The top pick among the new initiatives is the Penang 2020 edition of Privilege Penang - a comprehensive support programme introduced by PCEB with additional support packages from PCEB's industry partners.
The other announcements include an extension of a strategic partnership between PCEB and Malaysia Airlines until 2020, which offers special flight rates for delegates visiting Penang; as well as Penang Turtle Cares, its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme on improving turtle conservation facilities and other related activities.
It also launched a mobile application for delegates that features information on Penang - including a calendar showing upcoming events and other supported business events happening on the island state.
Speaking at the launch event at the Hin Bus Depot, which was attended by more than 100 industry partners, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said business events are crucial for Penang's economy and its development because the industry has the "potential to go beyond just bringing in more quality tourists to the state".
"This is an industry which is knowledge-led and is able to put Penang on the world map as a knowledge hub, which in turn brings in investment from the private sector," added Chief Minister Chow.
In 2018, Penang successfully hosted over 200 international meetings with 106,265 delegates from across the globe. With a convention capacity of 30,000 and 14,389 rated hotel rooms, Penang - known for its rich UNESCO heritage, thriving multicultural society, state-of-the-art facilities and vibrant natural attractions - is among the leading destinations in the region for corporate meetings and incentives, and is a rising association meetings destination.
"I believe Penang is ready for the next stage of destination marketing for business events," said PCEB CEO Ashwin Gunaskeran. "It is also important for us as part of this industry to showcase more of what Penang and the players of the industry are able to offer through (the campaign).
"We need to continue the energy and effort in maintaining the interest and awareness that business events have created for Penang. This is where the Penang 2020: BE Unfiltered campaign plays a role, and works as an additional incentive to attract more events into the state," he added.