Malaysia may have been on the back-burner last year as the world
reopened global borders, but with the resumption of events since
November 2021, the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB)
is hoping to now speed up the MICE sector's recovery — starting with the
132 business events secured from 2022 to 2030.
MyCEB CEO Abdul Khani Daud, who gave the keynote address at the
second edition of X-Change Malaysia — Recharging Business Travel, said
that while the destination has lost RM4 billion (US$950 million) over
the last two years, the new events calendar until 2030 is expected to
welcome 170,000 delegates amounting to an estimated RM1.89 billion in
Full support will also be rendered to support industry players towards jumpstarting business events recovery.
“We are providing full Covid-19 insurance coverage including PCR
tests for the first 10,000 international delegates to attend events
during this period. Additionally, we are assisting staff in local
companies to obtain relevant professional qualifications and support
companies to maintain their international memberships by subsidising
their fees,” he added.
On top of that, MyCEB will also bear the full cost for 10 industry
players to attend three overseas trade shows to help pitch for more
events to be held in Malaysia.
MyCEB is also looking to introduce a one-touch mobile app to provide comprehensive information for MICE organisers and planners.
Ultimately, the CEO reiterated that the key to drive the MICE
sector's recovery is collaboration and alliance among industry players,
not just locally but regionally.
Maria Taylor, head of commercial Asia Pacific at Amadeus Hospitality
added that companies need to look at their respective strengths and work
together to look at integrated packages, and this could mean exploring
technology to do so.
Highlighting how the MICE sector should not just be about visitor
numbers and economic impact was Amelia Roziman, CEO of Business Events
Sarawak — which has differentiated itself as one which advocates for the
legacy impact of business events. She added that local home-grown
events could also have the potential to go national, maybe even
international, and encouraged industry players to build on that.
common consensus was also the acceptance that hybrid events are here to
stay in the long run, but exhibitions will still need to go back to
being physical events at some point.
Yet, all these can only happen when international borders open
without the need for quarantine, said Francis Teo, president of the
Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and
Suppliers (MACEOS), who pointed out that domestic MICE can only sustain
30–40% of the industry.
Teo noted that even though quarantine has been shortened, five days
is still a long time especially for business travellers and will always
be an issue.