Penang kicks off three-year business events recovery

The state is Malaysia’s first to set up a task force dedicated to mitigating the socio-economic impact of COVID-19, with a business events guidebook to follow later this month

When international flights resume, target markets include Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
When international flights resume, target markets include Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. Photo Credit: Hon. Yeoh Soon Hin

Penang – As Malaysia’s first state to boast a task force dedicated to mitigating the socio-economic impacts of Covid-19, Penang is putting recovery of the tourism and meetings industry at the forefront as it emerges from the pandemic lockdown.

Led by Hon. Yeoh Soon Hin, Penang State EXCO for Tourism Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage, the Penang Tourism Economy Recovery Advisory Board (PETERAB) will propose economic considerations and financial recommendations to restore Penang’s status as a tourism powerhouse.

A comprehensive business events guidebook is currently under review by the Penang State Health Department, and is scheduled to be launched in late July.

Malaysia recently allowed domestic business events of up to 250 people to resume, a move warmly welcomed by industry partners in Penang, who have rolled out various ‘Welcome back’ hotel room offers and #MeetInPenang bundles to entice meeting planners.

“We are taking a multi-pronged approach to business events in the ‘next normal’. The State Government is working together with its marketing arm the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau, [to table] a three-year rejuvenation business plan,” said Hon. Yeoh Soon Hin, who also oversees such entities as Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) and Penang Global Tourism.

Penang’s Three-Year Business Events Rejuvenation Plan
At the moment, all major convention and meetings facilities are open for bookings at a 50 per cent reduced capacity to adhere to physical distancing requirements, with all local and national business events in line with Malaysia’s post-Movement Control Order regulations.

Once the business events industry guidelines are launched, they will serve as the standard for all business events held in Penang. Apart from facilitating for more hybrid events, there’ll also be “upskilling and training for industry players in business needs [for the] new normal,” said Hon. Yeoh.

Incentive programmes, including an enhanced Privilege Penang support scheme, will also be provided to event planners of domestic and international events of 20 people or more.

“All marketing activities for regional and international business will [support] the message of #PenangHereforTomorrow in preparation of border reopening and to attract new business in the next three years and beyond,” said Hon. Yeoh.