Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Malaysia wants more Event Market

Increasing its business events market – and particularly the number of incentive visitors – is a prime objective for Tourism Malaysia, which has its biggest booth ever at AIME.

China, Australia, India and the Middle East are key targets for Malaysia, which has 30 suppliers represented at its AIME booth.

Tourism Malaysia’s director, convention division, Zulkefli Haji Sharif said such a large contingent of suppliers – an increase of six on last year’s showing - will be a major benefit.

“We believe that a strong presence of suppliers will be able to get more business out of this market, especially on incentives,” he said.

“Every year, we feel that there is a lot more interest – this year’s scheduled appointments have been almost full for some of the suppliers.”

Malaysia has plenty to talk about. The Sarawak Convention and Exhibition Centre (SCEC) will open in mid-2009. The state-owned centre will be minutes from Kuching’s city centre, easily accessible by road or river, and will have a floor area of 36,500 square metres. It will cater for between 30 and 1600 delegates, with 14 break-out meeting rooms, and will complement the Sarawak Tourism Complex in Kuching, which can host up to 1,000 delegates.

Kuching will also have the new five-star Royal Suites hotel, which will be within walking distance of the centre.

This will add to the already impressive array of convention facilities, including the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and the new Persada Johor International Convention Centre.

Singapore remains the number one MICE market for Malaysia. But with Australia in the top 10, Tourism Malaysia has built on its exposure at AIME by recently conducting its own trade shows in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in order to entice more Australians to explore the opportunities in Malaysia.

“I believe 2008 will be a very challenging year,” said Sharif, who aims to keep their business events arrivals at 10 percent, while Tourism Malaysia’s target for 2008 rises to 22.5 million total visitors. “I hope with all the support from industry players both domestic and international, we can keep our MICE market at 10 percent,” he said.

Sharif said Tourism Malaysia was “going all out” to increase its incentives market, with particular focus on wooing China, Australia, India and the Middle East.

Source : TravelWeekly
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