The Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) will embark on a promotion drive at 18 international events next year to tap the lucrative meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition (MICE) market.
Among the major events lined up are the 18th Asia Pacific Incentive and Meetings Expo in Melbourne and similar Mice conferences in Germany, China, United States and Spain.
Iskandar Mirza Mohd Yusof, Tourism Malaysia's Thailand Director, said getting MICE events into Malaysia was important as delegates attending such meetings tended to spend more than tourists.
In 2007, conference delegates spent RM3.17 billion, or 6.9 per cent of the total tourism expenditure which amounted to RM46.1 billion, he said on the sidelines of the Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings Asia here Tuesday.
He said more than one million delegates attended 4,221 international conventions and exhibitions in Malaysia in 2007, with Singaporeans, Japanese, Thais, Chinese and Americans being the biggest groups of visitors.
MyCeb executive Shazalina Ghazali said Malaysia's booth at the ITCMA here comprised 23 companies, including hoteliers, convention centres, travel agencies specialising in Mice and state governments.
According to her, Malaysia was well positioned to tap the Mice market as it was a cost-effective destination for international organisers, wi th world-class facilities and various incentives offered by the government.
She said MyCeb, a one-stop centre established at the end of 2008 to promote Malaysia as a Mice destination, was working closely with industry players to bid and host such events, especially long-haul from Europe.
Iskandar said Malaysia had the experience in organising major events, citing the XVIII FIGO World Congress of Gynaecology and Obstetrics in 2006, which attracted more than 8,000 delegates.
"We are still new in the industry, compared with Thailand and Singapore, while others like Macau and South Korea are also aggressively promoting their destinations," said Iskandar.
Next year, Malaysia will host the World Congress of Accountants where 5,000 participants are expected to attend, followed by the Auditors Conference and GAS Conference in 2011.
Source : Bernama
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