Malaysia wants to attract more high yield international business travellers to the country as they spent three times more than leisure tourists, says Zulkefli Hj Sharif, Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB).
In a media briefing here today, Zulkefli said international business tourism visitors spent an average of RM7,418 per trip in Malaysia compared with RM2,257 for leisure visitors.
International business travellers also spent an average of RM1,268 per day compared with RM337 for other travellers.
MyCEB was established by the Ministry of Tourism in 2009 to further strengthen Malaysia's business tourism brand and position for the international meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) market.
Zulkefli said 1,278,014 international business travellers visited Malaysia in 2010, an increase of two per cent from 2009.
They were estimated to have spent RM10.6 billion in 2010 and the economic impact value of their spending was estimated at RM17.6 billion, he said.
Given that the average length of international conventions is 3.9 days, the length of stay for international business tourism visitors including pre- and post-touring is 5.85 days.
An estimated 46 per cent of international delegates extend their stay for pre and post travel providing benefits to regional communities and that an estimated 25 per cent of all international participants have an accompanying partner or spouse with them.
Last year, Malaysia leapt three notches to 28th position in the latest International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) country rankings and the government is pushing for the country to be one of the top five destinations in the world by 2020.
In 2010, MyCEB supported 28 convention bids representing 38,500 delegates and an economic value of RM438 million. It also assisted 124 meetings and conventions, 16 exhibitions and 49 corporate incentive groups, which contributed an estimated economic impact of RM775 million to the country.
Zulkefli said the latest ICCA rankings reflected growth by Malaysia's association meetings business amidst competition from other countries.
Key developments include the expansion of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre by an additional 10,000 sq metres by end-2013, the Penang International Convention and Exhibition Centre by 2014 and the proposed development of the MATRADE Centre (93,000 sq metres) by 2014.
Other new infrastructure to support the growing industry include the upcoming Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the integrated urban mass rapid transit system and the construction of a series of pedestrian walkways throughout the capital city as part of the Greater Kuala Lumpur plan.
Source : Bernama
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