With studies showing that the business travellers generally spend on average of three times more than what an international tourist will, and will also stay longer than the average tourist, it is little wonder that most governments want a piece of this action. According to The Economic Significance of Meetings to the US Economy, only 43% of this direct spending went to travel and tourism commodities such as food & beverage and air transportation. The remainder, 57%, went to meeting commodities such as venue rental, meeting planning and production.
This is where Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) plays its role as the central agency to assist event planners in organising business events (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) activities in Malaysia, which can further create a B2B platform for our business community. The formation of MyCEB demonstrates the government’s commitment to strengthen Malaysia’s profile as the preferred destination for business events in the region.
Having a stable government is extremely beneficial to the business events industry, which directly contributes to the nation’s economy. Being a thriving industry, the impacts of the business events industry are miscellaneous and multifaceted.
“Even though business was down as compared to year 2019 due to the global economic downturn which resulted in reduced demand, companies do realise that corporate events, product launches and media launches must continue in order to gain a stronger presence in their respective fields when the economy recovers. We believe this situation will not prolong. Overall, the business events sector is lucrative and growing, as our country develops. What we need currently is a strong funding by the Government in order for us to bring in more international events to our shore that contributes to the overall economic impact of our country,” said Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani, CEO of MyCEB.
A conference or exhibition that is international in nature involves hotels, airplanes, buses, travel and tour operators, production houses, venues, catering, entertainment, booth suppliers and designers and the lists goes on. This is how business events create a snowball effect to the economy and industry related to it. In this industry, the players compete but collaborate in different projects. In business events, an entity cannot do it alone and needs a lot of partners and stakeholders in order to make a business event a success.
Malaysia has long been a player in the business events industry. For instance, MyCEB managed to support more than 2,651 business events for the last decade, which brings around 1.3 million international delegates and contributed around RM16.7 billion in economic impact. In the year 2019 before the pandemic outbreak, MyCEB have hosted 330 business events activities all over the country at 34 different purpose-built venues for convention and exhibition.
The development of business events industry stimulates the rational use of cultural and natural-recreational resources and enables a balanced growth of the whole business events and tourism sector. For Malaysia, the business events sector is especially important as a driver of national gross domestic product (GDP). By 2030, business events are expected to attract 5.9 million delegates, contributing to RM42.12 billion in estimated economic impact whilst creating an estimated 25,833 total employment.
During the pandemic, MyCEB with the support of the industry players has launched the Malaysia Business Events Strategic Marketing Plan (SMP) 2021 – 2030, which is in line with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture’s National Tourism Policy 2020-2030. This plan aspires to deliver transformative outcome and need a strong short term action plan for Malaysia to recover swiftly.
“I look forward to working with our Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture to strengthen this relationship as we continue to address ongoing business concerns, including economic development. I also look forward to collaborating with the Ministry to bolster our important economic relationship as we negotiate a comprehensive, ambitious, and inclusive partnership. Together, we will remain focused on creating jobs opportunities for businesses, while driving economic growth that benefits everyone,” he added.