A new support programme replacing Malaysia Twin Deal XP â€“ which ran from January 1, 2017 to end-2018 â€“ will be announced in April.
The Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) shared with TTGmice that the new programme would be launched during the NTOâ€™s annual roadshow in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Shenzhen, taking place April 15-22.
As with past MyCEB support programmes, the latest version aims to attract more international corporate meetings and incentive groups to Malaysia, while providing a boost to the nationâ€™s agenda of attracting 28.1 million tourists to the country in 2019.
While details of the value-added support have yet to be revealed, travel trade players commented that â€śsponsorshipâ€ť was necessary to compete for a key market like China.
Mint Leong, managing director, Sunflower Holidays, said: â€śI hope MyCEB continues to provide partial sponsorship for the gala dinner F&B. Cash support for procuring space for meetings and dinners can also help lower the overall cost, and would give Malaysia an edge when competing at the bid stage.â€ť
She commended the Malaysia Twin Deal XP programme, which provided special cumulative rewards for international corporate meeting and incentive planners who met the criteria of bringing in at least 500 international participants.
Leong added: â€śI believe there are plenty of new opportunities to tap corporate meetings and incentive groups from Chinaâ€™s second-tier cities. Group sizes may not be as big as Beijing and Shanghai, but the smaller groups present an opportunity to promote the smaller cities in Malaysia.â€ť
Oh Kin Tat, project director, KT Conference & Events, hoped MyCEBâ€™s new support programme would be extended to reduce the cost of bringing in renowned international speakers to help attract more delegates.
â€śI hope there will also be a budget set aside to support the cost for simultaneous translation,â€ť he said.
On new China opportunities, he said business events related to the agriculture sector was something for Malaysia to further tap into.
Francis Teo, head, convention centre at Setia City Convention Centre, suggested MyCEB include invitations to corporate end-users during the roadshows.
He said: â€śIf we can meet up with end-users directly, we have a better chance of convincing them to hold their events in Malaysia.â€ť