Penang’s MICE sector reports 31% growth in latest review

PCEB's Ashwin Gunasekeran

Penang’s business events sector achieved an estimated economic impact (EEI) of RM1.3 billion (US$322.7 million) for the year 2018, a 31 per cent increase from 2017, announced Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) in its annual review.

An astounding increase of 285 per cent was recorded in the number of room nights, the most significant growth experienced since the state bureau was established in 2016. This growth has been attributed to an increase in the number of business events delegates, as well as the duration of events held in the Malaysian state.

PCEB’s Ashwin Gunasekeran speaking at the launch of Penang’s Business Events 2018 findings

Among the top contributing segments for business events in Penang in 2018 include international associations (20,601 delegates, EEI of RM129.2 million), international corporates (85,664 delegates, EEI of RM470.2 million) and national corporates (176,778 delegates, EEI of RM528.9 million).

PCEB’s CEOAshwin Gunasekeran said that PCEB would be focusing more on garnering more association meetings, as this segment proved to be the highest contributor to the business events sector.

He said in a statement: “This positive increase of association meetings coming into Penang allows us to look beyond the numbers and focus on the long-term benefits they have for the destination in the form of a legacy, as well as (the creation of) an interconnected network and partnerships, and growth between the association, suppliers and participants.”

Penang’s chief minister Chow Kon Yeow added: “Ensuring the sustainability and continuous growth of the business events sector falls in line with the vision of Penang2030. Two of the key tenets of Penang2030 are creating a variety of high-quality tourism products across Penang Island and Seberang Perai, as well as to foster an ecosystem that nurtures creative industries and niche business services.”

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