Business events industry leaders in Malaysia have welcomed the government’s decision to reboot the sector, allowing planners to organise meetings, workshops and conventions, capped at 250 people, starting from July 1, 2020.
These business activities can only be carried out in Malaysia’s green zones, and with strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs). Green zones are districts with no active Covid-19 cases; yellow zones have one to 40 cases; while red zones have 41 or more active cases, according to the Ministry of Health Malaysia.
Aside from a capacity cap, the venue also has to be large enough to hold the group with social distancing measures in place. Buffets are also banned, and will be replaced with pre-packed food.
This was announced at a press conference on Wednesday by Malaysia’s senior minister security Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Ismail further encouraged attendees to wear face masks, wash their hands with soap or use hand sanitisers, and reiterated the need to use the MySejahtera contact tracing app.
Business Events Council Malaysia chairman, Alan Pryor, said: â€œThe announcement demonstrates the recognition and importance of the business events industry in contributing to economic recovery and affirms the governmentâ€™s confidence that the sector can operate safely, and provide a controlled, regulated and secure environment for the commencement of events.”
â€œIt has been very heartening to see how the entire industry supply chain has come together and worked in solidarity to proactively engage with the government and to establish their detailed SOPs, which have enabled us to reopen the sector,” added CEO of MyCEB, Abdul Khani Daud.
Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers’ president, Vincent Lim, hailed the move as a “good start”, adding that he hopes that the government will also soon allow for exhibitions to be held.
Anthony Wong, Malaysian Association of Hotel Owner’s secretary, said the reopening “signifies the beginning of the recovery of domestic tourism and the meetings industry, which has been badly affected by the pandemic”.
He added: “Revenue from a business events delegate is, on average, three times more than a leisure tourist. I foresee strong competition among hotels with meeting spaces who will be giving out promotional deals on meeting packages to encourage domestic consumption.”