MOTAC: Outlook for trade and business events remains positive

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GEORGE TOWN (Sept 10): The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) said the outlook for the trade and business events industry in Malaysia is positive.

Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said based on a Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) report, 70 events have been postponed with only 20 events cancelled.

"From January until August this year, MyCEB in collaboration with local associations successfully managed to bid for and secure 20 international conferences from 2020 until 2024 with an estimated targeted number of 14,000 delegates.

“This will bring an estimated economic impact of RM173 million to the country," she told reporters after officiating The World Hospitality, Lifestyle, and Entertainment Exhibition (WHOLE) 2020 here today.

She added that from 2010 to 2019, MyCEB secured and supported 3,863 business events, generating RM26.9 billion in estimated economic impact, with almost 2.1 million business delegates to the country.

However, Nancy said the trade and business events industry is highly dependent on international arrivals.

She said the Government has to be cautious over opening the international borders in the best interest of the country to curb the spread of COVID-19.

"Hence, together we are working full force on ways to help local industry players to get ready to bounce back when the time comes," she said.

She said MOTAC's substantial focus is on reviving and reforming domestic tourism to boost the local economy, by initiating a transformation agenda through digitalisation.

"This is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 to drive innovation and competitiveness towards sustainable and inclusive development," she said.

Meanwhile, she expressed her belief that the domestic tourism industry is slowly recovering since the spread of COVID-19 early this year.

She said based on occupancy reports from the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), the overall occupancy of the country is approximately 38 percent with high occupancy recorded at beach and island destinations while cities are still at 20 percent.

"As such, I believe our domestic tourism industry will slowly recover when we have strong support from everyone in this country," she said.