Penang records RM1 billion in economic impact from business events

Looi Sue-Chern

An aerial view of George Town. Penang hosted 2,511 business events in 2017, resulting in an overall estimated economy impact of RM1 billion. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, February 5, 2018.

BUSINESS events are now a billion ringgit sector in Penang.

The state surpassed RM1 billion in business events or MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) last year.

This was announced by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today when he launched the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau’s (PCEB) Business Events industry review for 2017.

“PCEB and its partners reached the RM1 billion target for Penang’s Business Events in 2017. The overall Estimated Economy Impact (EEI) for the year was RM1.002 billion.

“Penang hosted 2,511 events in total with 267,518 participants. This (amounts to) RM1.373 million in room fees with an accumulation of 457,806 room nights,” he said at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang.

The number is double the 1,251 events hosted in 2016, which generated EEI of RM808 million.

The 2,352 national events held in Penang generated an EEI of RM626.17 million, while the 159 international ones generated RM376.65 million.

The bulk of the international events came from Southeast Asia (48%), namely Singapore; and followed by Asia Pacific (APAC) nations, including China, Hong Kong and India (24%).

But the APAC nations contributed a larger share of the EEI at RM292.8 million, compared to the RM45.6 million from Southeast Asian countries. India alone contributed RM190 million in EEI.

Meanwhile, the biggest contributors to the sector’s economy impact were the 2,011 national corporations that held their business events in Penang.

National corporate events saw a 161% growth last year compared to 2016. Their share of the EEI was RM462.87 million.

PCEB chief Ashwin Gunasekeran also said the bureau supported 94 international and national events in 2017, an increase from 37 events supported in 2016.

The 2017 Review, a result of PCEB’s yearlong data collection from industry players and stakeholders, provides statistics and comparisons of all sectors and markets that contribute to the industry.

The review also gives PCEB’s partners insights into the segments and markets in Penang that are available, and which areas have potential for growth.

PCEB’s industry partner programme has some 80 members made up of convention centres and unique venues, hotels and resorts, professional conference organisers, destination management companies, travel and transportation agencies, event management companies, and tourism product, event and service providers.

The business event industry is become a growing contributor to Penang’s economy, which is driven by the services and manufacturing sectors.

The state is growing the industry, setting eyes on quality and high-spending visitors from the business traveller segment.

Projects in the pipeline, like the Penang Waterfront Convention Centre that is slated to open in 2021 and nine new hotels by 2019, are expected to further boost the business events industry. – February 5, 2018.

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