KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 (Bernama) -- More business events held in Malaysia means more business travellers to the country, says Tourism, Arts and Culture Deputy Minister, Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik.
He said events like Malaysia Business Events Week (MBEW) 2019 organised by the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) was in line with the ministry's aspiration of achieving 30 million tourist arrivals in 2020.
He said business travellers and international delegates coming here for seminars and conferences tended to stay longer as well, as they had more spending power compared with ordinary travellers.
The term 'bleisure' (a portmanteau of business and leisure) is used to describe this new type of business travel, as the travellers tend to continue with their stay after the events.
"They spend more time to experience the cities of Malaysia, they have more spending power on our local products...they are normally high-end tourists," he said in an exclusive interview with Bernama after officiating at the event, here, today. Also present was MyCEB chief executive officer, Datuk Zulkefli Sharif.
Muhammad Bakhtiar said Malaysia had the ability to become a business events destination with advantages like having world-class facilities and services, a variety of accommodation, unique locations and a solid track record of hosting numerous significant business events.
MBEW is held annually and it is a strategic platform built for industry stakeholders to converge, communicate and debate on issues that impact the future growth and sustainability of the business events industry.
Meanwhile, Zulkefli said since MyCEB's inception until 2018, it had successfully secured more than 1,100 international events, generating some RM 8.5 billion in estimated economic impact to Malaysia.
"Last year alone, MyCEB and our industry partners managed to secure 152 future events comprising international conferences, incentive group programmes and trade exhibitions that will translate into an estimated economic impact of RM1.58 billion and the arrival of 102,211 international delegates.
“It is a business to be taken seriously as its contribution to the country is significant and it complements the knowledge and creative economy,” he said.