Malaysia’s Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau launches new incentives and support for the India market

The Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) launched its second sales mission to Mumbai recently as part of the second edition of its Penang Sales Mission to India.

Beginning the mission in Chennai, the Penang delegation hit Ahmedabad, Mumbai and then New Delhi with the objective of promoting Penang as the preferred destination for corporate and association meetings, conferences, and incentives, and leisure travel.

Led by Ashwin Gunasekeran, Chief Executive Officer of PCEB, the mission is supported by a Penang delegation of 12 partners, including Apollo Holidays Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Apollo MICE Sdn Bhd, Asian Overland Services Tours & Travel, Destination Explore Sdn Bhd, Holiday Tours & Travel Sdn Bhd, Hotel Equatorial Penang, Setia Spice Convention Centre, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang Sky Transport & Travel Sdn Bhd, THE TOP Penang, Vouk Hotel Management and PCEB’s strategic airline partner, Malaysia Airlines.

Penang is world-class travel destination, one that is famed for its unique offerings of a modern international island city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lush rainforests, beautiful hill station, shopping galore and fabulous food. Additionally, this Northern Malaysian state is also a rising Business Events destination. Currently, Penang is the top-ranked tier-II destination in Malaysia in the ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association).

“India is one of the top five markets for Business Events in Penang, and over the past year, we have received encouraging interest from event planners and conference organisers,” said Gunasekeran.

In 2017, 13% of business events of Asia Pacific origin was from India, contributing USD 46 million. In 2018, Penang’s largest Business Event – V Con 2018 – which saw a participation of 16,000 delegates from around the world reported that 80% of their delegates were from India.

The number of Indian travellers flying in to Penang has also increased in recent years. The Penang Immigration Department reported that for the period UNESCO World Heritage Site between January to November 2018, 7,250 Indian travellers flew into the Penang International Airport, compared to 6,569 in the same period in 2017. The 10.37% increase came despite there not being direct flights between Penang and India.

To further attract the Indian outbound meetings and conference market, PCEB introduced a new support package specially tailored for India.

Given the encouraging media coverage of the Penang Sales Mission to India last year, PCEB is also announced that it is running the #BusinessEventsPenang Media Award for India 2019. The award – four full expense paid trip inclusive of flights to Penang for five days four nights to attend PCEB’s BE @ Penang 2019 conference and the media familiarisation tour from December 4-8, 2019.

In the past year, PCEB has heavily invested in marketing Penang to India, as the potential for growth from the Indian market is vast. Besides the Penang Sales Mission to India 2018 which saw PCEB leading 17 partners to Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, PCEB also joined the Global Panorama Showcase on its eight-city roadshow in 2018.