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Mice Net : June 2009
asia update malaysia calling story By Brad Foster Despite the challenging business environment Malaysia is holding its own in the meetings segment. of how he and others working in the business events segment in Malaysia view the current economic environment. In 2008 the KLCC had a 100 per cent growth in the number of events it hosted. It was the result of the hard work undertaken since 2003 when the team applied a long-term strategy to attract association meetings and international exhibitions. “From the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s point of view, the impact on the industry in Malaysia is not as severe as other parts of the world as our domestic market is relatively strong with a thriving industry such as Islamic banking,” Mr Brokenshire said. “Finance industry players have commented that Islamic banking is safe from the effects of the global financial crisis as it is prohibited from buying debts under Syariah law and Islamic banks also do not rely on bonds or stocks, and are not involved in the buying and selling of debt, which has helped to cushion some effects of the global financial crisis. “The government has also introduced a stimulus package of RM 200 million (AUD 74.1 million) to ease the impact for tourism industry players. Of this, RM 12 million (AUD 4.44 million) has been allocated to the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) to support the business tourism industry.” Mr Brokenshire says the KLCC has not seen any cancellations to date, and do not anticipate any in the future. “While we have not had, nor do we foresee, any cancellations, there may be a reduction in delegate attendance for events. In the exhibition segment, there will possibly be a reduction in the size of the exhibition space.” The KLCC is continuing to be proactive in the face of the global I 114 mice.net n the office of Peter Brokenshire, general manager of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), is a plaque which reads “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”. It is a timely demonstration economic crisis, turning to its staff to come up with innovative ideas to ride out the storm without compromising on quality and service. TenonCall is an example of this. TenOnCall was conceptualised based on the need in the market for a meeting space for just-in-time bookings. With TenOnCall, the centre does not only deliver major events but is also well placed to cater to smaller groups of between two and 150 guests. Given the versatility of this meeting space, a client can literally walk in to TenOnCall, select their pre-set room configuration and execute a same-day meeting. Unified approach The establishment of the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), a division of Tourism Malaysia is a good thing for the country, particularly during the current tough times. A MyCEB spokesperson said part of the group’s strategy is to encourage local association bodies to bid for international meetings. “There are approximately 2000 associations in Malaysia, and we are actively pursuing them to bid for meetings,” they said. MyCEB will also assist in the international marketing and promotion of Malaysia, working in conjunction with Tourism Malaysia to ensure that Malaysia remains “top of mind”. “We have the full support of Government because they understand that the MICE business is high yield business.” MyCEB and others are quick to point out that Malaysia continues to offer exceptional value for money. For example, a five-star hotel room in the centre of Kuala Lumpur is approximately USD 140 per night, making it about 40 per cent cheaper than those in neighbouring capital cities. “The World Economic Forum ranked Malaysia as the fourth most price competitive country in the world for travel and tourism in 2009, offering excellent price competitiveness,” Mr Brokenshire adds.