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Initiatives to Promote Tourism & Trade from Indian Market by Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau

To promote Tourism & Trade from the Indian market to Penang (Malaysia) and promote Penang as a preferred destination for corporate and association activities and holiday travel, the Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) of Malaysia organised road shows in four cities of India.  Led by a 15-member delegation from Penang, as a part of their campaign in Delhi, Hon’ble Mr Yeo Soon Hin (Minister of State for Penang Tourism, Arts, Culture and Heritage), Mr Ashwin Gunasekaran (Chief Executive Officer of PCEB) and Mr Satees Muniandy (Penang State Assemblyman for Bagan Dalam) addressed the gathering and shared the details about their plans.

The Penang Roadshow to India was hosted in four cities, and also a B2B engagement session with participating Business Events and leisure travel buyers from India as well as a media session with the local Indian and Business Events media was organised. The roadshow was supported by a Penang delegation of 14 partners, including hotels, destination management companies, attractions, professional conference organisers and event experts. Also, TIN Media as the official media partner, Malaysia’s homegrown B2B Travel Industry Media, and PCEB’s strategic airline partner, Malaysia Airlines joined the roadshow.

To attract Indian tourists, the Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau also launched the Penang Specialist Programme designed for the Indian market. The Programme equipped select outbound travel, MICE, wedding and filming agencies with first-hand knowledge of Penang through a full-day workshop conducted in each city concurrently with the B2B engagement session. Among the incentives that the Penang Specialists can qualify for are special incentives for group sales of 100 pax and above, family opportunities to Penang, opportunities to attend PCEB’s training and networking programme in Penang and India, and much more. The certification of the Penang Specialist Programme will be valid for three years upon which qualifying members will be invited for recertification. The workshop was conducted by Ms Katharine Chua, the Managing Director of Penang’s Tropical Spice Garden.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ashwin Gunasekaran (CEO, PCEB) said, “The number of Indian travellers to Penang has also increased in recent years. The Penang Immigration Department reported that for the period between Jan to Dec 2019, 61,847 Indian travellers visited via the Penang International Airport and Penang Swettenham Port (cruise liners) compared to 43,537 in the same period in 2018. This is a 42% increase, making it one of the healthiest growths we have experienced.”

India is one of the top five markets for Business Events in Penang, and over the past years, we have received encouraging interest from event planners and conference organisers. In 2019, 4% of Business Events of Asia Pacific origin was from India, contributing RM268.6million (USD 65.89 million in estimated economic impact,” he added.

To further attract the Indian outbound meetings and conference market, PCEB introduced a new support package specially tailored for India. The support packages start from as low as sponsorship of souvenirs and welcome luncheon for the organisers valued at RM3,500 (for confirmed meetings/conferences of 50 to 100 delegates) to hosted site inspections, welcome luncheon for organisers, cultural performances and souvenirs valued at RM10,000 (for incentive groups of 501 delegates and above.)

Penang is a world-class travel destination, a modern international island city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its unique offerings of lush green rainforests, beautiful hill stations, spectacular shopping and scrumptious food. Additionally, this northern Malaysian state is one of the top travel destinations in the world.

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