Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau forays into India market
Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) hosted its first travel trade road show in four primary cities – Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru respectively. Seeing India’s importance as a source market, the Penang delegation included 17 partners, consisting the state bureau for leisure travel – Penang Global Tourism, hotels, destination management companies, event experts and PCEB’s official airline partner, Malaysia Airlines.
Ashwin Gubasekeran, chief executive officer, PCEB, said, “Penang is an ideal destination when it comes to beaches, hills, heritage, shopping and food. It’s also an island city UNESCO heritage site that provides as a great location to host conventions in our Setia Spice Convention centre as opposed to those that aren’t around heritage sites.”
He stated that along with promoting it as a MICE centre, they are also looking forward to promoting Penang as a leisure centre. Talking about India as a crucial tourism market, he stated, “Malaysia has always been a favourite with the Indian travel trade. India infact is the sixth highest generator of tourists to India. For 2017 itself, the tourists arrival for Penang was 25,000. We believe we have a lot to offer to the India market from honeymoons to destination weddings to even providing the location for shooting Bollywood films.”
In 2016, Penang recorded 1,251 events with an estimated economic impact of US$ 200 million. From January to September 2017, the destination hosted 1,731 events with an estimated economic impact of US$ 230 million. This translates to a 27 per cent increase in the number of events and seven per cent increase for the estimated economic impact.
Along with its 360-degree canopy with a theme park and water park having a one-km-long waterslide, the longest in the world, PCEB is expanding its doors to even families in the India market. By 2019, nine more hotels will be built and by 2021, another convention centre will be built further increasing investor opportunities and customising tourist’s experiences.