Business events industry to produce more than RM3.9bil in GNI

A crowd is building outside the Star Education Fair 2017 as they wait to enter the halls at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on June 10 2017. SAMUEL ONG / THE STAR, 10TH JUNE 2017..

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s business events industry is expected to generate more than RM3.9bil in gross national income and bring in 2.9 million visitors by 2020, said Tourism and Culture Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.

He said the industry would also offer 16,720 jobs and last year alone, 5.1% of tourist arrivals came from business event visitors.

“Business events are a catalyst for socio-economic growth. The impact from hosting international business events not only stretches beyond direct spending and job creation, but also amplifies the benefits beyond tourism.

“The legacy impact will help power Malaysia’s continued development as a knowledge and creative society,” said Mohamed Nazri in his opening speech at the Malaysia Business Events Week 2017 in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

Also present were Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) chief executive officer Datuk Zulkefli Sharif and Economic Planning Unit deputy director general (human capital) Johan Mahmood Merican.

Mohamed Nazri said the industry was also linked to all National Key Economic Areas in high-growth sectors, including health, finance, investment and education.

“Within a one-year span and up to August 2017, we had secured an impressive 73 events, about 60,665 delegates and RM555.53mil in estimated economic impact,” he added.

He said topping the list was the medical and pharmaceutical sectors with 22 events, 20,900 delegates and RM166.45mil in estimated economic impact.

“This was followed by the education sector with nine events, 12,850 delegates and RM146.77mil in estimated economic impact, as well as the science and technology sector with 12 events, 5,663 delegates and RM57.1mil in estimated economic impact.

“These efforts have stimulated the industry to diversify its offerings and capitalise on numerous opportunities, where we look forward to having all ministries in Malaysia to be working in strategic collaboration with MyCEB, to build on Malaysia’s prominence as one of the region’s leading business events destination,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Nazri said the ministry had no intention to make it illegal for homeowners to rent out homes to tourists.

There is nothing wrong in doing so for extra income as hotels might not be available in all places, especially in rural areas, he said, citing Kota Marudu in Sabah as an example.

“There are not many hotels there and it’s a tourist destination. So many residents rent out their homes to tourists,” he said.

On another note, the minister said the tourism tax collection would, among others, be used by the ministry for tourism-related promotional activities and infrastructure development. - Bernama
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