THE Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) in their efforts to promote Penang as a preferred business events destination.
The agreement will create an ally for the state agency to benefit from MAB’s global network and connectivity, giving the state a competitive edge in attracting new businesses and securing bids for business events.
PCEB chief executive officer Ashwin Gunasekeran said that with MAB as a strategic partner, Penang would be able to provide value-added services to business event organisers in terms of special rates for flights.
“For the business events industry, travelling is inevitable to gain new knowledge through various trade shows, exhibitions and conventions around the world.
“With MAB as our partner, we look forward to developing new businesses in our key markets, namely India, China, Europe and Australia.
“If and when more direct flights into Penang are introduced, destination management companies, hotels, and other private sectors will share great satisfaction as we foresee an increase in events in the state.
“We are in talks with MAB to have charter flights for selected events, which will help Penang when we go in to bid for events to be held in the state,” he said.
Ashwin was speaking after signing the agreement with Malaysia Airlines head of sales Yeoh Hock Thye, witnessed by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, at Hotel Jen Penang recently.
Ashwin said the agreement would not only benefit PCEB but all its meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) partners as well.
Yeoh said MAB was delighted to be a major partner in promoting Penang as a MICE preferred destination.
“We have an extensive global network and it aligns well with this partnership.
“We intend to drive the traffic from all the major clients that we have towards Malaysia, with Penang being the MICE destination,” he said.
Lim commended the partnership, saying he was certain it would open more doors for Penang.