KUALA LUMPUR: Food and Hotel Malaysia (FHM 2022) can play a crucial role in helping businesses bounce back from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, says Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
“Over the past few years, Malaysia has emerged as a popular destination for international business and leisure travellers.
“(And) over the years, this event has played an important role in collectively progressing the food and hospitality industry in Malaysia and enabling businesses to discover opportunities that lift them to greater heights.
“Today, business events are increasingly recognised as a catalyst for socio-economic growth with benefits that extend beyond tourism. The impact from hosting international business events stimulates business for hospitality-related companies.
“Based on studies that are supported by international experience, the business event visitor spends three times more than the average tourist and has a large multiplier effect,” she said at the opening ceremony of FHM 2022 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here yesterday.
Nancy said that around 40% of such visitors travel with their spouses, and 60% of them return as tourists later.
Also known as Malaysia’s premier trade-only food and hospitality exhibition, the four-day FHM 2022 being held until April 1 is expected to draw 200 participating brands and companies, along with 8,000 trade buyers.
The trade event was organised by Informa Markets Malaysia and supported by the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency under Nancy’s ministry.
She added that the Covid-19 pandemic has presented opportunities to innovate and reinvent Malaysian products and services.
“It also leapfrogs many business sectors such as digital, Internet of Things, medical and pharmaceutical.
“In this modern era, we must innovate to stay ahead, we must enhance our services to keep customers satisfied, and we must also adopt healthier and sustainable practices to be responsible corporate citizens.
“I implore all of you to adopt a cooperative approach in working together to discover ideas, technologies and solutions that can help advance and promote the Malaysian food and hospitality industry.
“By sharing knowledge and expertise with each other, whether through seminars, demonstrations or business discussions, we can advance our national food and hospitality industry as a whole, and enhance Malaysia’s standing in the eyes of the world,” she added before launching the UFI Asia-Pacific Week 2022 – Jom Makan and Food Donation drive at the same venue.
Nancy said the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry is committed to sustainable development with the aim of reaching out to communities beyond meetings and events.
“The donation cause is an example of how the bureau can give back to the community,” she added.
Informa Markets Malaysia co-chairman General (Rtd) Tan Sri Mohd Azumi Mohamed said: “As our economy continues towards its recovery, making the right investments and business deals at FHM can help to place your business on the right track and trajectory for success in the post-pandemic new normal.”
Informa Markets Asia president and CEO Margaret Ma Connolly said: “We are committed to organising industry-leading B2B (business-to-business) events that bring together key industry stakeholders, technology innovators and solution providers around the world to discover mutually beneficial business opportunities.”
Malaysian Association of Hotels president Datuk N. Subramaniam said: “Over the years, FHM has provided the platform for industry professionals to experience, compare and source for suitable supplies, and at the same time, meet and network with peers, creating opportunities to share knowledge, best practices and industry updates from within and out of the Asean region.”