Despite the halt on international travel and limitations for business events, Penang recorded a total of 156 events with 19,283 participants and 48,963 room nights in 2020.
This was announced by the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) through a small launching ceremony held at The Wembley, followed by a ‘buka puasa’ or Iftar dinner served to the guests by the hotel personnel.
Being their first official event of the year, launching the 2020 Business Events Penang Annual Review together with PCEB CEO Ashwin Gunasekeran were The Rt. Hon. Chow Kon Yeow (Chief Minister of Penang) and The Hon. Yeoh Soon Hin (Penang State Exco for Tourism and Creative Economy).
Also present were The Hon. Satees Muniandy (Penang State Legislative Assemblyman for Bagan Dalam), Mr Jonathan Freddy P. Bagang (Director of Ministry of Tourism & Culture Malaysia (MOTAC)), Mr Raj Kumar (Chairman of the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Penang Chapter) and Mr Khoo Boo Lim (Vice President of MAH National Board).
The launch also included a short video thanking the industry. The video was compiled by PCEB showcasing the activities and initiatives done by the Penang State Government and the Business Events Penang players throughout the year 2020 in combating the effects of the pandemic and rejuvenate the tourism and business events industries which were both hit the worse.
“We have to keep in mind that the business events industry is built on the principle of collaboration and now more than ever, we have to cleverly harness its power, exhausting every potential avenue so that we can find opportunities for business together,” said Ashwin Gunasekeran, CEO of PCEB.
“With such structural change taking place, I am confident that the business events industry will continue to play an important role in Penang’s economic growth, and our resilience will continue to become an empowering force for the state in the pursuit of the Penang2030 vision,” commended The Rt. Honourable Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang in his opening speech.
“Events that take place can potentially leave legacies to enhance our destination, and this can be done as Penang’s brand is constantly made present through the efforts of PCEB and Business Events Penang,” he continued.
“Penang is able to continue staying relevant as a choice business events destination and establishing stronger bonds with other partners. PCEB has continued to maintain our connections with potential partners and stakeholders not only within Penang, but has also expanded our existing network and forged other regional and international ties through the use of various virtual portals in this Next Normal.”, said The Hon. Yeoh Soon Hin, PCEB Chairman and Penang State Exco for Tourism & Creative Economy.