The Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) launched its annual roadshow to India in Mumbai as part of the Penang Roadshow to India 2020. The objective is promoting Penang as the preferred destination for corporate and association meetings, conferences, and incentives, and leisure travel. Capitalising on Penang’s rising popularity in India, the Penang Roadshow to India will host, in each of the four cities, a B2B engagement session with participating Business Events and leisure travel buyers from India.
Led by Hon. Yeoh Soon Hin, Penang State Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture and Heritage, and Ashwin Gunasekeran, Chief Executive Officer of PCEB, the roadshow is supported by a Penang delegation of 14 partners, including hotels, destination management companies, attractions, professional conference organisers and event experts. Also accompanying the Penang delegation is Hon. Satees Muniandy, Penang State Assemblyman for Bagan Dalam. Also joining the roadshow is PCEB’s strategic airline partner, Malaysia Airlines.
PCEB is also launching the Penang Specialist Programme designed for the Indian market. The Programme will equip select outbound travel, MICE, wedding and filming agencies with first-hand knowledge of Penang through a full day workshop conducted in each city concurrently with the B2B engagement session. Among the incentives that the Penang Specialists can qualify for are special incentive for group sales of 100 pax and above, famil opportunities to Penang, opportunities to attend PCEB’s training and networking programme in Penang and India, and much more. The certification of the Penang Specialist Programme is valid for three years upon which qualifying members will be invited for recertification. The workshop is conducted by Ms. Katharine Chua, the Managing Director of Penang’s Tropical Spice Garden.
“The number of Indian travellers to Penang has also increased in recent years. The Penang Immigration Department reported that for the period between Jan to Dec 2019, 61,847 Indian travellers visited via the Penang International Airport and Penang Swettenham Port (cruise liners) compared to 43,537 in the same period in 2018. This is a 42% increase, making it one of the healthiest growths we have experienced,” said Mr Ashwin Gunasekeran, Chief Executive Officer of PCEB. “India is one of the top five markets for Business Events in Penang, and over the past years, we have received encouraging interest from event planners and conference organisers. In 2019, 4% of Business Events of Asia Pacific origin was from India, contributing RM268.6 million (USD 65.89 million in estimated economic impact,” he added.
To further attract the Indian outbound meetings and conference market, PCEB introduced a new support package specially tailored for India. The support packages start from as low as sponsorship of souvenirs and welcome luncheon for the organisers valued at RM3,500 (for confirmed meetings/conferences of 50 to 100 delegates) to hosted site inspections, welcome luncheon for organisers, cultural performances and souvenirs valued at RM10,000 (for incentive groups of 501 delegates and above.) Beginning the roadshow in Mumbai on 13th Jan, the Penang delegation continued on to New Delhi on 15 Jan, Chennai on 17 Jan and Kochi on 20 Jan.