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Tuesday, 14 August, 2018, 18 : 00 PM [IST]

Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau to organise mega FAM for Indian agents in September

To continue with annual India roadshow early next year to build momentum to marketing activities
Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau (PCEB), the agency entrusted with the marketing and promotions of Malaysian island of Penang, will be hosting a mega destination familiarisation trip for Indian agents next month to make them understand the potential of Penang as a MICE destination and help them package it in many different ways to Indian groups. Organised with the support of Global Panorama Showcase (GPS), around 150 travel agents are expected to participate in the familiarisation tour scheduled between September 4 and 8. One day will be dedicated to B2B meetings with prominent suppliers of Penang, said Ashwin Gunasekeran, CEO, PCEB.

Talking about India market activities of the Bureau, Gunasekeran said that the first ever four-city India roadshow in January was a huge success. Over 1,000 agents attended the roadshows held in Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Penang has started receiving more Indian MICE groups ever since the roadshows, he said.  "India was not in our top 10 source market list earlier. Now, it is in the top 10 list,” he said. Considering the growing interest, PCEB has decided to continue the exercise of annual roadshow in the coming year as well.  In the 2019 roadshow, the Bureau has decided to include two new cities i.e. Chennai and Ahmedabad, instead of Bengaluru and Kolkata.

Talking about accessibility and other issues, Gunasekeran said that while MICE infrastructure and connectivity are quite important and critical for any MICE destination, feel of the destination is equally or more important in the present world. “We are a UNESCO World Heritage city. That is a value proposition for any activity and uplifts the value of the conference/exhibition, etc.,” he said. Penang can also be promoted as a “dual destination” with other island destinations like Langkawi, Phuket, Singapore, etc., he added. “Penang is well connected with Singapore with 98 flights weekly.  The island is also connected with Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Doha, etc. This makes packaging quite easy,” he informed.

When asked about the cost competitiveness and other support infrastructure available for MICE groups, the CEO said that they have a dedicated team – Team Penang – within the bureau which handholds event organisers in support programmes of negotiating best rates with airlines, venues, hotels etc.  Although the Bureau doesn’t provide financial incentives, they do offer many facilities to “cushion off” the cost, he added.

 
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