Malaysia gained an even greater reputation as a meeting destination in the latest ICCA, International Congress and Convention Association country rankings. The number of meetings hosted grew 24 %, from 96 meetings in 2009 to 119 meetings in 2010. Malaysia has also retained its position as one of the top 10 meeting destination in Asia Pacific.
Malaysia’s ranking was assisted by an additional international meetings held in Kuala Lumpur, increasing from 72 in 2009 to 79 in 2010. The largest meeting held during 2010 was the 18th World Congress of Accountants which attracted a record attendance of over 6,000 delegates.
Mr Zulkefli Hj Sharif, Chief Executive Officer, of the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) said, “The latest ICCA rankings reflect a growth in Malaysia’s association meetings business amidst a competitive and challenging market.
He said that Malaysia’s promising increase in number of meetings and improved in rankings to date is a clear proof of the growing strength of the collaboration and commitment between the Ministry of Tourism, MyCEB and the various industry partners to bid for, secure and deliver successful international meetings for the countr.
The economic impact during 2010 of 1.3 million international business event visitors to Malaysia meant that the industry contributed about EUR4 billion (USD6 billion). It is expectecd that within the next five years, the business tourism industry will be further supported by new facilities which offer international and regional meeting planners more options to host their meetings and events in Malaysia.
Key developments in the pipeline include expanding the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre by an additional 10,000 sqm by end of 2013 and an upgrade of the the Penang International Convention and Exhibition Center by 2014 and proposed development of the MATRADE Centre (93,000 sqm) by 2014.
To support the growing industry, new infrastructure includes the upcoming Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA2), an integrated urban mass rapid transit system and the construction of a series of pedestrian walkways throughout the capital city as part of the Greater Kuala Lumpur plan.