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Malaysia eyes bigger MICE market Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 April 2010 18:19
MALAYSIA is set to move swiftly to capture a greater share of the international Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) market, says Deputy Minister of Tourism Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit.

"We have established the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCeb) last year to intensify the promotion of MICE.

"In fact, achieving growth in MICE sector is our next most important objective besides increasing tourist arrivals and spending," he said.

"A stronger and vibrant MICE sector will allow us to reach our full potentila in years to come and see better yields. Therefore, we are working with planners and industry professionals such as the Sarawak Convention Bureau to develop the sector," he said in his speech at the opening of the five-day Pacific Travel Association annual meeting beginning today, at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching.

The event was officially opened by Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Dawos said other than MICE, other segments that have attracted many visitors to Malaysia include the Homestay Programme, the Malaysia My Second Home programme, medical and wellness tourism, and ecotourism, besides various creative events and festivals which highlight Malaysia as a colourful, vibrant and lively country, with various festivities and celebrations throughout the year.

Touching on PATA, the deputy minister said being a Sarawakian himself, he was delighted and proud that PATA had chosen Kuching to hold its annual meeting this year.

He said the event has brought together the creme de la creme and major players of the tourism industry to discuss issues impacting the industry.

At the same time, it would also serve as a great platform for networking and fostering new business opportunities and alliances.

On another note, he said that despite being a challenging year for many countries and even with four per cent decline in international tourist arrivals worldwide as forecast by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Malaysia had shown its resilience in facing such odds by recording a 7.2 per cent increase in tourist arrivals over 2008 with 23.6 million tourists.

This has made it one of the few countries in the world to record a growth in tourist arrivals.

"Its resilience is largely attributed to the active participation of both the public and private sector in undertaking vigorous promotion and marketing, diversifying target markets, as well as improving competitiveness of tourism products and services to sustain interests among visitors to Malaysia," he added. -- BERNAMA

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