The Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) has launched a specialist unit known as the International Events Unit (IEU) which focuses primarily on identifying and supporting international event bids including sports, art and culture and lifestyle events.
The IEU was assigned to MyCEB by the Ministry of Tourism in the last quarter of 2010 to oversee the implementation of the IEU and to further develop the international events industry.
According to Mr Zulkefli Hj Sharif, Chief Executive Officer, MyCEB, “The launch of the IEU is in line with the Prime Minister’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), which has earmarked business tourism and international events as key segments which can contribute to the nation’s economic growth through the attraction of international visitors, with the best possible economic returns suited to Malaysia’s interest.”
The ETP’s main objective is to achieve a high income and a developed nation status for Malaysia by year 2020. As part of the tourism sector, the International Events segment is expected to contribute EUR101 million (RM427 million, USD142 million, AUD134 million) in Incremental Gross National Income (GNI) and provide 8,036 job opportunities to Malaysia by year 2020.
“Besides identifying and supporting bids for international events with high economic value to Malaysia, the IEU is also responsible to evaluate and assist homegrown and hosted events to maximise the potential for international publicity and attracting international attendances. This includes identifying and supporting ‘cluster’ events designed to strengthen the international appeal of existing major events,” explained Mr Zulkefli.
A specific set of criteria has been set up to evaluate the direct and indirect economic value and the level of support which will be based on an assessment of the overall economic value of the proposed event. The criteria includes number of international participants, length of stay, publicity value plus other qualitative factors including opportunities to package and promote extended stays and to create benefits for the local community.
Mr Zulkefli added, “The IEU will collaborate with various private and government entities including the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Youth and Sports and Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage to attract and develop international events in Malaysia. The commitment from the Malaysian Government for the business tourism industry has significantly improved our position in a highly competitive market. The opening of the IEU is a positive step towards achieving another key milestone for the country.”
Prior to the launch of the IEU, MyCEB has paved the way by gathering market intelligence to effectively strategise for event bids. This will be further strengthened with the IEU especially in assisting local event organisers to bid for and secure major events for Malaysia.