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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Plan to make Penang choice MICE destination

The new state government wants to make Penang a destination of choice for meetings and exhibitions to boost revenue from the tourism industry.

It plans to improve road and air connectivity to and from Penang, in addition to the transport infrastructure within the state, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng yesterday said.

LIM: We must make Penang the most cost-effective exhibition and conference centre in the region
"Our land port in Bukit Mertajam and sea port will also play a vital role in making Penang a logistics hub which will complement the industry for ease of distribution of exhibits and materials, within and outside the country," he said when officiating the International Industrial Expo at the Penang International Sports Arena.

"We must make Penang the most cost-effective exhibition and conference centre in the region to serve as a springboard for commercial companies to Southeast Asian companies."

Lim cited statistics from Singapore to press his argument on the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) market.

"While local statistics are not yet available, comparative statistics in Singapore points to a significantly higher expenditure by exhibition participants versus a typical ordinary tourist," he said.

"Even back in 1997, an average exhibitor spent S$2,892 (RM6,651.60) per visit, while an average exhibition visitor spent S$1,837 (RM4,225.10).

"On the other hand, an ordinary tourist in Singapore will spend only S$746 (RM1,715.80) per visit," he said.

By New Straits Times (by Marina Emmanuel)

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