Monthly Archives

February 2021

Venues an Important Infrastructure Asset in the National Economic Recovery of the Country – Business Events Council Malaysia

By | 2021

Business Events Council Malaysia chairman Alan Pryor, has urged the Malaysian government to continue active engagement with the business events industry to revive the Business Events sector in the economic recovery of the country.

“As the collective voice of the Malaysia BE industry, we are actively reaching out to the government, to maintain a more consistent communication channel, to discuss how venues and the industry can help the government rehabilitate the country’s economy. 2020 was a tragic year, for the industry and it continues to be so as the industry is unable to operate in line with government restrictions. Finally with vaccines coming within reach, giving way to herd immunity, potentially allowing us to put the uncertainties behind us, the pent up demand for meetings, conferences and business events will supersede the supply,” said the chairman.

Pryor further elaborated, in a 2018 report by the Malaysia Convention and Exhibitions Bureau, the Business Events industry was expected to contribute RM3.9 billion in the incremental of Gross National Income (GNI), thus providing about 16,700 jobs, by 2020.

According to a press release by the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, in 2019 alone, the purpose-built venue conducted over 1,500 meetings and events welcoming over one million delegates and visitors generating, an estimated economic impact of almost RM 1 billion.

Meetings and events were allowed to operate in the country for a few short months in 2020 which saw, the development of a comprehensive new norm standard operating procedures which was, successful executed at events through strict enforcement of the health and safety guidelines with venues investing in innovation and creation to expand their product and service range to diversify business revenue. This stated in the press release, is before the nation retreated into yet another strict lockdown restricting inter-state travel and banning meetings and gatherings right into 2021 which, dampened all efforts, pushing the industry supply chain, into further dire conditions with a constant struggle for survival.

The venue sector in Malaysia provides employment by the thousands as a primary player in the supply chain. Closures of venues have impacted heavily on the rest of the supply chain, from hotels, destination management companies and tour operators to stand builders, contractors, retail, local produce suppliers and part-time employment. This has had a major ramification on the overall revenue contribution to the national economy of the country generated through the business events supply chain.


Resort Provides Land to Feed Rescued Elephants in Koh Samui

By | 2021

The elephant sanctuary, Samui Elephant Haven is struggling to feed its herd of 21 elephants in the wake of the dramatic downturn in tourist numbers to the island due the pandemic.

As a result of which, Samui Elephant Haven is spending funds previously allocated for land rental to feed its herd, prompting fears it will be unable to continue leasing the land and be forced to displace the elephants.

A land was provided by Meliá resort which opened in Koh Samui early January this year for a community farm, to help feed the elephants rescued from exploitation activities. The farm is located some 200 metres from the resort on the north-eastern tip of Koh Samui island and can support 200 banana trees and other elephant fodder such as Napier and sweet grass.

“These magnificent animals need to eat 10 percent of their body weight in food daily, which is up to 400 kiligramme per elephant,” said the resort’s general manager, Ernesto Osuna.

He added with the sanctuary trying to survive on only five percent of the funding necessary, its herd has been getting only a fraction of its normal food intake.

In the meantime, to educate guests about the plight of the rescued elephants and encourage them to visit and support the sanctuary, Meliá Koh Samui has unveiled an elephant mascot Coco, to provide information about the Haven, as well as a host for educational activities about the elephants at the resort’s kids club Kidsdom.

The sanctuary which opened in 2018 is a safe harbour for elephants that had been put to work on tourist treks, who has been as show animals and in the logging industry. At the Haven, they are free to roam the 10-hectare sanctuary, to play, forage for native plants and bathe in various pools.

To contact Samui Elephant Haven and make a donation, please visit, call +66 95 628 6160 or email

Images are by Samui Elephant Haven.

Melbourne Convention Bureau Expands Digital Presence in China

By | 2021

MCB has launched new in-language content in its website, specifically translated for Chinese MICE professionals.  Through the website together with China’s video hosting service YouKu and WeChat, MCB aims to engage with its Chinese clients.

“Whilst they may not be able to travel now, the appeal of Melbourne and Australia to the Chinese planners remains high. These assets, in conjunction with our in-market team and our regular Event Planner webinars will enable the bureau to strengthen existing connections, create new and meaningful relationships, and future business opportunities,” said the bureau’s chief executive officer Julia Swanson.

Chinese speaking decision makers, influencers and planners can also communicate directly with MCB’s local team in Shanghai through WeChat.

China is the top visitor market for MICE groups to Victoria. Over the five years before the covid-19, MCB welcomed 23,000 delegates from Chinese MICE groups to Melbourne –  injecting AUD100 million in economic contributions to the Victorian visitor economy.

The new in-language website and presence on WeChat and YouKu boast the content of the website from information about MCB and its services, local knowledge to support planning a business event in the destination, sample of incentive programmes, case-studies of successful programmes to the latest news on Melbourne’s incentive travel and business events.