Chennai: “India is one of the top five markets for business events in Penang,” said the CEO of Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau, Ashwin Gunasekeran at the launch of the second edition of Penang Sales Mission to India here Monday.
Malaysia’s Penang island is seeing an increasing flow of Indian travelers. The Penang Immigration Department reported that for the period from January to November 2018, 7,250 Indian travelers flew into the Penang international airport compared to 6,569 in the same period in 2017.
This was an increase of 10.37 per cent despite the absence of direct flights between the island and India.
According to Gunasekeran, over the past year, event planners and conference organisers from India have shown ‘encouraging interest’ to hold their programmes in Penang, making it one of the upcoming destinations for business events. “India is one of the top five markets for business events in Penang,” he said.
In an attempt to attract Indian corporates and others to hold their meetings, conferences and exhibitions in Penang, the PCEB is offering support packages ranging from sponsorship of souvenirs and welcome luncheon for the organisers valued at 2,000 ringgit (for confirmed meetings/conferences of 50 to 100 delegates) to hosted site inspections, welcome luncheon for organisers, cultural performances and souvenirs valued at 15,000 ringgit (for incentive groups of 501 delegates and above), Gunasekeran said.
Gunasekeran said Penang was also a major medical tourism centre and is now turning into a retirement destination for the wealthy. According to him, the average period of stay in Penang by an Indian leisure traveler is about three days. He said the island-city is a family destination and is home for people having roots in India (Tamilnadu, Kerala, Punjab majorly), China and native Malaysians.