7th Penang Roadshow in India held in Delhi

Earmarking key growth strategies & direct flights from India
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7th Penang Roadshow in India held in Delhi

The ongoing roadshow highlighted Penang’s offerings for both leisure and business travellers

The ‘Penang Odyssey’ campaign by Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau, held yesterday in New Delhi, highlighted key strategies to develop tourism between both India and the Malaysian island of Penang. Launching direct flights from India to Penang is a top priority for PCEB, with focus on both leisure and MICE travellers from India.
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The Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) successfully held the 7th edition of Penang Roadshow to India 2024 in its second city of New Delhi yesterday, in presence of Indian travel trade and key industry professionals.

Hailing India as a ‘big potential’ for Penang and Malaysia’s largest source market, through the campaign ‘Penang Odyssey,’ the ongoing roadshow highlighted Penang’s offerings for both leisure and business travellers. After Mumbai and Delhi, the roadshow will continue to Chennai and Kochi next to foster mutually beneficial relationships and ‘explore new avenues to captivate the Indian market.’ 

“We have world class sustainable tourism and MICE destination. India became Malaysia’s largest source market and the trend is expected to continue as more Indians with rising incomes see Malaysia as an attractive and high value quality destination. There’s also quite a sizable population of Indians in Malaysia, so that is why in terms of food, we have many Indian chefs and Indian tourists don’t have to worry as you can have the same experience as India,” says Wong Hon Wai, Penang State EXCO for Tourism and Creative Economy (PETACE).

“We welcome both leisure as well as delegation business travellers for MICE activities. We have two UNESCO status, one is heritage of the city of George Town. Besides this, we also have the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status of the Penang Hills. But the engine of growth is not only tourism, we have another important segment, which is manufacturing. We are called the Sillicon Valley of the East. So that’s why we have many business travellers, some from India, the hub of IT. Tourism and manufacturing, these two economic sectors complement each other and so we have to ensure growth. We are looking forward to the upcoming new convention centres and host even more events in the future,” he adds. 

“We are talking to airlines in India. We are looking forward to direct flights. If in the near future we establish direct flights from India to Penang, or from India to Kuala Lumpur and tourists as well as business travellers will find it convenient and we can also have multi-destination tourism. So that is why we are here, because we see India is a big potential for us. We also have quite a sizeable of Indian population and thus we share a close relationship with India, so there are tourists from both sides, whether from India to Malaysia or vice versa. So we look forward to enhancement of the aviation connectivity, so that’s why we are talking to airlines. We endorse cross-sector initiative through tourism and trade shows and corporate shows. We are looking forward to more corporate collaborations,” says Wai.

The organisers says that Malaysia’s commitment to facilitating seamless travel experiences is underscored by the recent nationwide introduction of a visa-free regime for Indian travellers, allowing stays of up to 30 days till December 31. This strategic move enhances accessibility for Indian visitors and presents a significant opportunity to further strengthen direct airline connectivity with India. 

“The Penang Odyssey aims to showcase Penang’s diverse offerings, forging connections that transcend borders and unveiling the immense potential for collaboration between Penang and the Indian travel industry,” say the organisers.

“We have seen the numbers increasing and the arrivals increasing and the destination is looking very positive. Every year it is something new that Penang has got to offer. To name a few, last year I did mention about the new conventions that will be ready on the main line of connect. And it is ready and is open and we have hosted exhibitions as well as conference meetings, weddings. There are other international brands that has also moved in to property investments in Penang and this has all been happening within a year or so. This is again on the mainland  and it is a very beautiful Mediterranean setting, very suitable for destination weddings,” says Ashwin Gunasekeran, CEO of PCEB.

“Overall, the Indian market has grown by 7.2 pc for us. And as far as the cruise is concerned, the Indian market is the top two for cruise tourism and in general, new segments have opened and we have seen the Indian markets coming in would be honeymooners, family travellers, as well as new incoming destination wedding proposals,” he adds. 

“As far as the convention business is concerned, the three segments that are still leading in this market would be medical, pharmaceutical, as well as financial institution. The newer segments would fall into agriculture. So these are the markets that are incoming for the MICE and conference. Other than that, we are looking forward to explore packages as well as campaigns with the travel agent association and other federation as well as MICE, especially from India to see how we can formulate a certain campaign to move this agenda further. And we are also always welcoming direct flights into Penang. So if there is any proposals from any airlines operating in our region that would be keen to set to operate a direct flight into Penang, there are incentives available and we do welcome this conversation,” says Gunasekeran.

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