The Venue Sector of the Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM) has sent an appeal letter to the country’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) seeking assistance in allowing purpose-built venues to resume operations.
Malaysia has a four-stage National Recovery Plan (NRP) which only allows the business events sector to re-open in the final stage, phase four. Currently Kuala Lumpur is only in phase two.
Since March 2020 Malaysia’s venues have been in crisis upon losing their means to earn revenue. Clients, hotels and entire supply chains rely heavily on venues to host events that generate income and guarantee business sustainability.
Speaking on behalf of the Venue Sector, Alan Pryor, general manager of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, said: “We seek MOTAC’s assistance to represent us in this very difficult time to highlight the need for business events to safely operate and reopen in phase two, with fully vaccinated staff, fully vaccinated delegates and clients, and in line with our existing strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).”
In 2020, the industry demonstrated how business events can continue to be conducted efficiently and safely in a strictly controlled environment based on the approved SOPs.
Pryor (pictured) added: “The collective industry has never been associated with a cluster, yet we have been closed for the majority of this year and remain unable to host even fully virtual events or command centre work. Many venues begun operating as vaccination centres which are also gradually closing or shrinking operations.”
Malaysia’s visibility as a premier business events destination is at risk of declining as many of its regional and international counterparts are actively resuscitating their business events sector.
Pryor concluded: “It is more crucial than ever that Malaysia recognises the business events industry beyond the aspect of congregation. It is evident that our regional neighbouring countries understand the high economic and social values contributed by the industry and its importance in a healthy economy. Around us, countries are mobilising business events to support their nations’ post-pandemic recovery agenda and we simply cannot be left behind when Malaysia has so much value to offer as a compelling meetings destination.”