Penang hosted 1,251 events with an estimated economic impact of RM808 million (US$182 million) in its CVB's first year of operations in 2016, according to an industry review released by the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB).
Of these, PCEB supported 37 international and national business events in the state, totalling an estimated 29,030 participants and 91,616 in room nights.
The report further showed that the majority of international business events hosted in Penang last year originated from Singapore and South Asia.
For incentives, national groups formed the bulk at 82 per cent followed by groups from Singapore at 16 per cent.
As well, the average number of participants per congress and corporate event was 97.9, an indication of Penang’s suitability for small and medium-sized events.
Of the 257 events that make up national congresses, most were centred on sectors related to education, culture and ideas, medical sciences, government, social sciences and economics and industry, coinciding with Penang’s national status as a hub for these sectors.
Major cultural celebrations, festivals, and anniversaries of significant events, have significant bearing on business event patterns in Penang. February and June showed lower numbers of events, participants and room nights attributable to Chinese New Year and the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Also showing a correlation with a decrease in meeting numbers are anniversaries and memorials of unfortunate events such as the Malaysia Airlines double tragedies in March and July 2014, according to the report.