Penang reaches out to overseas markets with B2B travel show

THE PENANG state government will host the inaugural Penang International Travel Mart (PITM) from July 4-5, 2012.

Danny Law, Penang State Minister for Tourism Development & Culture, said: “We are currently attending travel trade shows all over the world. By hosting PITM, we can get the international market to visit Penang, meet the local travel trade and get to know the destination.”

“We have targeted 170 international buyers, whom we will pay to fly in, and about 85 sellers,” he added.

The theme for this year’s PITM is Culture, Food and Heritage. To be held at the Equatorial Hotel Penang, the mart will comprise an exhibition and various B2B exchanges between buyers and sellers.

“Buyers have expressed a willingness to attend, but the response from sellers has been slow,” said Law. “While getting Penang hoteliers to participate is no problem, corporations such as Sunway, Genting and Langkawi Development Authority have yet to respond.”

According to Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association advisor, Babin Lim, the slow response from sellers could be due to “too many travel marts going on (in Malaysia) at the same time”.

“Everyone who seems to have some money is holding one. This is a problem as Malaysia does not have that many sellers, and attracting buyers will be a problem,” he said. “(The shows) must be coordinated. Otherwise they will be ineffective.”

Lim suggested that the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau or Tourism Malaysia be appointed as the coordinating body for organising travel trade events in the country.

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