The three-day World Hospitality, Lifestyle, and Entertainment Exhibition and Conference (WHOLE PENANG 2020) began on 10th September 2020 at the Setia SPICE Convention Centre in Bayan Lepas. The opening ceremony was officiated by YB Dato’ Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia.
The event initiated with the WHOLE Penang 2020 hybrid forum discussion on ‘Rethink, Reconnect and Reinvent Domestic Tourism’ where the panel members were Malaysia Association of Hotels (MAH) president Mohamad Halim Merican, and Dato’ Dr Ammar Abd Ghaper from UiTM joined by Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) past president Datuk Hamzah Rahmat, Malaysia Tourism Council (MTC) president Uzaidi Udanis and Tourism Educators Association of Malaysia (TEAM) president Assoc Prof Dr Mohd Hafiz Mohd Hanafiah, the event was co-organised by TIN Media and moderated by its Co-founder Presanth Chandra.
Given that this is the time to travel locally, Mohamad Halim, president Malaysia Association of Hotels (MAH) said that the association had presented about 25 stimulus ideas to the Government to stimulate the domestic travel out of which 16 are considered. He said domestic tourists could fill the ‘gap’ left by international tourists because International tourist arrivals are seasonal and don’t make much difference.
He also added that “Rather than having people travel individually, hotels and travel agents can come up with packages for companies to travel on weekdays. He also added the urge of having an in-house booking platform in Malaysia to accentuate the economy and keep it growing.
Datuk Dr Amar Abd Ghapar, senior director, Promotion Board domestic and event division, Malaysia Tourism said that the tourism industry players must remain resilient and work as a team to revive the tourism industry. He emphasised the need for physical movement in the tourism industry.
Malaysia Tourism Council (MTC) president Uzaidi Udanis said we need to reset the domestic tourism. A lot of new places are being discovered in Malaysia with international appeal. We need to know about these places and promote them.
He added “we have to upgrade and upskill our environment to attract tourists. Virtual tourism is important to engage the audience through storytelling, it’s important to incorporate.”
The WHOLE PENANG 2020 hybrid concept provides both physical and virtual platforms for exhibitors and visitors to take part in the event.
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