01 Mar Partial Re-opening of Business Events is Welcomed, But Lift Travel Ban, Too
The Malaysian government has agreed to allow meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) events to take place in Movement Control Order (MCO) areas beginning 5 March, and industry players are hoping that this will be the start of a more substantial recovery for the business events industry.
Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) president Francis Teo said: “We want to thank the government for giving us this lifeline. After months of lobbying for the opening of business events, we view this as the start of better things to come.”
The news was timely, he said, citing a recent survey done among members of MACEOS in which almost 64 percent of respondents admitted that they wouldn’t be able to survive another three months if the MCO was not lifted soon and they couldn’t organise events.
However, he noted that the restriction on inter-district and inter-state travel would limit the success of the re-opening of business events. He said: “As long as this travel restriction is not lifted, then the green light on business events will not be of much benefit to industry players. It is unlikely and unreasonable to hold events and to limit event participants from only one district.”
He also voiced concern over the recent statement made by the Ministry of Health that indicated travel restriction would be extended until 70 percent of the population was vaccinated. Teo said: “The vaccination programme is only expected to be completed by early next year. If we are to wait until then, that may mean another year or so of the travel ban. The vaccination may save us, but it may be too late as the travel ban will kill us.”
He offered to work closely with the government in coming up with guidelines that would facilitate the re-opening of business events according to reasonable SOPs: “We want to continue working closely with the industry players and the government to look into the details of the SOPs so that further progress can be made and the re-opening of business events can be implemented safely and successfully.”
“One of the solutions MACEOS suggests is to allow event participants to cross-district or state borders with proof of event registration while the travel ban is implemented.” he said.
He reiterated that “business events is an industry that supports all other industries in the economy. The re-opening of business events during these difficult times is the surest way to revitalise our local and national economy and lift Malaysia out of this economic slump.”