ASHWIN GUNASEKERAN
CEO OF PENANG CONVENTION & EXHIBITION BUREAU

There is a beautiful Malay saying that goes “kecil-kecil cili api” and it is meant to impart the lesson that being small does not necessarily translate to being inconsequential. Nowhere is this truer than in Penang which despite being the second smallest state in Malaysia is also one of the fastest growing business hubs in Southeast Asia. The northern state is well known throughout the world for being one of Asia’s top destinations for those seeking great experiences in food and culture.

Hosting the World Hospitality, Lifestyle & Entertainment Exhibition and Conference (WHOLE) in Penang will no doubt bring great benefits for the exhibitors, stakeholders, and also definitely Malaysia as a whole. A great amount of cooperation and networking will be happening thanks to the presence of exhibitors from various industries including hotel businesses, food & beverage, fitness, digital commerce, and many more. WHOLE is proof that Penang is more than just a destination for business events. It is THE destination.

Having both the relaxing island aesthetics and cutting-edge developments make Penang the perfect destination for industries to not only develop and grow but also to host meetings with potential clients and partners. That is why we at Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) have been fully focused on helping businesses both local and international to meet and connect with each other using the best facilities Penang has to offer. In 2018 alone, we supported more than 110 international and national events which collectively generated more than RM455 million in terms of estimated economic impact.

Needless to say, Penang holds the potential of becoming Southeast Asia’s number one location for business tourism. Companies all throughout the world are constantly on the lookout for the most affordable solutions to their needs of finding both new partners and customers. Penang aims to consistently develop itself to meet those needs as it aims to become a world class destination for the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) industry. This goes hand-in-hand with the state government’s economic plan to encourage networking and the exchanging of ideas between businesses and organisations around the globe.

From its reputation as a food haven and being a significant cultural hotspot brimming with diverse people and ideas, Penang is always prepared to facilitate those who want to work together and thrive. The Pearl of the Orient bids welcome to those who are eager to find untapped markets and new clientele.

I am excited to see the participants of WHOLE 2020 share and discuss their ideas with each other and I hope everyone takes their time to enjoy the beauty and versatility of Penang.