The Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) urged the government to consider the proposal put forward by the National Recovery Council on 8 February to reopen Malaysia’s borders by 1 March.
MACEOS President, Mr. Francis Teo, said: “MACEOS fully supports the decision to reopen Malaysian borders as this is the next step towards economic recovery. With international travellers allowed to enter Malaysia without quarantine, we can activate business events again, of course, taking every necessary action to strengthen event safety, protect public health, and instil confidence in everyone.”
Teo looked forward to working closely with the authorities to develop stronger precautionary measures, if needed, to ensure the hassle-free entry and stay of business event travellers.
“Our members have been closely following the developments of other destinations as they begin to reopen for business events, and we are able to recommend the industry’s global best practices to develop a comprehensive framework addressing the SOPs for Malaysia’s business events industry in the new norm,” he said.
In fact, as early as June 2020, MACEOS had already created and submitted a comprehensive health and safety framework with best-practices from around the world as guidelines for organising business events and meetings in the new norm. These measures covered several key protocols such as sanitisation of venues, health checks of delegates, crowd control, procedures for contact tracing, social distancing measures, and more.
Teo was confident that Malaysia and the business events community were ready to receive a new wave of international visitors, adding that the government’s vaccination programme rollout and establishment of SOPs across all sectors were key success factors. This also correlates with the transition to the endemic stage of the virus despite.
The reopening of borders would be a boost not only for business events, but also for tourism, Teo noted. “In anticipation of this moment, the business and leisure tourism associations in the country have united to establish and implement the Travel Safe Alliance Malaysia (TSAM) together to ensure safety and hygiene are optimised in the industry nationwide across hotels, food establishments, convention centres, tours, and transportation,” he said.
Launched by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, YB Dato Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri, in Langkawi on 10 October 2021, TSAM is a partnership among four major players within the tourism industry, who are committed to increasing market confidence in Malaysia as a business and leisure travel destination.
The four partners, namely the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS), and Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), have established a comprehensive safe travel solution certified by Bureau Veritas Certification Malaysia.
In addition, seven of Malaysia’s convention centres have received the SafeBE certification audited by Bureau Veritas, a recognition of their commitment towards a safe and secure end-to-end business events journey for all. The seven certified venues are:
- Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre
- Connexion Bangsar South
- Setia City Convention Centre
- Setia SPICE Penang
- Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre
- World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur
- Sabah International Convention Centre
Teo also cautioned industry players to continue being vigilant in curbing the spread of the virus in light of the threat of the Omicron variant.