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Malaysia makes top 5 in Asia Pacific meetings ranking
Kuala Lumpur leaped five spots to the 22nd position in the latest ICCA, International Congress and Convention Association city rankings, from 61 meetings (2008) to 72 meetings (2009), thereby placing it among the five leading meetings destination in Asia Pacific. Other cities in the top five include Singapore, Beijing, Seoul and Bangkok.

In the ICCA country rankings, Malaysia moved up one spot from 32nd in 2008 (87 meetings) to 31st with 92 meetings.

Commenting on the achievement, Mr Zulkefli Hj Sharif, CEO, Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) said, “The latest ICCA rankings reflect a growth in Malaysia’s association meetings business amidst challenging economic conditions last year.

“This is testimony to the growing popularity of the country as an international meetings destination and a recognition of Malaysia’s unique selling points by associations and meeting planners globally. This includes our strong track record for hosting successful meetings, excellent value for money proposition, world-class infrastructure and our warm Malaysian hospitality."

Mr Zulkefli added, “The improved city and country rankings are a result of stronger collaboration between MyCEB and its local industry partners in bid development and joint promotional efforts.

“The addition of new infrastructure in place, the upgrading and refurbishment exercises of hotels around the country, especially in Kuala Lumpur, has also helped us to grow the business for Malaysia.”

According to Mr Noor Ahmad Hamid, ICCA’s Regional Director Asia Pacific, “The annual ICCA rankings are much anticipated by convention destinations who use it as their benchmark or Key Performance Indicator (KPI). The competition is tough with new, emerging destinations who are proving their capabilities as host of international association meetings.”

In 2009, Malaysia welcomed over 1.18 million overseas business event visitors, contributing an estimated RM10 billion (USD3.1 billion, EUR2.5 billion, AUD3.6 billion) in visitor spend to the local economy. Some of the association meetings hosted include the 6th World Chambers Congress (1,056 delegates), 14th International Conference on Thinking (1,500 delegates) and the 7th Congress of Asian Pacific Society of Hypertension (1,500 delegates).

Founded in 1963, the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) is one of the world’s most prominent organizations in the world of international meetings. Based in Amsterdam, ICCA has over 900 members in around 85 countries. The ICCA rankings cover meetings organised by international associations which has a minimum of 50 attendees, take place on a regular basis and rotate between a minimum of three countries.