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MICE market a high priority for Mutiara Hotels and Resorts

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 15 October 2002

Pernas Hotel Management (PHM) the managers of six Mutiara Hotels and Resorts in Malaysia has given the forthcoming Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meeting Asia Conference (IT & CMA) to be held in Bangkok, Thailand from October 23 - 25, the highest priority for its Meetings Incentive Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) sales team.

Mr. Halim Merican, General Manager, Yield and Revenue Management for PHM said: "The forthcoming IT & CMA is an extremely important sales conference for all our resorts and hotels as it is one of the leading MICE shows and conferences in the Asia-Pacific Region."

He continued: "This conference in Bangkok is occurring during an extremely challenging period for both regional businesses and the travel industry. No one admits that the current economic climate is not tough but there are always opportunities even during the tough times".

Merican commented that all the Mutiara properties have geared up for a strong year of MICE trade despite the uncertainty that is currently in the market place. He noted that while the conference is being held in October many of the deals that will be struck would be for many months into the future. He continued that over 400 key MICE buyers were being attracted to the show and while competition for buyers was getting more difficult, Malaysia and Mutiara were well positioned to offer what the buyers were seeking.

"The fact that the show is being held in Thailand means that Thai sellers will be more evident than last year when it was held in Malaysia", Merican commented. He added: "The home country always has an advantage in that it is cheaper for these exhibitors to display their wares than for those who have to travel. It just means we have to be smarter in offering our products".

The show will represent all the major Asia-Pacific destinations, and there will be many sellers from Thailand especially. In addition to the existing MICE destinations new, ones are opening every year, which makes the situation even tougher for sellers. Examples of this are found in new destinations like China, Vietnam, Laos PDR and Cambodia, which are becoming increasingly popular with adventurous MICE buyers.

"Our research indicates that there are cutbacks in spending and the current uncertainty in international travel and the way business is conducted suggests that business meetings, conferences and incentives are shorter, smaller and cheaper", commented Merican. He added: "We have to, and have responded to this by offering meeting packages that remain attractive to our potential buyers. This means value adding and because we are situated in a country with low overheads compared to many of our neighbours, we can still remain competitive", he stated.

"Initiatives by the government such as the development of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, located within the Kuala Lumpur City Centre are applauded especially as the project is expected to be completed by 2004. As the new centre is just minutes from the front door of the Mutiara Kuala Lumpur we see this will be a great boost to the Malaysian MICE market", commented Merican.

"We have six excellent properties covering many Malaysian experiences and we feel we have something to offer the many different requirements of these demanding MICE market buyers", he explained. 

These properties include city hotels like Mutiara Johor Bahru, two beachside properties in Mutiara Penang and Mutiara Burau Bay and the nature-based resorts of Mutiara Taman Negara and Mutiara Pedu Lake. The Mutiara Kuala Lumpur is currently undergoing extensive renovations but will come back on stream during the life of the contracts that will be signed in Bangkok.

Merican explained that the Mutiara Hotels and Resorts have opportunities in all the great environments for which Malaysia is famous. He continued: "Mutiara Hotels and Resorts can provide the MICE market excellent conference facilities in exciting destinations like the nation's capital, its southern gateway, on the beachfront of the nation's leading tourists islands of Penang and Langkawi, as well as deep within the diverse rainforests for which the country is most famous".

"Therefore, we consider we are one of the best placed hotel groups in Malaysia to offer a diversity of opportunities in a variety of locations. This is why we say, nobody knows Malaysia like Mutiara", he explained.

All Mutiara Hotels and Resorts will be represented at IT & CMA Bangkok and the group hopes to secure extensive and confirmed business contracts from the conference.

Mutiara Hotels and Resorts are managed by PERNAS Hotel Management Sdn. Bhd., a subsidiary of PERNAS International Holdings Berhad. The group has six properties located in key cities and resorts in Malaysia that include Burau Bay (Langkawi); Johor Bahru (Johor); Kuala Lumpur; Pedu Lake (Kedah); Penang and Taman Negara/National Park (Pahang).

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