Photo credit: FAIHAN GHANI 
Credit: The Star

The revival of hospitality and events works hand in hand with the global tourism sector in many different ways. Details are crucial within this connection, especially when deciding on the best location for a business event. The travel business has always faced difficulties, but the last three years have been unlike anything before due to Covid.

The business travel sector will eventually grow to a value of $1.4 trillion, according to the Global Business Travel Association.

Tourist arrivals to Malaysia is projected to jump four-fold to 9.6 million in 2023 from an estimated 2.5 million a year ago on the back of the reopening of international borders, according to Kenanga Research.

The increase, according to the research house, would be driven by the return of both business and leisure air travel globally.

Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines will be more modest beneficiaries of China’s revenge travel than Thailand, among the Asean-6 countries.

Maybank Investment Bank Bhd (Maybank IB) said the recovery in China tourists up to late 2022 had been faster in Indonesia (14 per cent of pre-pandemic) and Malaysia (11 per cent), and slower in Vietnam (three per cent) and Thailand (five per cent).

The year end holiday season was one of the busiest on record, helped by a lot of pent-up demand, despite the fact that corporate travel is still in recovery mode overall. 

On the other hand, visa requirements have grown to be more of a problem as customers look at foreign locations they may not have previously explored. Event planners must therefore make sure that everyone involved in an event can reach a location without difficulty, even if any Covid restrictions are lifted.

On Aug 1, Malaysia scrapped all entry requirements – including quarantine – for international travellers. This was a a good move as the country almost immediately saw the arrival of a steady stream of tourists, as well as the return of travellers whose holidays in Malaysia were cut short during the early days of the pandemic.

The choice of a place for destination events, such as incentive trips and company off-sites, is heavily influenced by the venue’s appeal and perceived value. Pent-up demand causes many popular sites to have extremely little capacity and expensive costs, which makes second-tier locations incredibly alluring.

It is customary for planning purposes to collaborate with local authorities in the form of destination management companies (DMC) utilising DMCs to aid with destination promotion beforehand.

One of the many trends driving the current merging of all things in travel is bleisure. Bleisure is a term used to describe travel that combines both business and leisure, by not comitting to one purpose solely. People on a bleisure trip, will typically add some extra days to their business trip in order to relax.

Digital nomads are not the only people who travel for both work and pleasure. More than ever, family vacation and work travel are combining. There is a strong desire for bringing families to incentives, so many locations are chosen with this in mind. Due to the high level of participation, it really benefits the businesses’ bottom lines.

A resort can feel more authentic and encourage visitors to feel a connection to the place by offering a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme. If this was chosen as opposed to being an add-on to a CSR activity, it could be more  impactful.

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