Conventions Group discusses special business travel pass encompassing Malaysia and other countries | Malaysia

ICCA Asia-Pacific Chapter President Ashwin Gunasekeran pictured during an interview at Tropical Spice Garden on October 25, 2021 – Photo by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, October 25 – The Asia-Pacific section of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has proposed that the Malaysian government work with several countries to develop a special pass for business travelers attending international conferences .

Section president Ashwin Gunasekeran said it would make it easier for business travelers to attend international meetings, conventions or conferences for official reasons.

“If some countries were to work together to offer a pass for business travelers, it would make it easier for them to attend international conferences and events for business purposes,” he said in an interview with Malaysian courier today.

He said that currently, some business travelers are required to undergo quarantine or more if they are to travel to multiple countries, in addition to undergoing different Covid-19 testing procedures.

The proposed business pass would make the process easier for these travelers as it would allow them to travel to their destinations after being tested for Covid-19, he said.

Malaysia could work with several countries to develop such a system, he said, adding that it would allow participants of international trade events to travel smoothly.

Ashwin, who is also managing director of the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB), said the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) industry is now picking up as countries reopen their borders.

However, there were still uncertainties and a lack of standardization between countries in terms of regulations and requirements for the acceptance of international visitors.

Among other things, he said this included the non-recognition of certain Covid-19 vaccines or the vaccination administered in certain countries.

“Some countries require their own Covid-19 tests, so even if the visitor has had a swab test before arriving, the visitor may need to do it again in the country where they arrived,” he said .

Ashwin said this meant a multi-destination business traveler would have to be repeatedly tested in close succession or undergo long quarantines for brief visits.

The proposed travel visa would reduce those restrictions and promote business travel as well as MICE activity in the country, he said.

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