Sarawak Con­ven­tion Bureau

Sarawak Business Travel Guide - - Front Page -

UP UN­TIL 20 years ago, busi­ness events were un­char­tered ter­ri­tory within Sarawak and Malaysia as a whole. In 2006 the Sarawak Con­ven­tion Bureau (SCB) was es­tab­lished with a small and cre­ative team that has pi­o­neered the busi­ness events (BE) we can see in the state to­day.

Branch­ing out from its hum­ble be­gin­nings of pro­vid­ing pro­fes­sional ad­vi­sory ser­vices to meet­ing plan­ners in 2006, the Bureau has en­abled the busi­ness events pro­fes­sion to soar to new heights through po­si­tion­ing Sarawak as one of the lead­ing sec­ond tier des­ti­na­tions in the Asia-Pa­cific.

In the present day af­ter 11 years of tremen­dous ef­fort by a con­sor­tium of par­ties, in­clud­ing gov­ern­ment agen­cies, en­thu­si­as­tic hosts and in­dus­try part­ners, Sarawak is now per­fectly poised as a top busi­ness travel des­ti­na­tion. The Bureau is well recog­nised as a top player among its in­ter­na­tional coun­ter­parts and has truly pro­gressed an in­dus­try that is in its in­fancy within Malaysia.

Amelia Roz­i­man, Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer at the Sarawak Con­ven­tion Bureau tells us about cur­rent de­vel­op­ments and explains the ex­cit­ing times ahead for the state.

Q Asia Out­look (AsO): Since in­cep­tion, how has Sarawak Con­ven­tion Bureau de­vel­oped and pro­gressed in terms of its key ob­jec­tives and the mes­sages it tries to get across?

Amelia Roz­i­man (AR): Sarawak fully em­bod­ies the con­cept of ‘busi­ness meets ad­ven­ture’ and is fully ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing bold, fresh per­spec­tives to con­fer­ences that can never be ob­tained any­where else in the world. Fur­ther­more, ac­cord­ing to ICCA stan­dards, SCB has po­si­tioned Sarawak as one of the lead­ing 2nd tier des­ti­na­tions of the Asia-Pa­cific. We are con­sis­tent with our mes­sage to the world, and our in­vi­ta­tion is al­ways open!

The un­der­tak­ing of the 55th ICCA Congress saw Sarawak as the ‘mouse that roared’. When the Sarawak team won the bid to host last year's ICCA Congress, one of their prom­ises was that they would share the se­crets of their suc­cess with the del­e­gates, and be an in­spi­ra­tion for the many smaller des­ti­na­tions that are strug­gling to be heard and seen in to­day's crowded mar­ket. Its ac­tive three-pronged BE Cam­paign: com­mu­ni­cat­ing, ed­u­cat­ing and award­ing en­sures the BE ecosys­tem thrives! On­go­ing busi­ness pro­mo­tion, prod­uct devel­op­ment and recog­ni­tion are es­sen­tial el­e­ments for play­ers to ex­pand their busi­nesses. The con­stant strive to­wards ex­cel­lence will en­sure the longevity of the BE in­dus­try.

Q AsO: To this end, how would you say Sarawak Con­ven­tion Bureau has de­vel­oped in re­cent years as a busi­ness travel hub and what are the key rea­sons be­hind its grow­ing ap­peal?

AR: Pri­mar­ily we have found that SCB has be­come a ma­jor fac­tor in help­ing to de­velop Sarawak - the des­ti­na­tion - as a busi­ness travel hub.

We do this by be­ing a one-stop cen­tre to as­sist meet­ing and event plan­ners to bid for and stage na­tional, re­gional and in­ter­na­tional busi­ness events in Sarawak. SCB has de­vel­oped its busi­ness arm as well, by con­nect­ing as­so­ci­a­tions, cor­po­rate or­gan­i­sa­tions, and gov­ern­ment bod­ies with el­e­ments nec­es­sary to en­sure suc­cess of the events. This busi­ness match­mak­ing service in­di­rectly cre­ates a foun­da­tion for fu­ture in­ter­na­tional busi­ness re­la­tion­ships to take place. Lastly, we have helped Sarawak to de­velop its in­ter­na­tional brand, via our own unique and cre­ative brand­ing cam­paigns.

We be­lieve align­ing con­sis­tency with cre­ativ­ity guar­an­tees progress. The Bureau is con­stantly try­ing to push the en­ve­lope and ex­plore how to make con­ven­tions, ‘un­con­ven­tional’. That very no­tion in it­self is part of the grow­ing ap­peal of Sarawak as we re-imag­ine the board­room and fringe events of con­fer­ences for ex­am­ple, which are care­fully planned and en­thu­si­as­ti­cally ex­e­cuted. Cou­ple this fire with the unique val­ues of Sarawak – for ex­am­ple, a lush green jun­gle next to a mod­ern city is hard to come by in other parts of the world – and the warm hos­pi­tal­ity of the Sarawakians. With those fac­tors in play, you get a con­fer­ence that is not only tremen­dous value for money but truly unique.

Q AsO: Tak­ing a more gen­eral in­dus­try stance, how would you eval­u­ate the tourism sec­tor in Sarawak now com­pared to its con­di­tion when the Con­ven­tion Bureau be­gan?

AR: The tourism sec­tor has al­ways flour­ished un­der the di­rec­tion of the Min­istry of Tourism and Sarawak Tourism Board. A prime ex­am­ple would be the home­grown Rain­for­est World Mu­sic Fes­ti­val which is now a world­class icon.

I be­lieve the way to imag­ine the tourism land­scape here is to en­vi­sion a wide field that has dif­fer­ent species blos­som­ing at any one time or to­gether. In this sense, tourism en­com­passes many dif­fer­ent seg­ments, from med­i­cal tourism to eco­tourism to busi­ness events (pre­vi­ously known as the ‘MICE’ sec­tor). Recog­nis­ing the im­por­tance of value beyond eco­nom­ics in to­day’s world, busi­ness events as a nat­u­ral con­se­quence will bring about a model which is sus­tain­able for years to come. Hence, upon the in­duc­tion of SCB, a new seg­ment within the ex­ist­ing in­dus­try be­gan to soar and has be­come a vi­able con­trib­u­tor to the State as we know it.

Q AsO: What is in store for Sarawak over the course of 2017 and beyond to con­tinue the good work al­ready com­menced and to en­hance its rep­u­ta­tion as a tourism and busi­ness travel hub fur­ther in the fu­ture?

AR: With 2017 en­croach­ing into its last quar­ter it will ride on the mo­men­tum of the Bureau’s bold­est cam­paign to date; Re­defin­ing Global Tribes (RGT). Look­ing into the fu­ture, as a des­ti­na­tion with unique of­fer­ings, the RGT with its Tribal War­rior Chal­lenge (TWC) at its peak has ral­lied the global tribes of BE.

It has es­tab­lished that we have de­vel­oped fur­ther from the suc­cess of the 55th ICCA Congress 2016 and en­ter­ing our next phase of the game. By be­ing the host of the in­dus­try’s most pres­ti­gious meet­ing of meet­ings, we have opened up to the world. Sarawak and its nu­mer­ous tribes want to unite with the world un­der one sin­gle ‘’Global Tribe’ in the name of Busi­ness Events.

More than 10 years have passed since the Bureau’s in­cep­tion. Now, we want to po­si­tion Sarawak as more than just a “fresh des­ti­na­tion”. There­fore, it is ab­so­lutely cru­cial to make a bold state­ment and with RGT we be­lieve we have ac­com­plished just that. In a num­bers game, we have ac­quired busi­ness leads and this has ig­nited our spark to con­tinue to el­e­vate Sarawak as a tourism and busi­ness travel hub. The Bureau with its long­stand­ing BE Sarawak Cam­paign will soon see the prepa­ra­tions for the 9th Anak Sarawak Awards 2018, which will shine the spot­light on the in­dus­try’s gamechang­ers

Q AsO: The theme for your cam­paign is “Join Sarawak in the revo­lu­tion for Busi­ness Events com­mu­ni­ties to gather in unity to con­struct a stronger iden­tity for Malaysia’s econ­omy”. What revo­lu­tion is SCB re­fer­ring to, and why is Sarawak tak­ing the lead for Malaysia?

AR: It is com­mon knowl­edge that Sarawak Con­ven­tion Bureau is the pi­o­neer­ing bureau in Malaysia, and we have al­ways pushed the en­ve­lope and taken the road less trav­elled with un­con­ven­tional and cre­ative ideas. So, as Sarawak has al­ways been lead­ing the pack in this sec­tor, why shouldn’t it be Sarawak to take the lead for Malaysia? We have the re­sources, we have the ca­pac­ity, and we have at­tracted global in­ter­na­tional Busi­ness Events, with­out di­lut­ing our cul­ture and her­itage. Sarawak fos­ters it busi­ness re­la­tion­ships with care and in­ter­est in the peo­ple, res­onat­ing with the hu­mane side of busi­ness. We pour our heart and soul into our hos­pi­tal­ity. That has al­ways been a con­stant cat­a­lyst in our cam­paigns. For ex­am­ple, Re­defin­ing Global Tribes is fo­cused on the very hu­man val­ues of com­mu­nity, unity and iden­tity.

It is through recog­nis­ing the key val­ues and syn­ergy we share with our part­ners, that we are able to con­struct a stronger iden­tity for our sec­tor in the global econ­omy.

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