Sarawak’s new MICE campaign makes official debut

Sarawak’s largest business events destination campaign, Redefining Global Tribes, to date was officially launched on August 21 in an event that included a fam trip and a half-day interactive forum.

Sarawak’s minister of tourism, arts, culture, youth and sports, Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who inaugurated the event, revealed that the Malaysian state has won 697 meetings since the establishment of the Sarawak Convention Bureau in 2006 – through the combined effort of the bureau and its partners.

The fam trip comprised the Tribal Warrior Challenge, a teambuilding idea for corporate groups

The 697 meetings have translated to some 254,000 delegates and 847,000 delegate days in Sarawak, as well as injected more than RM504 million (US$117.3 million) into the local economy.

Abdul Karim said: “By attempting to redefine an industry and strengthen its branding impact internationally, we have opened Sarawak’s doors wider to the world, and are actively showcasing Sarawak’s efficiency and capabilities to host prestigious business events.”

“Business relationships are the end goal of campaigns such as Redefining Global Tribes which aim to increase business events impact on the economy,” stressed Leo Michael Toyad Abdullah, Sarawak Convention Bureau’s chairman.

He added: “To do so, we need to create a stronger global identity by imprinting Sarawak’s cultural values of community, unity and identity upon the business events sector internationally.”

Some 100 fam trip participants went on sightseeing tours around Kuching and site inspections, and participated in a Tribal Warrior Challenge teambuilding event. A half-day interactive forum was also held, which provided insights into the state’s capabilities when it comes to hosting regional and international meetings.

A meeting planner attendee, John Kerrigan, managing director and founder of Sydney-based The Kerrigan Group, said the fam trip was his first visit to Sarawak, and it helped him understand what the state had to offer in terms of facilities, services, and corporate social responsibility programmes.

He enthused: “Sarawak is…still fresh, new and exciting. I have a customer base in Australia comprising NGOs which have already been to countries like the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, and are looking for new destinations for their workshops.”

For Cecilia A Essau, a professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Roehampton London, as well as the director, department of psychology, of the Centre for Applied Research and Assessment in Child and Adolescent Wellbeing, also at the university, said she had shortlisted Kuching as a possible venue for an international conference.

She believes that having a conference in Kuching will enable delegates from South-east Asia to better access the event.

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