Some 31 events with an estimated RM106 million (US$25.5 million) in total economic impact have been confirmed for Sarawak, Malaysia, between January and September this year. They will be held over the next four years.
According to a press statement by Business Events Sarawak (BESarawak), the events will also contribute to RM58 million in direct delegate expenditure, RM6.4 million in tax collection, and 8,480 jobs across various sectors.
Announcing the achievement at Sarawak Convention Bureauâ€™s Business Events Tribal Meet event, Sarawakâ€™s minister of tourism, arts and culture and minister of youth and sports, Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, said the 31 event wins were made possible by the Business Events Planners Incentivised Packages.
â€œThe packages lend extensive support which injects additional funding, as well as other financial incentives, to help organisers get back on their feet and continue their planning processes,” he said.
In an email interview with TTGmice, BESarawakâ€™s acting CEO, Amelia Roziman, said the total economic impact from the new events would continue to rise, as there were more contracts in the pipeline. Another update will come towards the year-end.
There is no comparison available for 2019 and 2020, as the value of events executed last year was calculated based on direct delegate expenditure. The formula to determine total economic impact takes in legacy measurements, as well as the full economic impact of the industry.
However, Amelia noted that 2019’s performance had far exceeded expectations â€“ the destination achieved RM122.7 million in direct delegate spend through events when the target was only RM76 million.
Although online and hybrid events affect in-destination delegate spend, Amelia said BESarawak remains supportive of such gatherings.
“Our Business Events Planners Incentivised Packages support hybrid events. Two of them â€“ Tribe Acceleration (for supported events) and Tribe Elevation (for major business events) provide financial help to cover extra items, especially the virtual platform for hybrid events, which can be costly,” she shared.
“Our goal is not just to achieve delegate numbers and spending, but to support the interest of the Sarawak government in terms of sectoral, economic and social development. We are focusing on business events that are aligned with Sarawak’s 7 Key Focus Areas, being Urban Development; Social Development; Environmental Development; Re-engineering Economic Growth (previously known as Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy – SCORE); Rural Transformation on Agriculture Development; Service Industry; and the Digital Economy.
“In addition, we want to ensure that associations that bring their conventions to Sarawak can build their legacy impacts to transform sectors, communities and the economy,” she elaborated.
Amelia added that Sarawak’s ability to support and facilitate hybrid events would reflect well on the destination, which is “gunning towards being a digitalised state”.