Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sarawak Convention Bureau launched yesterday

Bureau targets 50 conventions for Sarawak

KUCHING: The new Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB), officially launched yesterday, has set a target of 50 conventions to bid for next year.

Its chief executive Jill Henry said the bureau would work hard to bring in national as well as international organisations to hold their meetings in the state.

“We want to convince 50 organisations from different industries that Sarawak can host their meetings.

“Our first target will be national organisations, which regularly meet in Kuala Lumpur or Langkawi, and get them to consider Sarawak as an alternative venue for their conventions,” she told reporters after the bureau was launched by Urban Development and Tourism Minister Datuk Wong Soon Koh at the state legislative assembly building here.

Henry also said the bureau would be compiling statistics and baseline data on the number of people coming into Sarawak to attend meetings.

“At the moment, the meetings industry is not separated from ordinary tourist arrivals, so we’re now working with the tourism industry and hotels to get the statistical evidence in place.

“Once we have the baseline information, we’ll be able to track our growth,” she said.
Wong, who was representing Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, said in his speech earlier that the bureau would provide specialist services and assistance to the business community and event organisers in bidding for conventions to be held in the state.

“Sarawak is still relatively unknown as a meetings destination. In establishing Malaysia’s first convention bureau, we have taken an important step forward to attract more meetings to Sarawak,” he said.

He added that the meetings industry worldwide was worth an estimated US$280bil (RM1 trillion) and that international delegates were especially sought after because they typically spent up to three times more than the average tourist.

“Sarawak has a distinct advantage in that we have so many assets endowed by nature.

“Our excellent tourism products such as Mulu National Park and unique cultural attractions will add to the delegate experience and encourage them to extend their stay here,” he said.

Source : STAR
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