21 December 2021, Kuching – Sarawak: Malaysia’s first convention bureau, Business Events Sarawak (BESarawak), revealed that Sarawak has gained RM 3 billion in total economic impact from business events within 15 years of establishing BESarawak at their crystal anniversary celebrations last night.
BESarawak has come far and wide since its doors were opened in 2006 as an investment by the Sarawak Government to enter the global meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions market. Within the course of 15 years from 2006 until 2021, BESarawak successfully secured 1,006 business events amounting to RM 3 billion in total economic impact, RM 182 million in tax revenue and 241,238 employment opportunities.
From 1 January 2022, Sarawak is expecting to welcome 93 business events worth an estimated RM310 million in total economic impact, RM18.6 million in tax revenue, and more than 24,500 new employment opportunities. Now as Sarawak has resumed business events, event retention and projected economic growth are largely due to the incentivised packages that were launched late last year.
BESarawak accumulated a total of 20 national and international awards for marketing and branding within fifteen years; scoring three international awards in 2021 namely Los Angeles Film Awards (USA) – Commercials, and World Film Carnival Singapore – Commercials/Advertising for ‘Sarawak – New Normal for Business Events’ event standard operating procedure video. Another award was for the advocacy marketing campaign titled ‘Sarawak 2030’ which won the Outstanding Recognition in Communications at the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) Best Marketing Award 2021.
One achievement that is differentiating Sarawak from other destinations in Malaysia, and arguably the region, is from being an economic-centric destination to one that advocates for the legacy impact of business events. “Legacy impacts of business events are one of the key strategies to help achieve the Post Covid Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 goals under the tourism sector,” said Sarawak’s caretaker of Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, The Honourable Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah. “We strive to secure at least 50% of the total bid wins from now until 2030 to be legacy-driven and beneficial to our sectors, economies, communities, environment, and policy transformations.”
The gala celebration also recognised the achievements of BESarawak’s team members – nine received recognition for having obtained business events-related international certificates; four received the 15 Years’ Long Service Award; two were acknowledged for having been promoted to new roles in the organisation; and one received the 5 Years’ Service Award.
“We are very proud to see how far Sarawak’s business events sector has come, especially as it is gaining traction as a contributing sector in the national and global arena.” expressed Amelia Roziman, CEO of BESarawak. “In 15 glorious years, Sarawak has successfully grown a “tribe” of industry players and stakeholders who are fully equipped to harness the community-changing benefits of business events.”
Other achievements celebrated included Sarawak’s membership in Hybrid City Alliance (HCA) and Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index); and various Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with global players to secure Sarawak’s foothold as a business events powerhouse.
Also present at the celebration was the Sarawak State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion; Sarawak State Financial Secretary Dato Sri Dr. Haji Wan Lizozman bin Wan Omar; CEO of Malaysia Conventions & Exhibitions Bureau Dato Sri Abdul Khani Daud; BESarawak’s Board of Directors; and Sarawak’s business events and tourism associations.