A new strategic marketing alliance has been formed between the Sarawak Convention Bureau and its counterpart in the Australian State of Tasmania, the Tasmanian Convention Bureau. The occasion was marked by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two companies witnessed by YB Datuk Michael Manyin, Minister for Urban Development and Tourism, at the Hilton Hotel today.
The Sarawak Convention Bureau was established by the Sarawak State Government in 2006 to attract more conventions and meetings to Sarawak. The Bureau provides free assistance to meeting planners and promotes Sarawak’s meeting venues and industry suppliers to potential clients. Last year it achieved a bid success ratio of 68 per cent, securing 28 new conventions for Sarawak. These events are expected to deliver 51,000 delegate days and over RM 35 million in direct delegate expenditure at conventions to be held over the next three years. Sarawak’s international profile as an emerging convention destination has also been boosted by the Bureau winning four international awards for its creative destination marketing.
The Tasmanian Convention Bureau was established in 1990 and has consistently performed well in a competitive market. The Bureau has a staff of 8 with offices in Hobart, Launceston and Melbourne. It is funded by its 180 industry members, State and Local Government and co-operative industry support. Last year Tasmania attracted 25,000 association and corporate delegates who contributed in excess of $AUD 51 million into the Tasmanian economy.
The MOU provides for a working partnership between both Bureaux under which sales and training support, lead generation activities and information sharing will be undertaken for the mutual benefit of both destinations.
The new alliance was negotiated during the Australian Meetings and Incentive Expo held in Melbourne from 16th to 19th February and coincides with the expiry of a similar alliance with Perth, Western Australia.
Minister of Urban Development and Tourism, YB Datuk Michael Manyin ak Jawong in welcoming visiting Chief Executive Officer of the Tasmanian Convention Bureau, Mrs Denise Bradley and Sales Manager Claire Harrington to Kuching for the signing ceremony said:
“Our respective Convention bureau’s each have similar objectives and it makes good business sense to work in partnership. As convention destinations Sarawak and Tasmania have much in common. Both are tranquil and green locations sharing an abundance of natural resources and thriving industries such as forestry, agriculture and fisheries.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Sarawak Convention Bureau, Mrs. Jill Henry added: “As international meetings are unlikely to return to the same destination for at least ten years, those organizations that have already met in Tasmania or Sarawak are great potential business leads as the host organizations have already demonstrated their willingness to meet beyond Gateway cities.”
“Importantly, in addition to the sharing of business leads, staff from each Bureau will provide logistical support when operating within their respective countries. Staff exchanges will also be undertaken to provide on the job training and help improve cultural awareness.”
Mrs. Denise Bradley, Chief Executive Officer of the Tasmanian Convention Bureau responded, “Tasmania welcomes the opportunity to work together with Sarawak, especially as there are so many similarities and synergies with the two destinations and bureaux. In the current global economic climate competition is fierce. Forming this alliance will help us work more effectively to deliver results enabling business growth.”