Image: (from left to right) Andee Yeo – Secretariat for Sarawak Business Events Association (SBE), Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah – Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture Sarawak, Mr. Hii Chang Kee – Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture Sarawak, Amelia Roziman – Acting CEO of BESarawak.
29 July 2021, Kuching, Sarawak: Sarawak has geared up the corporate incentives segment by having the most number of qualified professionals in Malaysia for the internationally acclaimed Certified Incentive Specialist (CIS) designation with a total of 26 local industry partners graduating from the course.
The latest virtual CIS course took place in Bangkok from 8th – 9th July 2021 which included an exam, was a collaboration between MICE Capability by Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and Sarawak Business Events Association (SBE) where 20 Sarawakian participants are supported by Business Events Sarawak (BESarawak) while another 6 participants took the course at a different time.
The CIS course is awarded by the world’s largest organisation for incentive travel, Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE).
In the Post COVID-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030, corporate incentives are one of the key initiatives to diversify the revenue pool of Sarawak when it comes to business events. “Sarawak has a lot of potential and immersive experiences that can be developed with the support of new infrastructure, development and capacity building.” said Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Sarawak’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak. “Besides being home to multi-ethnic cultures with many adventures and some of the best nature hot spots to enjoy, Sarawak is also renowned for its tantalising local food and the world famous Rainforest World Music Festival, which is a favourite with incentive groups. We are ready to welcome national corporate incentives to Borneo island in the 4th quarter 2021”.
The CIS course is a positive headstarter for industry partners, now with a dedicated association to further lead the industry. According to SBE’s President, Frederick Ho, “Corporate incentives are not new for Sarawak’s industry partners as Sarawak has hosted many global incentive groups from around the world. Our aim, when the business reopens, we are ready to enhance the skill level of our industry partners and garner more return and referred businesses. On behalf of SBE members, we appreciate the support from TCEB and BESarawak.”
A vital aspect of appealing to corporate incentive planners is to have a strategy in place with support that matches. “We are serious about becoming a major player in this region.” expressed BESarawak’s CEO, Amelia Roziman. “Last year we created a dedicated unit to spearhead corporate incentives and deployed our blueprint of 2 years to uplift Sarawak as a unique corporate incentive destination under the banner of Tribe Legacy Sarawak campaign. Our marketing and promotional efforts coupled with new incentive ideas and attractive incentivised packages will be instrumental in tapping into this segment with current global trends.”
Amelia further added that “the updated guideline in organising business events in Sarawak and standard operating procedure (SOP) are in place to ensure the success and safety of the groups.”
The 26 successful graduates were members from Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture Sarawak, Business Events Sarawak (BESarawak), Sarawak Tourism Board (STB), Association of Sarawak Inbound Agencies (ASIA), Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Sarawak Chapter and Sarawak Business Events Association (SBE).