KUCHING: The Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) celebrated its fifth anniversary and unveiled its new corporate image in fine style on Saturday at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching during the Anak Sarawak Appreciation Award (Asaa) Ceremony 2011.
Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Puan Sri Ragad Kurdi Taib graced the ceremony.
The transformation of BCCK’s great hall into a mystical rainforest setting, in line with the night’s Rainforest Magic – Homecoming Warriors theme, was dramatic.
Thirty-five individuals were recognised for their contributions and efforts in bringing conferences to the state.
This year, forty-eight conference bids representing 20,000 delegates and RM45.08 million in direct delegate expenditure were secured.
Among the conferences secured are the 9th World Congress of Chinese Medicine next year, which is set to attract over 1,000 specialists and RM7.7 million in revenue, and the International Hydropower Association Congress in 2013 (600 delegates and RM2.1 million).
During his welcoming speech, SCB chairman Datuk Seri Dr Muhd Leo Michael Toyad Abdullah acknowledged the strong support of local conference hosts which enabled SCB to achieve significant results.
He said that since its inception in 2006, SCB had secured 180 conferences which generated a total of RM189 million in direct delegate expenditure to the state.
“SCB has recorded an impressive 80 per cent success rate in mid-2011, and with the help of our award winners tonight we hope to keep this momentum going.”
He thanked all present for their role in enabling Kuching to be placed for the first time in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) 2010 Asia Pacific rankings, adding that it showed Sarawak had earned its place as a competitive destination in the international arena as well as being capable of providing world-class meeting
During the ceremony, SCB chief executive officer Jill Henry unveiled the bureau’s new logo that incorporates SCB’s hornbill emblem within an ethnic-inspired tattoo.
She said SCB engaged a traditional Sarawak tattoo artist Simon David Kalum Umpie and graphic designer John Huang to come up with the unique design.
Earlier, she led the lighting of five birthday candles which represented blessings, people, and significant milestones in its history.
In their respective speeches, Dr Toyad and Jill paid tribute to the chief minister for his role in setting up SCB as a dedicated agency to look into business tourism or MICE.
They also praised the SCB team for their dedication and hard work in ensuring the success of the bureau.
The event was sponsored by BCCK and jointly supported by Pullman Kuching, Four Points by Sheraton, Riverside Majestic Hotel, and Grand Margherita Hotel that also played host to the Asaa recipients.