KUCHING: Key business decision-makers from Australia and Singapore recently undertook a familiarisation (FAM) trip to the state.
The trip, run by Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB), aimed to shed true light on the state with its unique wildlife and beauty, tradition and heritage, culture of hospitality as well as its world-class facilities slated for the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) industry.
Global marketing and communications director Amelia Roziman explained that the FAM trip was held as part of SCB’s ‘7 Wonders of Borneo’ campaign – an essential part of the bureau’s strategic plan for this year to showcase what Sarawak had to offer to some of the most established markets in the Australasia region.
“It’s only by being physically here in the heart of Borneo that our clients can truly appreciate what Sarawak has to offer as a destination for business events. The feedback has been fantastic.
“Our guests enjoyed a tailor-made programme, experiencing everything here – from sights of the orangutans in our ancient rainforests, our many indigenous tribes, up to the state’s colonial history and world-class convention facilities.
“We hope that they could impart this new knowledge to their peers, so that we can transform Sarawak from being the region’s best-kept secret to a recognised global business destination for events. With SCB, Sarawak can be proud of its 80 per cent success rate in bidding (for hosting jobs) over the past few years,” she added.
The delegates visited the main attractions across the state including Kuching Waterfront, Semenggoh Wildlife Centre and Sarawak Cultural Village here, as well as Gunung Mulu National Park. In addition, they had the opportunity to visit various hotels and venues up for consideration as the hosting platforms of their future events here.
The FAM also allowed the guests to experience the internationally-acclaimed Rainforest World Music Festival and kayaking at Kampung Semadang.
“We have such strong support from the industry and the FAM trip is the result of our efforts as an experienced and mature industry player. Many thanks to our main supporter, Malaysian Airlines (Sydney), as well as Cat City Holidays, CPH Travel Agencies, Planet Borneo Tours, Hilton Kuching Hotel, Mulu Marriot and Spa, Meritz Hotel, Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, Sarawak Tourism Board and Event Horizons Management for making this trip a great success,” Amelia said.
For executive director of Association Executive Services, Nick Koerbin, he had a complete change of perception of Sarawak as a result of the FAM programme.
“This visit was a real eye-opener. To be frank, I was blown away by the outstanding facilities and logistical assistance provided in Sarawak, which far exceeded the antiquated perception of an exotic destination. With today’s challenging world economy, Sarawak proves to be an excellent value-for-money location for Australian organisations to conduct their conferences out of Australia – and even New Zealand,” he said.
SCB’s Australian representative Dr Caroline Hong said she was excited over the prospects of future business for the bureau in Australian and Singaporean markets.
“Now that the association’s clients are convinced by the value of Sarawak as a business events destination, I have no doubt that the good word would be spread by them back at their respective countries and in turn, more conferences and incentives would take place in Sarawak.”
In addition to the FAM trip, SCB has been active in getting into the Australian and Singaporean markets through numerous attendance at international trade shows, meetings and corporate events, and working closely with the international trade media under the ‘7 Wonders of Borneo’ campaign banner.
For more information on the FAM, contact SCB communications manager Mike Cheng via [email protected], or call 082-242-516.