Sunday, February 28

MCO leaves Sarawak with RM67 mln in lost business events revenue

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Amelia Roziman

KUCHING: Business Events Sarawak (BESarawak) by the Sarawak Convention Bureau has estimated that the state lost RM67 million in business events revenue during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

BESarawak acting CEO Amelia Roziman said this was based on results from an industry
survey conducted to study the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the business events sector.

“Despite the bleak outlook, we expect to regain approximately RM69.49 million from business events originally scheduled to take place in 2020 but have since either been converted to virtual or hybrid events or postponed to 2021.

“Out of a total 54 events scheduled in our business events calendar, we recorded a success rate of 94.4 per cent with only two event cancellations to date,” she told The Borneo Post yesterday when commenting on the current state of the meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) or business events sector in Sarawak.

With the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) allowing specific activities under business events to operate from Monday (July 6) with a maximum capacity of 250 participants per event depending on venue size, Amelia said preparations for the reopening of the business events sector have been ‘very effective’ with the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and valued business events industry partners.

“In fact, on July 9 (tomorrow), we will be launching our Trio Initiatives under Sarawak’s brand-new campaign that will highlight on marketing and promotional activities, Reactivation Guidelines of Organising Business Events in Sarawak, and TriBE Digital Campus – a capacity-building and business led generation and conversion platform.

“With this we aim to win more businesses, encourage confidence amongst business events planners and delegates to host or attend events in Sarawak, whilst ensuring the existing standard operating procedures (SOP) and approved guidelines are successfully implemented across Sarawak,” she said.

She said BESarawak is currently very active in the Sarawak Economic Action Council (SEAC) under the Tourism Cluster, which aspires to spur activation and recovery from 2021 to 2030 for the state.

BESarawak is actively bidding for more new business, prioritising national business events due to shorter lead development times and the current international travel restrictions, she said.

“In the first quarter of 2020, we revised our strategic and tactical plan with a strong focus on mitigation and recovery to conserve existing resources and continue securing more new business for Sarawak.

“Nevertheless we will continue developing international business leads for future conversion,” she said.

Amelia noted BESarawak’s recovery plan is currently in place and transitioning with the latest situational developments until the end of 2022.

“A major component of our strategy to boost sector reactivation is digitalisation, human capital, and destination marketing and promotion.

“Now is the perfect time to utilise digital resources at hand to enhance our existing business model while keeping ourselves open to all possible avenues for business opportunities.

“We also recognise that it is crucial to develop high quality human capital to support the business events sector and push it towards thriving amidst a new normal,” she said.