Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sarawak Gaining Prominence As MICE Destination


KUCHING -- Sarawak promises a totally new experience for those attending the 'Meeting, Incentive, Convention and Exhibition (MICE) events.'

Opportunities to socialise at MICE events all over the world are much sought after by business people who want to expand networking and learn of the latest developments in their field.

Aware of such lucrative returns, the Land of the Hornbill through the Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) has worked out creative and innovative ideas to woo businessmen to the MICE events.

Established in 2006, SCB plays a big role in promoting Sarawak as a competitive hub for business events at the regional and international level.

MICE has been identified by the government as one of the key sectors under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) for the oil and gas, agriculture and hydro-electric sectors.

WHERE RIVERS AND JUNGLES MEET

During a recent media tour organised by SCB, participants were shown the facilities available at the capital city of Kuching to cater for MICE events.

Sarawak Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said, "Though MICE is still viewed as a new sector here, the government has readied all the basic amenities needed for the sector's development."

Among the MICE facilities available in Kuching were the Kuching Borneo Convention Centre and numerous other hotels that could cater to such entrepreneurial events.

"We feel that Kuching has its own advantages as the destination of choice for MICE events due to the city's strategic location," he told Bernama.

The city that straddles across the Sarawak River has maintained much of its natural surroundings and provides an extraordinary advantage of becoming a MICE destination.

"We are now in the midst of maximising the use of water transportation modes that will serve as another attraction for MICE delegates. The delegates can travel from their place of stay to the MICE venues by boats and this is bound to provide a totally new experience unlike those in other major cities surrounded by concrete buildings", he said.

"We promise an exhilarating experience for the delegates as their meeting venues are surrounded by natural jungles instead of concrete jungles", added Amar Abang Johari.

SARAWAK CONVENTION BUREAU

SCB serves as a one-stop centre to assist MICE entrepreneurs in Sarawak to bid for business events at the national, regional and international level.

Last year, SCB managed to bid for up to 56 conventions that attracted 25,555 delegates and brought in revenues worth RM59.26 million to Sarawak, placing the state as the biggest MICE destination in Malaysia.

Sarawak could cater up to 5,000 delegates at any single MICE event with the average duration of conventions here standing at 3.9 days. The money spent for each delegate totals RM3,000 per person, which is three times more than what is spent on visitors during a holiday retreat.

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