Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sarawak Tourism Board targets turning Borneo World Music Expo into premier event in Asia

KUCHING: Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) has set its sight on turning the just concluded Borneo World Music Expo (BWME) into a premier event in Asia within the next five years.

Its chief executive officer Datuk Rashid Khan said the board was mulling on organising the expo as an annual event — entering onto the World music exposition — considering the tremendous opportunities to brand the world music festival due to the vast ethnicity in the state.

Rashid said the inaugural expo was already planned as part of the strategy to climb the value-chain for the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) which caters to the leisure market segment.

Improving the value chain would see both events evolved into stronger business tourism products which will create vast economic opportunities.

“We are not looking at this expo as a local event, but it should be seen as a platform for musicians and festivals from throughout Asia to come to the state. I am happy that this inaugural event managed to attract many music festival programmers from throughout the world,” he told a press conference on the last day of the expo at Pullman Hotel here yesterday.

BWME director and consultant Gerald Seligman was also present.

Throughout the three-day programme (June 24-26), he mentioned that panellists and speakers have been very generous in sharing their experiences about organising festivals, talent management, subject of copyrights and other behind-the-scenes know-how to run a music festival.

The expo had attracted 71 programmers and 186 delegates from throughout the world.

Five conference papers were delivered during the expo.

Rashid also suggested for the academic fraternity to be involved in the event.

Students could be involved in mentor programmes to learn about festival organising, performing and event programmers among others.

Apart from promoting the various ethnic groups here, he pointed out that the aspiration of this expo provides an economic impact and opportunities for the younger generation to be involved in the preservation of culture, to become musicians and professionals in the world music industry.