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‘Legacy more important than delegate numbers,’ SarawakBE chief

The head of a convention bureau has argued that the knowledge and inward investment stimulated by business events has a ‘far greater value’ than tourism receipts.

Announcing the organisation’s latest performance figures, Amelia Roziman, Acting CEO of BESarawak, said association meetings had ‘deeper’ benefits to society.

“We believe that the tourism impact, which counts the number of delegates, is just a portion of what’s important. Business events bring far greater values that can ultimately change our economic sectors and communities for Sarawak overall better known as legacy impact,” she said.

“Legacy impact is the new mindset in the global business events sector. Our sector is about bringing vast quantities of knowledge that stimulates investments, business connections and addressing societal challenges. Sarawak will benefit from harnessing the legacy impacts of business events.”

The latest business events performance figures were officially announced at Business Events Sarawak by Sarawak Convention Bureau’s industry gathering, Business Events Tribal Meet.

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, just three events (5%) have been cancelled this year, with conventions making up 80 per cent of the business events calendar in Sarawak.

Between January and September this year, SarawakBE generated roughly RM106 million in total economic impact, including RM58 million in direct delegate expenditure; RM6.4m in tax revenues, and the balance in the creation of 8,480 jobs created within various sectors.

Incentivised meeting packages – or subventions – helped secure 31 events over the next four years, adding up to almost 40,000 (39,356) delegate days (the total days delegates spend at meetings).

Sarawak’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Minister of Youth and Sports, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said: “The packages lend extensive support which injects additional funding as well as other financial incentives to help organisers get back on their feet and continue their planning processes.”

The Sarawak Government emphasises on bringing business events which are centred around the Sarawak’s 7 Key Focus Areas being Urban Development, Social Development, Environmental Development, Re-engineering economic growth (previously known as Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy – SCORE), Rural Transformation on Agriculture Development, Service Industry and the Digital Economy.