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May 1, 2008
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Good start for Malaysia’s first independent convention bureau




Some 24 new meetings with an average size of 320 delegates – and taking place over the next two years – have been secured by the Sarawak Convention Bureau in its inaugural year of operation.

The first independent convention bureau to launch in Malaysia, aiming to attract events to the Borneo state, had presented more than 40 destination bids up until December last year with 24 successes and 10 still pending. The 24 confirmed meetings should bring in 7,775 delegates generating an estimated 2,000 hotel room nights and RM16.3 million in direct delegate expenditure.

“We are very pleased to have achieved a 58% strike rate in our first year of bidding and this augers well for our future growth,” said Sarawak Convention Bureau’s chief executive Jill Henry. “We were pleasantly surprised at our success in converting international and regional events, which actually outnumbered the national wins five to one. So this year we are putting more emphasis on enticing national meeting planners to consider East Malaysia. Last year, we had challenges getting them to consider moving their events around the country rather than regularly staging them in the capital Kuala Lumpur.”

The Bureau also reported that it conducted site inspection visits for 113 meeting planners and association executives from the UK, Europe, Australia, China, Taiwan, Scandinavia, Singapore and Hong Kong, and attended major meeting trade shows to build awareness of Sarawak as a meetings destination. In addition, it assisted the organisers of 13 conventions held in Sarawak last year with marketing and promotion support for delegate boosting to maximise their delegate attendance.

“It is an exciting time for us in Sarawak as we are gearing up for our bigger and better meeting facilities coming on stream over the next few years,” Henry continued. “Top of the list is the RM200 million Borneo Convention Centre Kuching with its 36,000 square metres of floor space due to open in mid 2009. In tandem with the new meeting and exhibition facilities, Kuching will see a doubling of its three, four and five-star room stock by 2010 with the construction of five new hotels.”

For more information, visit www.sarawakcb.com.


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