KUCHING: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Business Events Sarawak (BESarawak) will look into introducing incentives to continue encouraging local business event planners to organise events, said the ministry’s permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee.
He said this would be done with careful compliance with the necessary standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines.
“We cannot expect delegates from outside Sarawak at this moment, but we should continue to organise hybrid events.
“This means local seminars and business events in Sarawak, but we can always engage with people outside Sarawak through a hybrid method. The government will be looking at all these incentives to encourage business events to continue even during this difficult time,” he said.
BESarawak acting chief executive officer Amelia Roziman said they would be revamping their existing incentivised packages, including the new addition for local events.
“We must invest in our future and create new promotions and angles to draw in more business events to anticipate when the market will bounce back,” she said.
Hii and Amelia said this during a discussion among industry players as part of the virtual launch of the ‘Meet Differently’ campaign by Place Borneo conducted via Zoom and Facebook Live today.
The panel discussion, which was moderated by Place Borneo Sdn Bhd director and principal consultant Gracie Geikie, also included Damai Beach Resort general manager Muhammad Fadhil Abdullah, Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) director of sales and marketing Premala Danapakiam, and Sarawak Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) president Datin Dona Drury-Wee.
At the same time, Hii stressed upon the need to instil confidence within the industry and among visitors. “In order to meet differently, we will make sure all SOPs and guidelines are in place.”
He also said that Sarawak needed to sustain its visibility through social media and digital advertising, seeing as travel was restricted.
“We need to tell people that Sarawak is still here and we welcome everyone back after the pandemic. But rest assured we will still continue to meet differently and creatively,” he said.
He said business events should be continued even if they had to be held in a scaled-down and virtual format, encouraging industry players to think creatively on how to move forward.
He assured that the state government would continue to support the industry during this challenging period, and hoped that the state government’s initiative on improving digital connectivity, especially in the rural areas would expand.
He also called upon all strategic partners in the business events industry to work together.
“We need to hand-hold each other to create the necessary strategy for the business events industry to move forward,” said Hii.
During the virtual launch, a special message was also delivered by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.