Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (centre) with Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee (4th left), Chief Operating Officer of Sarawak Convention Bureau (BESarawak), Amelia Roziman (4th right) and travel agency’s representation at the ICCA Congress today.

KUCHING: Sarawak has won the bid against Seoul, South Korea to be the host of the Asia Pacific Regional Hub for International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) 2020 which will take place from Oct 31 until Nov 5, 2020.

The inaugural convention will run simultaneously with the main 59th ICCA Congress 2020 at Kaohsiung, Taiwan. As such, educations sessions will be on-site at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) and live streamed from Koahsiung.

Participants will converge at the convention to share the latest developments and innovations within the world’s business and travel sector affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minister of Tourism, Art, and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said this solidified Sarawak’s position as one of the successful role models for second and third tier destination in Asia Pacific.

“Sarawak is proud to stand together with such global leaders as we adopt the ‘ICCA Tribal Legacy’ theme for our regional hub programme,” he said when announcing the Sarawak Asia Pacific Regional Hub ICCA Congress 2020 in a press conference at Baitul Makmur building on Friday.

Abdul Karim, who is also Youth and Sports Minister, said ICCA’s presence in the state will create a platform to inspire people to use business events as a stimulus, to build legacies and get the respective regional economies thriving.

“Sarawak is one of the pioneering destination current advocating this legacy impact movement. This is line with the Sarawak Economic Action Council (SEAC) which recognises that hosting conventions brings far-reaching values to Sarawak, and to Malaysia,” he said.

Abdul Karim said as such, the state is in the midst of consolidating preparations for the implementation of the all-new “Tribe Legacy Sarawak” programme which will be adopted from 2021 onwards, providing an immensely ground-breaking take on evaluating the contributions of business events from a Malaysian perspective.

“The convention is a challenging and exciting new way of organising global events in the face of Covid-19 restrictions,” he said.

“Therefore, the congress will be livestreamed to Sarawak and delegates who attend the regional hub congress in Kuching will join delegates from other regional hub locations, among others are Cape Town, Latin Amercia, Luxembourg, Malaga, North America and Riyadh,” he said.

Despite the current challenges, he said the state would also continue its focus on the well being the young communities by promoting reading thorough its Asia Pacific Regional Hub’s BookShare corporate social responsibility (CSR) project.

“We will encourage participants at this hybrid convention to bring with them a book or more, as their personal legacy for Sarawak’s rural libraries and schools.

“We see that conventions are a professional platform for sharing and showcasing knowledge, and in the same vein, books stimulate children’s imagination and develop their capabilities,” he said.

Also present at the press conference were Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee and BeSarawak acting chief executive officer Amelia Roziman.

BeSarawak will be the local host and organiser of the Sarawak Asia Pacific Regional Hub ICCA Congress 2020.