State regains RM291.2 million from BESarawak

Abdul Karim (third row, right), with Ting (on Abdul Karim’s right), BESarawak deputy chairman Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg (second row, right) and Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee (on Abang Abdul Karim’s right ) and others at the year-end gathering dinner.

KUCHING: The state’s business events industry received the highest of praises by the state government after its performance this year was revealed at Business Events Sarawak’s (BESarawak) Year-End Gathering Dinner on Monday (Dec 14).

The annual gathering, which strictly complied with the stipulated standard operating procedures (SOPs), was attended by Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, his assistant Datuk Sebastian Ting and other government dignitaries.

The Sarawak Convention Bureau has received a big round of applause for their rapid actions, alongside industry partners to bridge the gap between struggling business event planners and stunted business events.

“The state’s initial performance was jeopardised due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Minister revealed that the industry suffered a total economic loss of RM196.64 million this year, which includes a total estimated direct delegate expenditure loss of RM106.87 million and 15,606 less new job placements generated by business events in 2020,” Abdul Karim said.

However, Sarawak was able to regain momentum once more thanks to the Business Event Planners Incentivised Packages — contributed to an estimated total economic impact of RM291.2 million, and a direct delegate expenditure of RM158.2 million from 80 secured events to take place between 2021 and 2026.

Within these years, at least 23,113 job placements will be created by business events.

“Besides the economic impact, we are breathing new life into our business events sector,” Karim said.

From next year onwards, the state government aims to maximise the impact of business events and power of investment by harvesting convention legacies under BESarawak’s legacy impact movement.

This is aligned with the Sarawak Economic Action Council’s placement of business events as the driving force to achieve economic prosperity and social inclusion, and conserve Sarawak’s heritage and biodiversity among other aspirations.