STB’s virtual event pays off

STB’s inaugural Virtual Product Update (B2B) platform enables 30 sellers from Sarawak and over 200 buyers from Malaya and Sabah to meet up virtually.

Thirty sellers and 200 buyers get connected

KUCHING: The Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) kicked off its first virtual B2B event with the launch of its inaugural Sarawak Tourism Virtual Product Update (B2B) today.

 The virtual update aims to connect 30 sellers mainly from Sarawak’s travel and tour services sector with over 200 buyers from Malaya and Sabah.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who officiated at the event launch virtually, said it was an opportunity for all tourism stakeholders to realign their efforts to recover from a decelerated tourism industry in the midst of an ongoing pandemic.

“I’m certain it will be a very fruitful event.  For those of us who are familiar with Sarawak tourism, it is an opportunity to deepen our working relationships and help to innovate Sarawak’s tourism products on the national landscape,” he said.

STB chief executive officer Sharzede Datuk Salleh Askor hoped that the participants would take full advantage of the Sarawak Tourism Virtual Update and gain a perfect market fit or even formulate a new tourism product strategy in anticipation of a post-pandemic future.

“Virtual updates offer not only a solution to a problem but an opportunity for growth. Although buyers may not be meeting sellers in person, virtual events offer a host of other advantages.

“Sellers and buyers will have the opportunity to have more meaningful conversations, the chance to broaden their reach into untapped markets as well as being able to follow up more effectively on potential clients and sellers.”

She said throughout the two-day event, over 200 buyers from Malaya and Sabah would have direct access to the 30 sellers’ company brochures, lists of tour images and brief descriptions of their company’s profiles.

Aside from that, the B2B platform also included features such as chat and video calls to allow buyers and sellers to exchange ideas and also set up appointments for tourism-related plans in the near future, she added.

The virtual update is STB’s most recent effort in its ongoing mission to promote Sarawak as a must-visit Culture, Adventure, Nature, Food and Festival (CANFF) destination, especially in preparation for when the domestic tourism industry reopened.

Since the onset of the pandemic, STB has initiated other campaigns to support the local tourism sector such as the “Sia Sitok Sarawak” campaign, Sarawak Tourism Online Ecosystem Fund and the Visitors Incentive Package (VIP) incentives.