KOTA KINABALU: From 10 December to 12 December 2017 in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, ICCA Malaysia Committee members gathered for a two-day meeting and site inspection, and also engaged in an advocacy seminar. The three-day programme, hosted by Sabah Tourism Board and Yayasan Sabah Group, was attended by 10 member organisations from around the country.
ICCA Malaysian members coming from Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Sarawak had the wonderful opportunity to see for themselves Sabah's first dedicated convention centre, Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC), which is to be fully operational by 2019. This was followed by a strategic meeting between the Malaysian members present, who during the meeting decided upon a common strategy as to how they will work together as a team to bring more business to Malaysian shores. Currently, Malaysia has three Convention Bureaus, namely Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (national), Sarawak Convention Bureau (state level) and Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (state level).
At the Committee meeting, the members committed to working collectively to deliver some key activities in 2018 as part of what is called the “Sabah Charter”. They agreed to the following action plan:
- To organise a Researcher’s Roundtable to act as the national platform for discussing best practices in the development of business leads, as well as the collection of data and statistics.
- To organise a dialogue between Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau, Sarawak Convention Bureau, Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau and Sabah Convention Bureau to increase Malaysia’s bid win ratio.
- To organise the annual Future Leaders Forum, which will nurture new, young talent and groom Malaysia’s future captains of industry in business events.
- To organise a Legacy Clinic for Malaysian local host committee on how to plan for and measure the long-term legacies left by international associations when they bring their congresses to Malaysia.
- To encourage active participation in the annual Global Meetings Industry Day across Malaysia to raise awareness of the benefits of business events within the country, and to raise the profile of Malaysia among the international business events community.
During the seminar, the “Sabah Charter” was presented by Ms. Ho Yoke Ping, Chair of ICCA Malaysia, to the Chairman of Sabah Tourism Board, YB Datuk Joniston Lumai.
Ms. Ping indicated that, “Malaysia launched its Business Events Roadmap in early 2017. Now we are delighted to gain support from Sabah State Government and other stakeholders for this national agenda. Business events have been earmarked as one of the key drivers of transformation by the Malaysian Government. Hence, we all need to collaborate so that the nation will continue to win international conventions that are linked to our key economic sectors. I truly believe that Sabah, a destination that has been very successful with tourism, will also be able to position itself as a unique business events destination, especially with the completion of the new convention centre in 2019."
Meanwhile, Mr. Gordon Yapp, CEO of Sabah Convention Bureau, was pleased that the ICCA Malaysia members came to give support to the state. He said, “Sabah has been a successful destination for tourism and incentive travel. We are pleased that Kota Kinabalu is the second busiest airport in Malaysia and our hotels are running high occupancy all year round. However, I believe we are ready to tap into the high-end market, especially the business events market. There is so much that we could learn from other ICCA Malaysian members who have a vast experience of handling the business events segment, such as international association meetings and international exhibitions. With the new state-of-the-art SICC being completed next year, we understand that the promotion of Malaysia as a business events destination needs to begin right away. Without a doubt, the Sabah State will put our focus on business events. This ICCA Malaysia meeting has created a significant impact and helped our stakeholders to see things clearly. I am happy to report that on 1 January 2018, the State Government agreed to launch the new Sabah Convention Bureau. Full details on this new convention bureau will be announced later, once we have completed the set-up.”
For media enquiries, please contact:
Nusheena Mohd Shahimi
Membership Development Executive
ICCA Asia Pacific Regional Office
ICCA - the International Congress and Convention Association- is the global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry. ICCA represents the main specialists in organising, transporting, and accommodating international meetings and events, and comprises over 1000member companies and organisations in almost 100 countries worldwide. ICCA specialises in the international association meetings sector, offering access to unrivalled data, communication channels, and business development opportunities.
For more information visit: http://www.iccaworld.org
About the ICCA Malaysia Committee
The Committee comprises 16 key and active organisations in Malaysia’s business events industry: AOS Conventions & Events Sdn Bhd; Borneo Convention Centre Kuching; Hotel Equatorial Penang; Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre; Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau; Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre; My Meeting Partner @ Anderes Fourdy; One World Hotel; Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau; Putra World Trade Centre; Putrajaya International Convention Centre; Sabah Tourism Board; Sarawak Convention Bureau; Setia SPICE Convention Centre; Themed Attractions Resorts & Hotels Sdn Bhd; Yayasan Sabah Group. ICCA Malaysia Committee’s Chair is Ms Ho Yoke Ping from MyCEB, and Mr. Ashwin Gunasekeran, Chief Executive Officer of Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau is the Deputy Chair. ICCA’s Asia Pacific Regional Office and Global Research Centre is based in Malaysia.