Sabah Tourism expects higher receipts from growing MICE market

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Tourism board has established the Convention Bureau Unit to tap business opportunities from the state’s growing Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) market.

In a statement on Saturday, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said that the unit was created in anticipation of the completion of the world-class Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) next year.

“The convention centre will allow the board to focus on the MICE market, which would earn Sabah more tourism receipts.

“The importance and strength of this new segment of the tourism industry must be built up from now,” he added.

Masidi also announced Gordon Yapp’s appointment as chief executive officer of the Sabah Convention Bureau.

Yapp is a long-serving officer of the board and is retiring as General Manager this month.

He will assist the owner of SICC and work towards securing more business for Sabah.

Meanwhile, Suzaini Sabdin Ghani has been promoted to become general manager, from her current post as the board’s deputy general manager in marketing.

Suzaini has more than 20 years of experience as a senior employee of an international hotel chain, and has spearheaded the transformation of the board’s marketing strategies to become more focused, results-oriented, and with lower marketing expenses.

“For the last two years, we have been working hard to transform the board, striving for excellence by embracing the (private sector’s strong) work ethics and culture.

“Information and Communications Technology is now a vital component of the board’s new marketing strategy. Marketing costs are lower, but the results are much better,” Masidi added.

Source: New Straits Times

After China’s JM Group MICE, Sabah ready to take on larger events

KOTA KINABALU: Over 3,500 delegates from China’s JM Group have been arriving to Sabah since last Saturday, as Kota Kinabalu was picked as their conference venue.

It was the largest MICE (meeting, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) group from China the state have hosted.

The delegates of the JM Top Achievers China arrived in batches and were spread out to eleven hotels in the state capital.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, in a statement, said that the event is an indication that Sabah is ready to host large scale events.

“Sabah is embarking into a serious business conference venue with the completion of the Sabah International Convention Centre soon.

“An estimated RM31.8 million economic impact is expected to flow into tourism in Sabah (from this development).

“The Sabah Tourism Board (STB) will be targeting incentive groups from China as it has a huge potential due of the many large corporations there,” said Masidi when opening the JM Top Achievers China’s conference at the Universiti Sabah Malaysia, yesterday.

According to him, more Chinese incentives are expected, such as Perfect (China) and Babycare.

STB’s forecast shows a potential average of 33,000 arrivals from China monthly, this year alone.

New direct flights connecting China to Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) has been steadily introduced every year.

In the last six months, new and additional flights from Wuhan, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Fuzhou brought to a total of 79 flights from China into the state on a weekly basis.

Last night, Masidi and Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau chief executive officer Datuk Zulkefli Sharif attended the JM Group’s beach gala night dinner as guest-of-honours at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort.

In the event, JM Group Executive Director Qiu Wei Joe and delegates were treated to a sunset beach party, featuring entertainment and fireworks display.

Source: New Straits Times

SICC expected to catalyse Sabah’s economic growth

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) under construction here will catalyse Sabah’s economic growth and play a key role in high-impact tourism.

The project, owned by state-owned Yayasan Sabah Group (YSG), is being built on a 15-acre reclaimed site adjacent to the soon-to-be relocated Kota Kinabalu Port.

The convention centre, the first of its kind in terms of scale in Sabah, is one of the strategic projects to enhance YSG’s impact on Sabah’s development, its director Datuk Sapawi Ahmad said yesterday.

He was speaking during a 3-in-1 event here witnessed by Chief Minister cum Yayasan Sabah Chairman Datuk Musa Haji Aman. The event saw the signing of a multi-party memorandum of understanding, a Loan Syndication Mandate and the presentation of dividends to YSG.

Under the MOU, YSG’s wholly-owned subsidiary Innoprise Corporation Sdn Bhd will collaborate with WH Vector Sdn Bhd and Koperasi Agrotek Malaysia Berhad in the development of the Papar Smart City project. Koperasi Agrotek will act as consultant and developer for this project.

The loan syndication will see state-owned Sabah Development Bank and AmInvestment Bank Berhad leading a syndicated loan to finance the completion of SICC which, when completed, will be the biggest in Borneo.

SICC is envisaged to be the main driver to attract MICE (meetings, incentives, conference and exhibition) visitors. The adjacent Kota Kinabalu Convention City (KKCC) built by renowned Mah Sing Group, will have three hotels and high-end shopping, office and residential components to complement SICC. KKCC has a gross development value of RM1.4 billion. It is connected to SICC via a covered sky bridge.

Aside from KKCC, SICC will also be complemented the proposed world class cruise terminal and marina. According to state government figures, these facilities are expected to generate RM735 million in revenue from domestic tourists, RM2.3 billion from international tourists and an additional RM3.15 billion from MICE.

In the presentation of dividends, nine YSG subsidiary companies paid a combined RM44.6 million in dividends to YSG. The companies are Tanjung Aru Hotel Sdn Bhd, Benta Wawasan Sdn Bhd, NRG Consortium (Sabah) Sdn Bhd, Sabah Softwoods Berhad, Norsechem (Sabah) Sdn Bhd, Borneo Nature Tour, Innoprise Jungle Lodge, Sabah Foundation Bioscape Sdn Bhd and YSG Landscape Services Sdn Bhd.

YSG, set up not long after Sabah attained independence in 1963 and backed by rich timber concessions, is aimed at uplifting the standard of living of Malaysians in Sabah. It has an extensive business portfolio from shipping tom plantation to tourism.

“When completed, the SICC is poised to be an engine for the economic growth of the state, particularly in relation to high-impact tourism said,” said Sapawi.

Meanwhile, in applauding the financial achievements of the YSG-owned companies, Sapawi stressed on the ability of these companies to pay dividends testify to their abiding with their respective Key Performance Index (KPI).

“KPI should be maintained and enhanced to a higher level in ensuring that the subsidiaries continue to be relevant not only to the YSG but also to the people,” said Sapawi. “Indeed, the dividend will help YSG to actively continue to carry out its social programmes in improving the people’s quality of life.”


Source : New Sabah Times