Sarawak launches new incentive packages for local business events sector

State Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah beating a drum to launch the incentive packages for local business event planners. Looking on are assistant minister for tourism Datuk Sebastian Ting (left) and the ministry's permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee (right). — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: Sarawak is introducing new incentive packages to support the local business events sector in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

State Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the incentives for local and hybrid events aimed to encourage local planners and organisations to plan homegrown business events.

"National and international in-person events will not take place anytime soon, which is why we need to put our current emphasis on hybrid and local business events first to help the industry restart and recover during this difficult time.

"This is our way of providing industry support before the borders reopen, hopefully by the end of this year or early next year," he said when launching the packages by Business Events Sarawak (formerly known as Sarawak Convention Bureau) at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching on Wednesday (March 3).

The Tribe Homegrown incentive package for Sarawak-based associations and corporate organisations comes in two categories, one for conventions and the other for corporate meetings and incentives.

For the convention category, successful applicants will receive a matching grant for their event while the corporate meetings and incentives category offers subsidies starting from RM5,000 and RM3,000 respectively.

Meanwhile, Sarawak-based industry partners can apply for a one-off grant of up to RM5,000 for their advertising, marketing and promotional efforts under the Tribe Collaborate package.

"With a wide range of subsidised items, the Tribe Homegrown package will encourage more planners to come forward and hold events in Sarawak.

"In respect of the Tribe Collaborate package, our industry partners can craft and amplify their advertising, marketing and promotion activities," Karim said.

Business Events Sarawak's acting chief executive Amelia Roziman urged industry partners to make use of the incentives to organise business events and boost their promotional activities.

"Solid marketing and promotion will make a positive impact on Sarawak's efforts to generate business leads," she said.

Also launched at the event was a video highlighting the "new normal" of holding business events in Sarawak, incorporating standard operating procedures such as temperature checks, wearing face masks and physical distancing.

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