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Pacific Asia Watch
Malaysia To Become, To Secome A Leading MICE Destination by 2015
A land full of culture, beautiful beaches, fascinating food, and a wide array of activities to experience, has added yet another attraction to its long list of reasons to visit Malaysia. Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud recently announced that the state government has set a goal to be among the top five Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) Asia-Pacific destinations at the grand opening of the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) located in Sarawak, East Malaysia.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who spoke at the event, said that Malaysia was ranked eighth in the Asia-Pacific region and 32nd in the world according the International Congress and Convention Association’s (ICCA) 2008 rankings.  The ICCA ranks countries based on the number of international association meetings hosted annually. The top ranked country in the world is the United States, with Japan leading the Asia-Pacific region. Singapore and Thailand are Malaysia’s closest competition in South East Asia.

“Malaysia has all the inherent ingredients to be successful, such as growing accessibility, competitive pricing, leading edge infrastructure, multicultural attraction and professional expertise,” he said. Najib also expressed that Malaysia’s MICE ranking could be improved with the establishment of the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) under Tou rism Malaysia. Jill Henry, CEO of Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) said, “I’m very impressed with BCCK and its team and proud that our world class facility is open for business on schedule. We are looking forward to a long and fruitful working relationship with BCCK to secure many prestigious conferences for the State of Sarawak,” during the soft opening of the BCCK back in October 2009.

The SCB, which reported a 72% success rate in their bids to host conventions in 2009 has been working closely with BCCK to actively secure several international conferences.  “Indeed, BCCK’s working relationship with SCB couldn’t be better. We are glad to have a business partner as enthusiastic and dynamic as SCB. Together, we will strive to achieve Sarawak’s vision to be the venue of choice for international conferences”, said Trevor McCartney, chief executive of BCCK during the soft opening.

Opened in October 2009, the BCCK is the only purpose-b uilt convention center in Borneo, housing a 2,000 capacity banquet hall, 14 breakout meeting rooms, a 2,500-square meter pillar free exhibition space, and the capability to host 1,500 delegates in plenary. The rainforest themed architecture is striking – the roof is shaped in the form of a “Ririk” leaf, a rainforest plant important to local indigenous cultures. Environmentally sensitive, the roof channels rain water down the central vein of the leaf for use in the Centers gardens and grounds. Other venues such as the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) have also been successful in boosting Malaysia’s reputation as a leading MICE destination. As of December 2009, KLCC had confirmed at least 28 MICE events to take place in the country’s capital. These events range from medicine and science to technology and finance, estimated to bring over 16,000 delegates to Kuala Lumpur. For more information on Malaysia, and its numerous annual MICE conventions, please visit www.tourismmalaysiausa.com.
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