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Pacific Asia Watch
Sarawak Welcomes New Bureau Chief

The Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) has welcomed Mike Cannon as managing director of the Bureau.

Cannon, former executive director of the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB), comments, “After eleven years at the helm of the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux, the offer of a position as managing director of the Sarawak Convention Bureau came as a welcome surprise. I feel both privileged and very honoured — not to mention excited about working with the talented and enthusiastic SCB team who flourished so brilliantly under Jill Henry’s expert guidance. I’m only too aware that I’ll be following in mighty footsteps!”

Dato’ Dr. James Dawos Mamit, deputy minister of Tourism comments, “I am pleased to welcome Mike Cannon to Malaysia. Sarawak has successfully gained recognition in the MICE industry and I am confident that his contribution and experience will bring not only Sarawak, but Malaysia to another level of success in MICE.”

Dato’ Sri Dr. Muhd. Leo Michael Toyad Abdullah, chairman of SCB comments, “On behalf of the State Government, we are pleased to welcome Mike Cannon to Sarawak to share his knowledge and expertise within the conventions industry. With his strengths and past achievements, we can see the potential of bigger things to come and a greater contribution towards the development of Sarawak as a competitively global MICE destination.”

Cannon has worked with Trans Australia Airlines (TAA) in Papua New Guinea, and later spent time with Qantas, then Dalgety Travel, as Manager of Victoria before starting his own destination management firm; AFIT-Specialist Tours. He was a founding board member of the National Tourism Alliance (NTA) of Australia, has served on the board of ITOA (now ATEC – the Australian Tourism Export Council) with two years as Chairman, and was an integral part of The Australian Tourism Minister’s Advisory Council (driving the needs of the Convention Bureaux and business events industry following the launch of Minister Joe Hockey’s Tourism White Paper). A current councillor with the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA), Cannon has also served on various advisory boards and action groups, for example Southern Cross University’s Tourism Advisory Council and the Catherine Hill Bay Progress Association & Dune Care Inc.

Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya before moving to Australia for boarding school, Cannon is a graduate of Harvard Business School with a Certificate of Owner/ President Management, in 1991 (OPM/ Hbs).

His past achievements include convincing the Federal Government and its Authority to recognise the importance of Business Events in Australia, worth A$17.3B to Australia’s economy at the time. Furthermore, he has also established for the Bureaux of Australia, maximum marketing dollars from the Government’s Export Market Development Scheme and positioned the Convention Bureaux of Australia as having a core role in the development of Australia’s export services.
Cannon assumed his role as SCB’s Managing Director in April.