ICCA Members Praise Sabah As Emerging Business Event Hub
BANGKOK: Members of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) have shown heightened interest in Sabah as an emerging business event destination.
The spotlight on Sabah’s potential was highlighted during the “Feel Sabah Night” networking event co-hosted by the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) and TTG Asia Media on Sunday (Nov 12) as part of the ongoing ICCA conference in Bangkok.
Kicking off the night in which Sabah’s tourism attractions and business event facilities were featured through a multi-media presentation was Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment cum STB Chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, who led Sabah’s 10-member team to the event.
Members of the Sabah delegation include Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) Chief Executive Officer Datuk Rosmawati Lasuki, STB Deputy Chief Executive Officer Julinus Jimit and the Ministry’s Senior Principal Assistant Secretary Murad Abdul Rashid..
Giving his take on Sabah’s appeal, ICCA Regional Director North America Jose Barreiro highlighted the state’s capacity to offer exciting pre and post-conference indulgence. He also emphasised Sabah’s UNESCO triple crown achievement as a unique draw for event players.
“This recognition underlines the diverse attractions Sabah brings to the table, catering to a wide range of preferences for business and leisure travellers,” Barreiro noted.
Philippines’s Tourism Promotion Board senior convention services officer Sherdoll D. Bayona emphasised the significance of infrastructure, commending Sabah for its excellent hotel rooms catering to all segments.
The commendation speaks to Sabah’s readiness to accommodate diverse needs, ensuring a seamless experience for conference attendees.
Kazakh Tourism senior manager for international biddings Galimzhan Seilove commended the strategic locations of conference venues, especially the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC).
This observation, he stated, underscores Sabah’s dedication to providing accessible and convenient facilities for hosting international conferences.
In his speech, Joniston emphasised the state’s ambition to become a strategic and appealing destination for memorable and eco-conscious Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) experiences.
“In this last quarter, we have seen an increase in interest in various events from sports, exhibitions, pageants and niche student and corporate travel,” he said. With tourist arrivals on a constant rise, Joniston added that more hotels are being constructed in Sabah to accommodate visitors, anticipating a surge in holiday and business event travellers.
Sabah is poised to add 2,053 rooms with seven soon-to-be-completed new hotels, supplementing the existing 685 hotels ranging from five-star to budget and lodges.