Business and Finance

Sarawak: Malaysia’s Exotic Business Events Hub

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sarawak is renowned as a natural wonderland, but the state has also hosted over a thousand business events since 2006!

Sarawak is well-known for its ancient rainforests and blessed with rich flora and fauna but has also hosted 1,104 business events since 2006, bringing RM3.06 billion to the state’s economy and providing approximately 242,416 long- and short-term job opportunities.


Sarawak secured a total of 109 business events with an estimated RM365 million in total economic impact, RM21.4 million in tax revenue, and approximately 28,289 new job opportunities from 2020 to 2021. Despite several events being converted to virtual, these figures are a statement of achievement for Sarawak as the destination continues to recover from the pandemic. Sarawak made all the right moves to attract business events planners during the most challenging of times.


Business Events Sarawak, formerly Sarawak Convention Bureau which was established in 2006, is now known as BESarawak, a non-profit company funded by the Sarawak Government to help associations, societies, corporate organisations, and government agencies to organise and execute homegrown, national, and/or international business MICE events (meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions). Their roles and services are to assist in convention bidding, financial, and in-kind support, delegate boosting and marketing, venue, and vendor support, new event development, and itinerary development for corporate meetings and corporate incentives.

The organisation is under the Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts with the mission to drive sustainable and thriving business events in Sarawak. The vision is to establish Sarawak as a leading second-tier business events destination in the ASEAN region by championing legacy impact, thus delivering significant economic transformation, social development, heritage and cultural conservation, and sustainable best practices by 2030.


Eight focus areas were identified and designed to accelerate economic recovery, enhance brand awareness, improve local industry standards, and provide additional support to business event organisers. They are destination branding and marketing, destination development, business development, capacity building, data development and digitalisation, stakeholder collaboration, financial support, and good governance. At the heart of BESarawak’s strategy is legacy impact, the collective term for the long-term benefits that are hauled in by business events to drive social, sectoral, economic, environmental, and political developments. To facilitate the strategy, BESarawak aims for more legacy-driven business events, which include improving the local and national advocacy of legacy impact.

Legacy impact has been defined as the scheme of things in pursuit of economic prosperity, social inclusivity, and environmental sustainability aligned with the Sarawak government’s post Covid-19 Development Strategy. BESarawak’s strategic planning is the conclusion of several key discussions with stakeholders. Conventionally, both industry players and event organisers nowadays would still look at the amount of revenue and hotel room stays but BESarawak is looking to diversify this return by ensuring that the host destination and its people receive some of the benefits.


BESarawak has formulated several activities for each of Sarawak’s business events cities. Miri will be the host for a number of industry events such as familiarisation trips and workshops to promote the city to organisers and secure new leads. Ongoing efforts will be made to develop more corporate social responsibility programmes that can be adopted by future organisers. In 2022, BESarawak will aim to secure at least RM93.7 million in total economic impact for Miri with the support of local industry partners. Approximately RM50 million is expected from delegate expenses and RM5.6 million from tax revenue. Job-wise, at least 7,345 long- and short-term job opportunities will be generated for the local community.

Under the Corporate Meetings and Corporate Incentives segment, BESarawak is applying the blueprint to promote Sarawak as an incentive travel destination. Tribal Gathering also revealed plans to organise roadshows and networking events around Malaysia and bridge the engagement gaps with various local and national stakeholders. Plans are also underway to collaborate with international agencies to raise awareness on Sarawak as a business events destination. Meanwhile, activities to develop the local industry are also amplified under BESarawak’s education platform, TriBE Digital Campus.


Curtin University and BESarawak signed a Memorandum of Agreement to establish the International Journal of Business Events and Legacies. Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Sarawak and the Sarawak Research Society signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) respectively as strategic partners to expand the journal’s reach and visibility across multiple professional networks. Prior to this, just nine journals were found to have studied individual aspects of business events. Based on the research, none have reviewed business events as a whole inclusive of corporate meetings and corporate incentives. Sarawak is changing this game that would make the International Journal of Business Events and Legacies the first research publication in Southeast Asia to focus on business events and the first in the world specific to business events and legacies.

BESarawak achieved a great milestone by signing an MOU with the International Convention and Congress Association (ICCA) at IMEX Frankfurt this year. The global partnerships with ICCA and similar associations will give the journal added international recognition. The International Journal of Business Events and Legacies is backed by international associations such as the Professional Convention Management Association and the International Congress and Convention Association, as well as receiving local and national support from the Association of Sarawak Inbound Agencies; Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers; and Malaysian Association of Travel and Tour Agencies, Sarawak Tourism Federation, Business Events Council Malaysia, and the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau. Currently, there are 44 members from 15 countries who will share their resources in the making of the journal. These members are from all corners of the world — Malaysia, Singapore, UK, Italy, France, Spain, Australia, China, USA, Oman, Libya, Serbia, Iran, Greece, and Switzerland. International collaboration is expected to increase in the future.



BESarawak and the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) are fulfilling one of their strategies to educate and raise awareness of Sarawak’s destination readiness for national and international corporate meetings and corporate incentives. 50 international destination management companies from MATTA participated in an interactive workshop held in Kuala Lumpur; one of BESarawak’s strategies to develop Sarawak as a competitive corporate meetings and corporate incentives destination.

With international borders having been reopened since April 4, destination readiness is one of three emphases on BESarawak’s blueprint for corporate meetings and corporate incentives and key in luring business events back to the state. BESarawak’s collaboration with MATTA is a steady path to securing more business events of this nature aiming to increase the market share by developing corporate meetings and corporate incentives that are unique to Sarawak and delegates. BESarawak’s collaboration with MATTA is just the beginning to drive more sustainable, community-driven business events. What Sarawak offers is an immersive experiential itinerary that touches on culture, adventure, nature, food, and festivals. A good idea to make an impact on the community would be to include a corporate social responsibility activity as part of the itinerary.

Discover Sarawak Through Business Events

BESarawak offers an extensive range of support, services and incentives for corporate groups to organise a corporate meeting, incentive, or both. To enquire about organising and hosting business events in Sarawak, please email Donny Tan (Conventions and Exhibitions) at [email protected] or Crystal Phang (Corporate Meetings and Corporate Incentives) at [email protected]. For media enquiries, please email [email protected].

"ExpatGo welcomes and encourages comments, input, and divergent opinions. However, we kindly request that you use suitable language in your comments, and refrain from any sort of personal attack, hate speech, or disparaging rhetoric. Comments not in line with this are subject to removal from the site. "


Click to comment

Most Popular

To Top