Kudos to our Sarawak Tourism Board for kicking off its first virtual B2B event with the organising of its inaugural "Sarawak Tourism Virtual Product Update (B2B)" on July 14 to 15.
The two-day virtual update is aimed to serve as a platform that connect 30 sellers mainly from Sarawak’s travel and tour services sector, with over 200 buyers from West Malaysia and Sabah. I take my hats off for the event which had given good opportunity for all tourism stakeholders to realign their efforts to recover from a decelerated tourism industry in the midst of an ongoing pandemic.
I am certain that this will be a very fruitful event for those who are attending the virtual event and for those of us who are familiar with Sarawak tourism, it is an opportunity to deepen our working relationships and help to innovate our local tourism products on the national landscape. I do hope that participants would take full advantage of the event to gain a perfect market fit or even formularise a new tourism product strategy in anticipation of a post-pandemic future.
In my opening speech, I have mentioned that the virtual updates offer not only a solution to a problem but an opportunity for growth to those concerned. Although buyers may not be meeting sellers in person but virtual events offer a host of other advantages because all parties will have the opportunity to have more meaningful conversations, the chance to broaden their reach into untapped markets. Essentially, the event will enable us to follow up more effectively on potential clients and sellers.
It is heartening for us to see that throughout the two-day event there were over 200 buyers including those from West Malaysia and Sabah have direct access to the 30 sellers’ company brochures, a list of tour images, and a brief description of their company’s profile. Apart from that, the B2B platform also includes features such as chat and video calls to allow buyers and sellers to exchange ideas and also set up an appointment for tourism-related plans in the near future.
It is a job well done for STB with their most recent effort in its ongoing mission to promote Sarawak as a must-visit CANFF destination, especially in preparation for when the domestic tourism industry reopens. Despite the challenges resulted by the pandemic, STB had initiated other campaigns to support the local tourism sector, such as the "Sia Sitok Sarawak" campaign, Sarawak Tourism Online Ecosystem Fund and the Visitors Incentive Package (VIP) incentives.