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JUL-AUG 2019 MEETINGS & CONVENTIONS MCMAG-ASIA.COM 11 S P E C I A L F E A T U R E A Decade of Distinction Since its inception in 2009, Borneo Convention Centre Kuching has emerged from the shadows to become one of Malaysia's leading convention centres. The first international, purpose-built convention centre in Sarawak, Malaysia, Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) opened its doors in 2009 and in the intervening decade has hosted more than 1,600 events and welcomed over two million delegates from across the world. Setting a Global Standard One hallmark of a truly elite convention centre is the AIPC Gold Quality Standards Certification, which is designed to offer an industry benchmark against global excellence. Of the 190 convention centres in the world, only 23 have managed to achieve this. BCCK is one of the chosen — and the second in Asia to have been awarded — thanks to the tireless efforts of its team in delivering high-quality events. Such recognition gives planners from around the world confidence and assurance that their event will be handled with the utmost professionalism in a world- class setting. In addition, BCCK has been accorded with the ISO 14001 certification, which specifies requirements for an effective environmental management system — further testament to the centre's commitment in delivering international quality standards. The centre also bears a stamp of approval from The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), which has accepted them as a member alongside leading tradeshow organisers, exhibition centre operators and exhibition associations, providing an added level of assurance for planners contemplating an event here. Bringing Kuching and Sarawak to the Fore But more than just a convention centre, BCCK is an important catalyst for the future of Sarawak, which has slowly but surely been rising above the competition in the world of business events. Last year, Kuching moved up an incredible 47 spots from 2017 to become the 28th most preferred city for business events in Asia Pacific in 2018, finishing just behind Kuala Lumpur as the most attractive business events destination in Malaysia. What's notable is that out of its 20 international conferences held in 2018, seven were hosted at BCCK. The centre has been credited for contributing more than MYR 266.7 million worth of economic impact to the business events industry in Sarawak since 2013. "With our excellent team, the endless support from our State Government of Sarawak, Board of Borneo Isthmus Development Sdn Bhd and our local stakeholders, we have managed to elevate and showcase Sarawak as a phenomenal business events destination on an international stage," said Eric van Piggelen, Chief Executive Officer of BCCK. A Bright Future If the first decade of BCCK's existence has been impressive, the future looks to be even brighter. After a successful 2018 with almost 200 events held throughout the year bringing 7,000 delegates and MYR 22 million in economic impact to Sarawak, the centre, which is celebrating its 10- year anniversary, is expecting 2019 to be another banner year. Key events include the 23rd Asian Television Awards (ATF), the 13th Asia Pacific Orchid Conference, the 22nd Family Medicine Scientific Conference, the 1st Southeast Asia Critical Care Nurses Congress (SEAFCCN 2019) and the 14th Asia-Pacific Physics Conference. BCCK is on a path that will see it play a pivotal role not only in the future of event-planning in Kuching, but in the success of Sarawak on the international business events stage. "The BCCK, through excellent leadership, coupled with the unwavering support from team BCCK and team Sarawak has produced stellar results. We would like to express our deepest appreciation to all stakeholders for your immeasurable support which enables the BCCK to thrive as a contributor to making Sarawak a competitive second-tier business events destination." -Datuk Hajjah Raziah Mahmud-Geneid, Chairman of Borneo Isthmus Development Sdn Bhd (BID)

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