By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
KOTA KINABALU: Gordon Yapp, Sabah Tourism Board’s long serving officer, has been appointed to helm the Convention Bureau, a newly created unit in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment.
Gordon, who retires as General Manager of Sabah Tourism Board at the end of the year, takes up his new posting with effect from January 1, 2018, Masidi Manjun the minister announced in a statement Saturday.
His place at Sabah Tourism is taken over by Suzaini Sabdin Ghani, who has been promoted from her current post of deputy General Manager (Marketing).
Prior to joining Sabah Tourism, Suzaini accumulated more than 20 years of experience in a senior position of an international chain hotel. As head of marketing she has spearheaded the transformation of the Board’s marketing strategies to be more focused and result oriented.
According to Masidi’s statement, the Convention Bureau was created in anticipation of the completion of the new Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC), expected at the 4th quarter of 2018.
“The availability of world class facilities at SICC would allow Sabah Tourism to focus on the MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) market which would earn Sabah more tourism receipts,” said Masidi.
“The importance and strength of this new segment of the tourism industry must be built from now. Gordon will assist and work together with the owner of SICC (ICSB/Sabah Foundation) to prepare and market SICC and generally secure more MICE business for Sabah.”
He added that for the last two years his ministry as well as Sabah Tourism have been working hard to transform the Board to strive for excellence by embracing private sector work ethics and culture.
ICT, pointed out Masidi, is now a vital component of their new marketing strategy. Marketing cost is lower but the results are much better. 2016 was a record breaking year in term of tourist arrivals and I have confidence we have fared even better in 2017.