Vice President, Kinabatangan – Corridor of Life Tourism Operators Association, Sabah
Mr. Johnny Lim, a distinguished tourism conference speaker, boasts a journey through the vibrant world of travel and hospitality that is nothing short of remarkable. His life’s path has been marked by a relentless commitment to learning, community involvement, and a profound love for his homeland, Sandakan, in Sabah, Malaysia.
Early Life and Education: Johnny’s educational journey commenced at Sung Siew Primary School in Sandakan and ended at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia, where he graduated in 2001 with a degree in Accounting and Corporate Administration. Little did he know that this foundation would one day merge seamlessly with his passion for tourism.
Professional Growth: Upon completing his education, Johnny returned to Sandakan, driven by a deep sense of familial duty, and embarked on an extraordinary adventure. He began humbly, serving as a waiter at the family-owned Sepilok Jungle Resort. With unwavering determination, he traversed through various roles, from receptionist to reservation to operation, gradually ascending the ladder of success.
In parallel, Johnny pursued a different kind of education – one rooted in hands-on experience. He obtained a tourist license and immersed himself in the daily operations of the tourism industry, ensuring that he stayed connected to the pulse of the sector.
In 2005, his entrepreneurial spirit led him to establish the renowned Sepilok Tropical Wildlife Adventure, an inbound tour company that continues to thrive today. Johnny’s passion for sharing the beauty and wonder of Sabah’s natural treasures with the world found its perfect outlet through this venture.
Currently, Johnny is at the helm of Bilit Adventure Lodge, an enchanting retreat nestled along the Kinabatangan River. Here, he continues to create unforgettable experiences for travelers, connecting them with the breathtaking biodiversity of the region.
Community Engagement: Johnny’s heartwarming dedication extends well beyond the tourism industry. For over two decades, he has served as a Sunday school teacher, nurturing young minds and fostering a sense of community within his local church. His impact on education goes further as he sits on the School Board of Governors for three schools in Sandakan, shaping the future of countless students.
Moreover, Johnny is the visionary founder and former president of the Sandakan Tourism Association, illuminating the cultural and natural treasures of Sandakan for the world to discover. He currently holds the esteemed position of Vice President within the Kinabatangan Corridor of Life Tourism Operators Association (KiTA), where he actively contributes to the sustainable development of the region.
Conclusion: Johnny Lim’s multifaceted journey, from university graduate to successful tourism entrepreneur and devoted community leader, serves as an inspiring testament to the power of dedication and passion. His unique blend of academic knowledge and real-world experience makes him a captivating and insightful tourism conference speaker, leaving a lasting impact on all who have the privilege of hearing his story.
Managing Director – NISCO Travel
NISCO TRAVEL was found in 2006 by Mrs. Narierut Pantong who has experiences in tourism and hospitality business for more than 20 years. With strong team work of NISCO team who has experiences and expert in tourism business that make NISCO team is very strong and professional. NISCO TRAVEL registered with Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) with license number 11/06922, member of Thai Travel Agent Assosiations (TTAA) and in 2012, Mrs. Narierut Pantong has taken a position of outbound tourism chairman of Pacific Asia Travel Association (Thailand Chapter).
President – Sabah Birdwatchers Association
Roland is the current President of Sabah Birdwatchers Association. He has 15 years of birdwatching and photography experience. Roland was also the Marshall for 2nd Borneo Bird Race 2014 as well as Borneo Bird Festival Race 2017-2022 with a record of 530 birds of Borneo Life list.
MONA ABDUL MANAP
CEO – Place Borneo Sdn Bhd
Mona is a marketeer by training and a birdwatcher by passion. Her experience ranges from door-to-door sales, high-school English teacher, marketing strategist in a bank, tour operator, and even a muffin-and-cookie maker in a cafe! Mona believes in and has passion for guerrilla marketing and inbound marketing. She claims she gets marketing ideas in the shower. When pried off work, she loves birdwatching, camping, reading, playing the guitar, listening to the Beatles, and anything to do with the VW Beetle.
[Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing & Management – Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia] [Masters in Business Admin (MBA): Entrepreneurship – Excel College, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia] [Professional Conference Management Course – SACEOS | Digital Event Strategist (DES) – PCMA]
Director & Principal Consultant – Place Borneo Sdn Bhd
Gracie has more than 40 years’ work and executive experience in the hospitality, tourism, marketing, hotel and event management industry allowing her to bring forth valuable input and advice in entrepreneurial business management concepts, operational restructures as well as research and survey analysis for the related fields of hospitality, tourism and marketing.
She holds an MBA major in Tourism & Hospitality Management as well as a Master in Business Administration. Gracie is a certified PSMB Trainer as well as a certified Professional Conference Management trainer for MACEOS. As a Tourism and Event Management Consultant and Trainer, her main areas cover bid documentations and workshop trainings, bid presentations, tourism related research, PCO management & operations and events management. Her business experience and career from 1975 till date have covered airline stewarding, hotel operations and pre-openings, travel and event operations, entrepreneurial set ups in education, tourism and hospitality. Gracie served in the Sarawak Government with the Sarawak Tourism Board as CEO (2005 to 2009) and Associate Dean of UCSI University Sarawak (2009 to 2014).
Gracie ran and owned her inbound and dive tour operations from 1998 till 2014 before selling her business to the Aiman Group where she was retained as Director and Principal Consultant till 2016. She is currently Adjunct Fellow with the Berjaya University College of Hospitality, Sarawak Chairperson for Malaysian Association of Conventions and Exhibitions Suppliers and Organisers (MACEOS), Head of the Tourism Committee of Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and Deputy Secretary General of Sarawak Business Federation (SBF). She is advisor, co-author and author of three books “Rainforest World Music Festival – Sarawak’s Success Story”, “Parks and Art Sarawak” and “Rainforest World Music Festival – 20 Years of Song and Rhythm in Sarawak”.
She received her award ‘Darjah Utama Yang Amat Mulia Pegawai Bintang Kenyalang Sarawak’ (PBK) from the State in October 2014 and the ‘Darjah Utama Yang Amat Mulia Johan Bintang Kenyalang’ in September 2018 for her contributions to Sarawak tourism.
CEO – Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB)
Ashwin Gunasekeran is the Chief Executive Officer of Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB), the first State Convention Bureau in Northern Malaysia set up to develop and grow its Business Events industry. Prior to joining PCEB, he was the Assistant Vice President of Group Sales & Marketing of Destination Resorts and Hotels.
A born and bred Penangite, Ashwin worked for the Penang Tourism Action Council upon obtaining his Master’s degree in International Tourism from IMI University, Switzerland. An industry veteran of over 15 years, he brings to PCEB his accrued experience in tourism and hospitality management, revenue analysis, yield management, turnaround strategy, business development and business tourism.
He is the current chair of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Malaysia Committee.
DATUK HAJAH ROSMAWATI
CEO – Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC)
From junior secretary in 1984 with the Yayasan Sabah (YS) Group, Datuk Rosmawati Lasuki rose from the rank and file to reach her current CEO position with D’Heritage Sdn Bhd (DHSB), which was set up to manage East Malaysia’s largest convention centre, SICC. She obtained a Master of Business Administration from Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia in 2000 to further equip herself. Turning 60 years old soon in early August, this iron lady who hails from Tawau simply enjoys reading and travelling. She was recognised by Sabah Creative Economy and Innovation Centre at this year’s International Women’s Day as one of the two women for the significant impact and contribution she has made for Sabah and SICC.
DATUK HAJI ZAINIE ABDUL AUCASA
President – Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society
Born in Penampang, Sabah in 1954. A Fellow of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA), UK and a Member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA). He was the Executive Director of Suria Bumira Sdn Bhd before his retirement in early 2012.
Currently, Hj Zainie is the President of Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society (SWCS) and also the President of Sabah Archery Association (SAA) since 2001. He is also the Advisor of St John’s School Alumni Association, Beaufort, Sabah since 2009.
For his service to the state of Sabah, he was awarded the Illustrious Order of Kinabalu – Ahli Darjah Kinabalu (ADK), Ahli Setia Darjah Kinabalu (ASDK) and in 2013 the Panglima Gemilang Darjah Kinabalu (PGDK) carrying the title of ‘Datuk’.
CEO – Sabah Environmental Trust
Dr. Rahimatsah was born in Tg. Aru, Sabah in 1958. He had his early education at Sacred Heart Primary School in Kota Kinabalu and St. John’s Primary School in Beaufort. He completed his Senior Cambridge Examination at St. John’s Secondary School, Beaufort in 1974 and eventually obtained his doctorate in Planning and Management of Protected Areas at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Johor in 2003.
Rahimatsah is a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (FASc), a Fellow of the Malaysian Scientific Association (FMSA), and Member of the World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN-WCPA).
He has worked at both national and international levels, from being the General Manager with the State Tourism Action Council (under Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia) to managing projects under DANCED/DANIDA, among others. His last position was as Chief Technical Officer (Borneo Programme) with WWF-Malaysia for 6 years plus until January 2012. At the state level, he plays an active role as a Member of the Sabah Biodiversity Council (SaBC); Sabah Environmental Protection Council (SEPC); and internationally as an Executive Committee of the Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group (TBC-SG) and member of the Tourism & Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS Group) of IUCN-WCPA.
Rahimatsah continues to play an active role in conservation as a Life member of Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) and also Life member cum Deputy President of the Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society (SWCS). He is an alumni member of Strathclyde University, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and St. John’s School Alumni Association (Beaufort).
For his service to the state of Perlis, he was awarded the Ahli Mahkota Perlis (AMP) in conjunction with the 62nd birthday of HRH the Raja of Perlis on 17th May 2005.
President – Sabah Tourist Guides Association (STGA)
– Tourist Guide since 1989- President as Sabah Tourist Guides Association for 3 terms.- Treasurer of Sabah Tourism Federation.- Founder and Initiator for Tourism products such as KK Heritage Walk (since 2005), Historical & Cultural Papar Train Tour, Exotic Markets of Kota Kinabalu, Nature meets City Tour Experience.- Technical Advisor for Jesselton University College for Region Specific Tourist Guide Course.- Main Trainer for Region Specific Tourist Guide Course (RSTG) at Jesselton University College.- Holding Jabatan Pembangunan Kemahiran(Skills Development Department) Internal Verifier and Vocational Training Manager positions.- Qualified National Trainer under World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations(WFTGA).- Appointed committee in Education under World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations(WFTGA).- Presently, developing upskilling programs in various field for Tourist Guides
Captain, Mawali Adventure Tours Sdn Bhd
My name is Joel Reichart and I am representing Mawali Sailing . I am a 20 years old, certified Skipper & PADI Diving Instructor . Built by yacht makers Fountaine Pajot in France, SY Mawali is a true bluewater sailing vessel . 3 years ago, in the middle of covid, my father and I took Mawali and sailed her from Brisbane, Australia through the Great Barrier Reef and across Indonesia all the way to Mawali’s new home port of Kota Kinabalu . We are currently offering charter services such as : Morning & Sunset Sailing Trips, Wedding Photography Shoots, and Birthday Bashes on board Mawali . While exploring the unique coastal features Sabah has to offer we have taken clients to tropical islands and secluded coves from Pulau Tiga in the south all the way to Balabangan Island off the northern Tip of Borneo. Yachting in Borneo is still in its infancy if compared to popular yachting destination such as Langkawi & Phuket. It is my vision as a youth to contribute to the development of the yachting potential that Kota Kinabalu holds. Taking the term “Blue Ocean Strategy” quite literally we are the first tour operator in KK offering true sailing adventures to visiting tourists.
KAREN WONG PECK CHENG
President – Sabah Women Entrepreneurs and Professionals (SWEPA)
Originated from Kuala Lumpur, Karen holds a background in Marketing, Advertising, PR and Sales Management in her business portfolio. She is the owner of a Skills Training Centre located in Kota Kinabalu and have served in a number of diversed industries prior to that. Currently Karen is the President of the Sabah Women Entrepreneurs and Professionals Association in which she has been a Member of SWEPA since 2006.Karen was also the President of the Sabah Computer Society from year 2017 – 2020.Her other capacity includes her involvement with the Skills Association of Sabah & Labuan where she has serves as the Vice President in 2015-2016 and the Honorary Treasurer in 2017-2018 subsequently. Her passion in the skill education grown so fondly since and her Training Centre has become one of the Accredited Centre by the Department of Skills Development under the Ministry of Human Resources. As a business owner, her responsibility and scope covers many sectors such as managing human relations, consultation, marketing, planning, organising, motivation and public relation as a whole. With an unceasing thirst for self improvement, Karen is also very enthusiatic in gathering new knowledge and upgrading herself regularly to stay abreast with new technology, enhancement of management skills and contributions of social responsibility. Karen believes, strong personality can build strong entrepreneurship qualities. But essentially, great charisma with good leadership can strengthen your pathway to success in a long way throughout this journey.
DATUK LEE SWI HENG
Chairman, Malaysian Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Datuk Lee Swi Heng is a member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA), a fellow member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and fellow member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA). He obtained his Master of Business Administration from University of Birmingham, the United Kingdom. He began his career in the UK, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and finally in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.He was recruited by FACB Bhd as the Group Chief Financial Controller, overseeing and monitoring the construction and the pre-opening of Karambunai Resorts. He joined Kretam Holdings Bhd as the Group CFO and was instrumental in assisting the Group in obtaining Securities Commision’s approval under the workout proposal for its stock broking subsidiary as well as divestments of non-core divisions.He was with Gloharta (M) Sdn Bhd / Pembinaan Kekal Mewah Sdn Bhd as the Group COO. He was appointed as the owner’s representative in dealing with the hotel/resort operators, board members in joint venture companies in palm oil mill and provision of aviation services to oil majors. He is the current branch chairman of the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sabah, and the organizing chairman of Sabah International Luncheon Talk 2023 and Sabah International Expo 2023.He is a member of Board of Visitor of Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu. An Advisor to Sabah Development Bhd and a board member of the Rotary International District 3310 Bhd.
CHLOE TIFFANY LEE
Director, Amptitude PLT
I’m all about making memories and connecting with people; a firm believer in the power of networking.My focus is on helping companies grow by boosting their brand visibility and putting the best marketing and sales strategies in place. For me, nothing beats the satisfaction of meeting new people, forging relationships, tackling challenges, and being part of a business’s overall expansion.Born and raised in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, and after a decade at Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Sabah Tourism Board, I’ve taken an exciting leap into entrepreneurship with the launch of my new venture, Amptitude PLT. As I embark on this new chapter, I’m excited to collaborate with like-minded individuals and organisations who share our vision. Let’s unite to explore new horizons, collaborate on innovative ventures, and unleash our collective potential.Positivity is my secret sauce for cultivating a pleasant work environment. I like to infuse fun and respect into the mix. And when it comes to advice, I’m all for it. I believe in soaking up fresh perspectives from my teammates, fostering continuous learning, and giving credit where it’s due.When I step away from the professional hustle, you’ll find me fully engaged as the Chairperson of Trefoil Guild Malaysia (Sabah Branch). Additionally, I’m actively involved in orchestrating the Borneo Eco Film Festival as part of Melapi – Society of Holistic Outreach, Research, and Environmental Action. Whether it’s managing operations or hosting webinars, I’m hands-on. And as if that weren’t enough, I’m also proud to contribute as a committee member to the esteemed Sabah Society, a trailblazing non-governmental organisation dedicated to celebrating Sabah’s rich heritage. There, I’m a versatile contributor, handling a diverse range of responsibilities.I’m on a mission to champion both the industry and the environment. I was awarded ‘Nature’s Guardian’ in recognition of my dedicated deep-sea cleanup efforts. You might also recognise me as an Ambassador for Twestival, a global charity drive. And yes, I wear the Sabah Young Tourism Ambassador badge with pride.When I’m not at my desk, I’m off exploring new corners of the world, indulging in outdoor escapades, and weaving tales of my adventures. I’ve been putting pen to paper for various magazines since 2010.Above all, I strive to be an inspiration to others. My daily life is my muse, a constant reminder that achievements sprout from failures, experiences, and our own unique abilities. The road might twist and turn, but I’m all about shaping my destiny.
Regional Director APAC, Adventure Travel Trade Association
Hannah Pearson is the Regional Director APAC for the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). She is also the Director of Pear Anderson, a research and sales representation tourism consultancy specialising in the Southeast Asian and Muslim tourism industry.Over the past 11 years, Hannah has crisscrossed the region and gained a deep, first-hand insight into the developing trends and potential of adventure travel and the Southeast Asian tourism industry.At the ATTA, she partners with adventure travel stakeholders to develop the industry across the APAC region through trade and consumer activation, education and adventure events. Hannah has authored reports and whitepapers, and has spoken on numerous occasions at prestigious travel conferences such as ITB Asia.
PROF. DR. JENNIFER KIM LIAN CHAN
Head of Tourism Economics Cluster – Centre for Economic Development and Policy, Faculty of Business, Economics and Accountancy, Universiti Malaysia Sabah
Dr Jennifer Chan Kim Lian holds a PhD in Tourism and Hospitality Management is a Professor and Principle Fellow at the Faculty of Business, Economics and Accountancy, Head of Cluster for Tourism Economics at the Centre for Economics Development and Policy, Universiti Malaysia Sabah. She received her PhD in Tourism and Hospitality Management from University of Strathclyde, UK in 2005. A member of The Academy of Professors Malaysia (No MAPM0236 ) since 2021 and member of National Council of Professors ( MPM 09017) since 2017.
Through her academic career, she has held several academic management positions: Deputy Dean for Research and Development in 2000-2002 at School of Business, Deputy Director of Centre for Strategic and Academic Management, Universiti Malaysia Sabah from 2008-2014; Director of Borneo Tourism Research Centre from 2015 – 2021.
Externally, she was appointed as upskilling and rural tourism trainer by Sabah Tourism Board 2019-2022, Board Member for Asian Ecotourism Network since 2018 and Chair for Academic Committee of Asian Ecotourism Network, World Gastronomy Institute as Advisory Member Malaysia since 2018; Field Expert in Kinabalu Aspiring UNESCO Scientific Committee Global Geopark -UNESCO Global Geopark Development Special Action Team in 2019. She was the facilitator and Trainer for AKEPT Student Supervision Train the trainer Training Module from 2009-2013. Appointed as one of the Expert Panel Group Members for developing National Program Standards – Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary by the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA) in 2011; and MQA panel (No 1674) for tourism and hospitality program accreditation since 2015. She also serves as academic advisory board member and academic external reviewer for several higher education institutions in Malaysia.
Prof. Dr. Jennifer is an experienced tourism and hospitality researcher, consultant, and academic with professional experiences in the field concerned. Her areas of specialization and research work include sustainable and responsible ecotourism and rural tourism, tourism product development and training, environmental sustainability and green economy in tourism, tourist behavior and service quality. A special focus is given to issues of sustainable human resource planning and development and destination safety and risk.
She has won six Best international referred conference paper awards as single and co-author. One of her lead co-authored books: Lower Kinabatangan Premier Competitive Sustainable Ecotourism Destination ( ISBN 978-967-2962-29-8) was awarded as Best Sustainable Environment Book in 22 August 2022 by National Book Award 2022, Yayasan Pembangunan Buku Negara, Kuala Lumpur.
In addition, she received several distinctive awards, including Lifetime Achievement in Tourism and Hospitlaity Management Award under International Women Awards by the Venus International Foundation in 2018, Professorial Chair Holder -Tourism and Human Capital Development, Royal Institution, Singapore (2017-2018); four UMS Excellent Service Award; five UMS Meritorious Service Award; UMS Prominent Leadership Excellence Award -Instructor in 2017.
ARTHUR JALONG LAWAI
Arthur Jalong Lawai runs his own homestay in the Highlands of Borneo. The homestay is called Long Selaan Homestay which is situated in Long Selaan, about 8 hours drive via logging road into the interiors of Sarawak. He also runs trekking adventures to nearby waterfalls which are rarely visited due to its remoteness. One of the famous ones is called the Three Sisters Waterfall.
DR. MAKLARIN LAKIM
Director, Sabah Parks
Dr. Maklarin bin Lakim was graduated from University Kebangsaan Malaysia in 1990. He started his working career in 1991, as a Research Assistant at Danum Valley Conservation Area (DVCA), lahad Datu, Sabah. He joined Sabah Parks in June 1992 as a Park Manager, based in Sandakan. Subsequently, he was appointed as a Research Officer, based at Kinabalu Park in 1994. Being a researcher, he pursued and obtained his MSc in Biodiversity Management from University Kebangsaan Malaysia in 1998, and received his PhD in Primate Ecology from University Malaysia Sabah in 2008. He is currently the Director of Sabah Parks, since January 2020.
Founder, Business Is Bliss
Peter Bliss is an international keynote speaker, international wellness retreat organiser and faciltiator, an author, a resilience, mindfulness and human behaviour expert, and a licensed Demartini facilitator. He combines ancient philosophies, neuroplasticity and epigenetic science-based research and his own corporate experience to help individuals and businesses gain focus, clarity and direction, through retreats, workshops, speaking and coaching.
Senior Product Specialist (Camera Division), Canon Malaysia
An advocate for Canon cameras and photography. Bird photography being the favored genre as I find bird photography being very challenging as we deal with different types of condition and situation constantly.
Founder, Ben Uzair Events
BEN UZAIR proudly calls himself a Gigpreneur. As a seasoned Swiss and American-trained hotelier, Ben loves highlighting establishments and brands that value excellence on Instagram and Facebook. Recently, he has been experimenting on TikTok with his food reviews, with delighful response.Previously, BEN UZAIR served as a radio announcer for RTM Sabah V FM and KK12FM. He has interviewed numerous icons, figures and individuals who shared their trials and triumphs on his signature radio show “Make it Happen by Ben Uzair”, which will soon be a podcast. BEN UZAIR’S unique content creation was recognised by his followers, and has earned him the “Sabah Top Influencer & Content Creator 2021 Award” by the Sabah State Government. Also, he is a Master of Ceremonies at premier events in Kota Kinabalu; a motivational speaker, presenter and panelist at entrepreneurial and education events; a corporate trainer in soft skills and etiquette; and a fitness & wellness coach at his the gymnasium he founded named JuaraGym.BEN UZAIR graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, USA; and a Diploma in Hotel Management from Institut Hotelier Cesar Ritz in Le Bouveret, Switzerland.
Owner & Lead Guide, Paradise Birding
Stephen Shunk is a professional naturalist, author, public speaker, and field biologist based in Oregon, USA. Stephen has given presentations on birding tourism in the Caribbean, Peru, and at the Borneo Bird Festival. He is also a woodpecker specialist and has written the Peterson Reference Guide to Woodpeckers of North America. Steve currently leads tours to four continents through Naturalist Journeys, as well as domestic private tours through his own company, Paradise Birding.
Board Member, Asian Ecotourism Network
Mohit Aggarwal is the founder of Asian Adventures, an iconic organisation since 1994 that is on the way to be the most successful conservation driven tourism company in India by 2025.The organisation’s motto is ‘Tourism for Conservation, Conservation for Tourism’.He is the vice-chair of the Asian Ecotourism Network.He has a rich and diversified experience in leading and growing all domains of the business to make it a dynamic and progressive organisation.He has set in place a roadmap to achieve ambitious predetermined goals.Inclusivity, Trainings and the pursuit of kaizen in standardisation of systems and automation are the key pillars of Asian Adventures.He is an excellent networker and is on a first name basis relationship with customers, suppliers and stakeholders across the world.
Managing Director, Liberty International Tourism Group
Prashant has over 28 Years of experience in Hospitality & Tourism Business, the last 17 years of those he’s been successfully running the South Asia Operations of Liberty International Tourism Group and handling Business Development for the group in the West Asian Markets. Liberty International Tourism Group is world’s largest privately held Destination Management Company with a physical footprint in over 90+ countries. The firm is 31 years in business and is headquartered in Austria.
CEO, Business Events Sarawak
Amelia is a pioneer of BESarawak with over 21 years of branding, marketing and PR experience whose career in the sector began as a sales coordinator. Within 12 years, she helms the organisation as a CEO.Coming from the indigenous Bidayuh tribe of Sarawak, she is passionate about developing her homeland and providing opportunities for its communities. This inspired her to lead the business events sector into a new era of purpose and value. In 2019, Sarawak became the first destination in Malaysia to take a holistic approach to business events with legacy impact and sustainability initiatives spearheading this transformation in the country.Amelia succeeded in developing and implanting a 5-year advocacy marketing plan called ‘Sarawak 2030’ to the Government sector with a vision of transforming the business events ecosystem entirely. The first outcome of this plan was the inclusion of business events as one of the priority sectors in the Sarawak Government’s Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 — officiating the Government’s recognition of and support to the sector. The next anticipated outcome is that by 2030, legacy impact and sustainability will be second nature to the business events sector. This advocacy plan won the ICCA Best Marketing Award – Communication Category in 2021.Amelia has contributed to Sarawak’s total win of 23 awards for destination marketing initiatives and received 5 professional awards. Her most recent was in 2021 as the first figure in business events to receive the Ahli Bintang Sarawak (Member of the Order of the Star of Sarawak) medal from His Excellency Governor of Sarawak for her contribution to the business events sector in Sarawak. This award further cements the Government’s recognition of business events as a vital sector for destination development.
CEO, Sabah Tourism Board
30 years of experience in Sabah Tourism with a demonstrated history of working in the leisure, travel & tourism industry. Skilled in Marketing Strategy, Event Management and Tourism.
PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) scholarship recipient for 2015 Executive Development for Tourism (EDIT) program held in University of Hawaii at Manoa.