THE hand surgeons are coming! The hand surgeons are coming!
Come October 2014, over 1,000 surgeons specialising in hands will be in Kuching for the 10th Congress of the Asian Pacific Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand (APFSSH) Conference.
APFSSH — now that’s a mouthful — involves 17 member organisations: Australian Hand Surgery Society, Hong Kong Society for Surgery of the Hand, Indian Society for Surgery of the Hand, Indonesia Society for Surgery of the Hand, Japanese Society for Surgery of the Hand, Korean Society for Surgery of the Hand, New Zealand Society for Surgery of the Hand, Philippine Society for Surgery of the Hand, Singapore Society for Hand Surgery, Taiwan Society for Surgery of the Hand, Thai Society for Surgery of the Hand and of course Malaysian Society for Surgery of the Hand.
So yes, there will be surgeons from Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah visiting the State for the event.
Now this latest conference adds another feather in the cap for the Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) and the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK).
As previously mentioned, next year, Sarawak will play host to the Commonwealth Dental Association (CDA), Malaysian Dental Association (MDA), and FDI World Dental Federation Joint International Scientific Convention and Trade Exhibition in May and the World Congress of Chinese Medicine in November. Read my previous post here.
All these events come under MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions). This is tourism on the higher end of the scale because it usually involves professionals who have disposable income. Sometimes MICE participants also bring along their partners or family members to combine a work trip with a family event.
Now if you’re wondering how the local community will actually benefit from events such as these, well if we do a good job, in the long-term we could be given the honour to host more international events.
Besides staying and eating in our local hotels and at BCCK, MICE events usually give participants time to visit places of interest and shop. Local artisans, craftspeople, tourist shops, eateries, transportation companies, bus and taxi drivers etc will definitely benefit from tourist dollars.
For this conference in October 2014, the Malaysian Society for Surgery of the Hand (MSSH) will also purchase handmade conference bags from the Annah Rais longhouse. With help from SCB and Borneo Adventure (BA), the initiative will provide income to the local community while encouraging them to maintain their unique craft.
Now ask yourself this. Would international event organisers even consider Sarawak if it did not have a proper facility like BCCK? Would we even get a mention if we did not have political, economic and social stability?
Just in case you didn’t know, Egypt has suffered a drastic drop in tourism thanks to the constants protests and political instability there. As of March, the drop was 60 per cent compared to the year before when things were stable.
The people are suffering as well despite their initial rejoicing of overthrowing the old regime — tourism industry workers have been unpaid and even the noble horses who served tourists have been left to die because their owners cannot afford to feed them as there are no tourists.
In a country that was already beset by high unemployment this is indeed a sad situation — tourism used to provide one in eight jobs in Egypt! Tourism was also its top foreign currency earner — the source of over a tenth of gross domestic product.
Now the industry has been destroyed and it will be a long road back to recovery. In the meantime the people will continue to suffer.
So the next time someone tells you to change for the sake of changing, think about the case of Egypt.
The story from Incentives Travel & Corporate Meetings:
Hand Surgeons to host conference in Kuching, and pledge RM15,000 to local community
The Malaysian Society for Surgery of the Hand (MSSH) will be organising the 10th Congress of the Asian Pacific Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand (APFSSH) Conference 2014 at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) in Sarawak, Malaysia in October 2014 for 3 ½ days with an expected turnout of over 1000 participants from Asia Pacific region and around the world.
Held every two years, the conference speakers are prominent hand surgeons, respectable professors and experienced hand therapists from international and regional countries. 1000 delegates come together to share their expertise, experiences, and exchange views on the latest issues in this specialized medical field.
Proudly playing host to the 2014 conference is the city of Kuching. The historic state capital of Sarawak promises to delight and pamper participants with its many local gastronomic delicacies and natural treasures. Amongst the highlights of the trip include a leisurely stroll along the Waterfront Park at sunset, a tour of the city’s historic buildings dating back to the days of the ‘White Rajahs’, and a Chinese temple from the mid-1800s.
In conjunction with this event, Malaysian Society for Surgery of the Hand (MSSH) will contribute to the local society through purchasing handmade conference bags from the Annah Rais long house instead of importing the common nylon bag. With the assistance and support of Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) and Borneo Adventure (BA), this initiative will also provide an income to the local community while encouraging them to maintain this soon to be forgotten unique craft. The association believes that conference delegates will definitely love the bags as it is a wonderful souvenir from Sarawak, Malaysia Borneo.
“We hope that through this initiative, we will increase public awareness of the unique culture in the Long House that represents the colours of Sarawak,” said the President of MSSH, Associate Professor Dr Sharifah Roohi. “We want to protect the interest of the Long House community as they are the guardians of the tropical rainforest that maintains the ecosystem of various endangered wildlife such as the Orang Utan and the Hornbill,” she adds.
Mrs. Jill Henry, CEO of SCB comments, “This is definitely a great way to give back to the local community as well as develop a very saleable CSR programme for Sarawak that many local communities can benefit from in future.”