Kuala Lumpur, 30 June – UCSI University and Phuket Rajabhat University recently hosted the Phuket International Tourism Conference on 15 June 2021.
A total of 794 participants from 33 countries in Asia and Europe attended the online conference. These countries include Thailand, Indonesia, Georgia, China, India, and Portugal.
Themed “Crisis Management in Tourism: Challenges, Responses and Recovery Strategies”, the conference featured a panel of distinguished international speakers to speak on the prospect of tourism in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. These speakers include Professor Dr Therdchai Cholbamroong from the National Institute of Development Administration, Thailand; Professor Dr Noel Scott from the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia; Dr Sari Lengogeni from Universitas Andalas, Indonesia; and Professor Dr Dimitrios Buhalis from Bournemouth University, United Kingdom.
UCSI University Sarawak Campus Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management Deputy Dean Assistant Professor Christopher Wan Sageng expressed his delight at the massive turn up of the online conference.
“I am delighted to see over 790 participants from 33 countries attending this online conference on a crucial topic in the tourism sector. I sincerely hope that the participants have benefited from the insights and strategies presented by the panel of distinguished speakers,” Assistant Professor Christopher said.
A Critical Moment In the Sector
In the welcoming address to the participants, UCSI University founder and UCSI Group Executive Chairman Dato’ Peter Ng expressed his hope for the conference as the sector faced multiple challenges from the pandemic.
“It is my great hope that this conference will provide us with deeper insights and bolder ideas as we address the many challenges in the global tourism and hospitality industry. The theme of this year’s conference is most apt - we have a major crisis on our hands.”
“The pandemic has derailed the global tourism and hospitality industry. To quantify things, the World Travel and Tourism Council estimates that over 100.8 million jobs have been lost worldwide and Asia is the continent that was hit hardest, with 63.4 million jobs lost,” Dato’ Peter said.
However, Dato’ Peter said the pandemic also presented the industry with an opportunity to reconsider and champion sustainable and responsible tourism.
“The pandemic may be unprecedented, but so was the Boxing Day Tsunami. We rose to overcome that black swan moment then, and we can do the same now. In fact, I believe that we can go further by taking advantage of the industry’s hard reset to reposition tourism in more sustainable and equitable ways.”
“This is something we have been working on at UCSI University. As the only private university in Malaysia to be recognised as a Regional Centre of Expertise by the United Nations University, UCSI works to champion sustainability at the local level, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” He added.