KUCHING: UCSI University has targeted to establish stronger collaboration with its respective counterparts in the Republic of Uzbekistan for training, teaching and research activities in the area of tourism.
UCSI University Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management dean Assoc Prof Dr Li Jianyao yesterday said Uzbekistan had high potential for expanded tourism considering the country was currently experiencing rapid growth in the sector.
UCSI, as a leading cluster of the government’s 10 entry point projects in hospitality and tourism education, has great commitment in improving the quality of hospitality and tourism via higher education.
“Uzbektourism – the National Tourism Company of Uzbekistan has finalised its tourism development agenda for the year 2013. Uzbektourism will work on building the capacity of workforce of tourism industry by offering training and seminars on the theme hospitality and service.
“Malaysian higher education system in hospitality and tourism management has been developed for decades and offers world-class education in the field. Thousands of highly trained professionals in hospitality and tourism industry are holding senior management positions globally.
“Thus, I strongly believe the collaboration between Malaysia and Uzbekistan in the tourism industry will benefit both countries in the long term,” said Li in his welcoming address at the inaugural UCSI symposium of Tourism Studies: Current Trends and Issues in Tourism Industry at its campus here.
The two-day symposium at the campus auditorium is held in collaboration with the Branch of the Russian Economic University after GV Plekhanov in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Among those present were head of Tourism Management Department Lah Wan Yee who is also the event’s organising chairperson, Branch of the Russian Economic University after GV Plekhanov in Tashkent rector Prof Kalandar Kh Abdurakhmanov, its International Relation Department dean Prof Abbas T Shermukhamedov and South China University of Technology’s Institute of Tourism Development Research director Prof Dr Li Li.
Highlighting that tourism is one of the most important industries in Malaysia, Li pointed out that the last decade saw the country grow to become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The country even posted a more impressive overall tourism growth in 2012.
“Tourist arrivals rose to 25 million and receipts climbed to RM60.6 billion. Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan 2020 targets 36 million tourist and RM168 billion in receipts by 2020.
“According to the data from UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2012, Malaysia was ranked top nine biggest countries in the world for tourism destinations, in terms of arrivals, only next to Germany in 2011,” he continued.
With regards to the event, Li deemed the symposium as the beginning of the collaboration between UCSI and Branch of the Russian Economic University after GV Plekhanov in Tashkent. It is a great platform for academicians, industries and leaders in higher education to discuss and share ideas and experiences.