Abdul Karim (centre) holds poster of the JRTM call for papers, accompanied by Ting (on his right), Hii (on his left), Mukvinder (third left), Hiram (third right) and others. – Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING (Aug 10): The inaugural Journal of Responsible Tourism Management (JRTM) will promote Sarawak and inform readers about how responsible tourism can be realised in the local contexts, said Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

The Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister said that its publication would put Sarawak back on the world map again while enhancing the destination image in the mind of readers wherever they were.

“Being an international journal, JRTM will gain its global appeal to the international audience. At the same time, it will promote Sarawak and inform readers about how we could realise responsible tourism in the local contexts,” he said at the launch of Journal of Responsible Tourism Management at Baitulmakmur 2 here today.

JRTM is published by UCSI University’s Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management and Sarawak Research Society (SRS) and is supported by the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry and Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) Kuching.

Abdul Karim informed that the ministry would endorse the journal, which is the first international journal in Tourism and Hospitality that is published in Sarawak and edited by Sarawakians.

“I hope tourism and hospitality players or stakeholders in Sarawak and Malaysia and soon other countries will look up to this journal as a reference of responsible tourism development and an exemplar of collaboration between the government, university, practitioners and community to make a real positive and long-lasting impact on our society,” he said.

According to Abdul Karim, responsible tourism by definition is tourism that minimises negative social, economic and environmental impacts and generates greater economic benefits for local people.

He pointed out that Sarawak is advocating responsible tourism in its own efforts to promote Sarawak as a preferred tourism destination.

“JRTM is a scholarly journal that aims to advance and disseminate cutting-edge knowledge pertaining to responsible tourism and hospitality based on contemporary issues and cases in Sarawak and any developing destinations locally or internationally.

“It serves as an avenue to converge the expertise of tourism and hospitality academics, practitioners, government agencies and other stakeholders and provide holistic views, robust findings and practical insights to benefit readers and the community concerned,” he said.

The minister was also glad to note that JRTM is different from other journals published by any university or research body as it accepts submissions from both academics and practitioners, thus making it useful to both academics and practitioners in the industry.

“I can see how and why this journal is another effective way to bring different minds together to discuss and implement responsible tourism regardless of where they are.

“If you look at the list of Advisory and Editorial Board members, UCSI University manages to pull together experts from all over the world, from ASEAN countries, from the USA, from Japan and Korea, from Pakistan and India, from Europe and Australia,” he said.

The peer-reviewed journal is now calling for papers for its first issue, to be published in January next year in both electronic and printed forms. The journal will be published twice a year.

JRTM welcomes studies that include but not limited to issues or practices related to economic responsibility, socio-cultural responsibility and environmental responsibility; responsible behaviour including responsible traveling, respecting different cultures, visiting heritage sites with clear understanding of rules and regulations, and making purchase or usage decisions without generating waste; roles of different stakeholders (e.g. citizens, local community, government, business organisations, educational institutions and etc) and co-creation of values to realise responsible tourism in a sustainable manner; and policies, strategies, initiatives or cases to promote and implement responsible tourism and Sustainable Development Goals in the local contexts.

Full submission guidelines can be found on its website.

Also present at the launch were Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Hii Chang Kee, UCSI University Sarawak Campus Chief Operating Officer Mukvinder Kaur Sandhu, UCSI University Sarawak Campus Deputy Dean of Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management Christopher Wan Sageng, JRTM Editor-in-Chief Dr Hiram Ting, JRTM managing editor Dr Leong Choi Meng, and others.