KUCHING (April 13): Dr Hiram Ting has been appointed as a member of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Panel of Tourism Experts.
Ting, who is attached to UCSI University Sarawak’s Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management as an associate professor, is tasked to contribute his inputs to the evaluation of tourism performance and short-term prospects.
This will serve as a basis for updating the UNWTO Tourism Confidence Index.
According to a press statement, UNWTO is responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
As the leading international organisation in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.
The opinion of UNWTO Panel of Tourism Experts is regularly quoted by media channels and institutions around the world.
Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah congratulated Ting on his appointment and presented him with the certificate at his office here yesterday.
He described the appointment as significant not only to his ministry but also to Sarawak and Malaysia as well.
“I was made to understand that UNWTO needed someone in Southeast Asia or the Far East to enrich their data and analysis in relation to tourism barometers and outputs.
“It is an honour for Hiram to be included as the Panel of Tourism Experts,” he said.
The appointment came following the state’s first official visit to UNWTO headquarters in Madrid, Spain last month.
Abdul Karim led the delegation, which also included Ting, during the visit was aimed at exploring opportunities for collaboration and to strengthen the partnership with the ministry to accelerate tourism recovery and sustainable development.
Among matters discussed included responsible tourism initiatives, sustainable tourism policies and practices as well as tourism marketing intelligence and data management.
Ting, who is also Sarawak Research Society chairman and Responsible Borneo director, has academic background and expertise in tourism which are relevant to the advancement of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.
He has been working closing with the Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts in recent years, particularly in areas related to responsible tourism, such as the publication of Journal of Responsible Tourism Management (JRTM), International Conference on Responsible Tourism and Hospitality (ICRTH), Sarawak Youth Talent (SYT) and World Tourism Day (WTD) Conference in Sarawak.
The impact of his work goes beyond Sarawak, as seen in his efforts to lead the global responsible tourism movement in Southeast Asia through the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) and advocate real impact in the capacity of an Ambassador for Emerald Publishing in East Asia.
His recent projects with the ministry included the responsible tourism blueprint and the green and gold tourism among the communities.