Tourism Post Pandemic

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Kota Kinabalu, Nov 28: The World Tourism Conference (WTC) 2022 jointly organised by  the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia in partnership with the World Tourism  Organization (UNWTO) and Sabah State Government runs from Nov 28 till 30  at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC), Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Now in its sixth edition, this year’s conference brings together 1,000 delegates from more than 60  countries to reconnect and reassess tourism’s recovery in the aftermath of the worldwide  pandemic.
Alongside UNWTO officials, the conference features some 30 expert speakers  comprising government policy makers, industry leaders and leading academicians in  championing thought leadership on tourism futures and strategies driving tourism’s  recovery and resilience in a post-pandemic world.

Reimaging Tourism At the Word Tourism Conference in Sabah.
The launch of the Word Tourism Conference in Sabah on Nov 27, 2022.

They include the State Minister, Ministry of Tourism Maldives, Dr Ahmed Salih, Regional General Manager, Tourism  Australia, Brent Anderson, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Stout, USA,  Prof Jafar Jafari, Co-founder of Traveloka, Indonesia, and representatives  from some of the world’s most innovative tourism-related companies such as Skift,  Tripadvisor, TUI Group and Intrepid Travel.

Reimaging Tourism At the Word Tourism Conference in Sabah.

Reimaging Tourism At the Word Tourism Conference in Sabah.

Local Malaysian experts making an appearance on the exclusive WTC 2022 stage include Prof Dr Amran Hamzah of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, HC Chan, CEO of  Sunway Malls & Theme Parks, Lau Yin May, Group Chief Marketing and Customer  Experience Officer, Malaysia Airlines; Yusno Yunos, CEO of Evenesis and two local  Sabahans from Kota Kinabalu – Dr Maklarin Lakim, Director of Sabah Parks, and Jessica Yew, Founder and Director of Sticky Rice Travel.

Reimaging Tourism At the Word Tourism Conference in Sabah.
The Word Tourism Conference in Sabah.

One of the major highlights of the conference is the keynote presentation by distinguished speaker, Prof Datuk ChM Dr Mazlin Mokhtar of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network-Asia and Academy of Sciences Malaysia, who will for  the first time bring a scientist’s perspective to the WTC, particularly in advancing a more  sustainable tourism recovery which embraces energy transition and carbon neutrality.
In her welcoming address, Datuk Saraya Arbi, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia acknowledged the tremendous impact of the  worldwide pandemic and multiple crises which continue to disrupt the tourism sector’s  growth trajectory. 
“However, there is also a great window of opportunity for us to rethink and reimagine  tourism for the future which is more sustainable, inclusive and less susceptible to  shocks,” she said. 

Reimaging Tourism At the Word Tourism Conference in Sabah.
Reimaging Tourism At the Word Tourism Conference in Sabah.

Despite challenging headwinds to the global economy in 2023 and beyond, experts have  great expectations for the tourism sector, predicting continued pent-up demand  alongside new growth opportunities and emerging niche markets arising from the  pandemic. For instance, as tourism recovery gets underway, the boundaries between  work, home, leisure and travel become increasingly blurred, requiring greater cross collaboration between tourism and transport, health, security, cities and urban systems  towards greater livability and quality of life for both visitors and residents alike. 
“These are just some of the exciting new prospects that will be explored during the two- day conference. Therefore, I hope the chosen theme of Tourism Futures Reimagined” will inspire deep insights on the challenges, opportunities, trends and  forecasts shaping the future of the industry,” Saraya said.

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