HELP University recently celebrated World Tourism Day at its Subang2 campus with 120 participants, consisting of VIP guests, guest speakers, lecturers and students from the School of Hospitality and Tourism.
World Tourism Day (WTD) is an international event held annually by the tourism industry all over the world.
For 2019, it was celebrated on Sept 27, with the theme, “Tourism and Jobs. A Better Future for all”.
Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community on the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.
HELP University deputy vice-chancellor (Academic) Dr Khong Kim Hoong, gave his opening remarks to “launch” the World Tourism Day 2019.
In his speech, Dr Khong said the demand for tourism and travel have sparked a myriad of interests from all over the world. Whether one is living in the booming metropolis of a city to a small remote island, the demand for tourism will continue to grow because everyone now thinks about leisure, pleasure and travel.
”The hospitality industry will continue to grow as the infrastructure to support this industry will also continue to grow as well, ” said Dr Khong.
Dorsett Grand Subang area general manager Christina Toh took to the podium next to address the students.
Toh who is also the Malaysia Association of Hotels (MAH) honorary secretary general, read a message on behalf of the secretary general of UNWTO for this year’s World Tourism Day.
The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
“Tourism can help us build a better future for everyone.
“Around the world, the tourism sector is a leading source of employment, supporting many millions of jobs and driving economies forward, both at the local, international and even the national level.
“At the same time, it is a catalyst for equality and inclusivity. In many places, tourism employment gives women, young people, men and those living in the rural communities, a chance to support themselves and their families and to integrate fully into a wider society.”
Toh continued by saying that the true potential of tourism, both as a creator
of jobs and as a driver of equality and sustainable development, is only just being realised.
“Providing decent work opportunities and contributing to professional development skills are at the heart of this.
“Well managed, the continued growth of our sector will allow tourism to live up to its global and social responsibility, ” she said.
The event continued with a slew of dance performances from Vietnam as well as a traditional Malay dance.
Next on the agenda was a presentation by Abdul Jalil Mani, a Hospitality student, on World Tourism Day. In his presentation, Abdul Jalil highlighted that the main purpose of the event was to increase awareness of tourism and how it is now an important element in any country to help sustain economic and social growth.
Other speakers at the panel talk included School of Hospitality and Tourism senior lecturer Azis Abdul Majid, Oxford Centre for Leadership deputy president John Chan, Asia Pacific and Radak Adventure founder, Mohd Hasrol Kamis.
Chan spoke about how misconceptions can lead people to think that anyone who studies Tourism and Hospitality will end up as just tourist guides.
“Some people can even assume that the term “hospitality” means working in a hospital, which is not the case as tourism involves travel, tour and hospitality coming all together in support of one another, ” he said.
Toh reiterated the fact that hospitality and tourism is all about engagement and networking. Bottom line, shared Toh, is that anyone must have passion if they want to pursue and stay in this industry for a long time.
Mohd Hasrol spoke about how tourism and hospitality need not be limited to just the stereotypical tourist guide or hotel management jobs.
The new trends in tourism were no longer focused on hotels, the F&B industry or travel agencies but more so on outdoor and nature activities.
“There are many things and opportunities that a Tourism and Hospitality Management graduate can diversify into, ” he said, adding s/he does not need to follow the usual paths.
The World Tourism Day 2019 event ended with a fashion show featuring HELP University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism students parading international costumes from around the world.
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