ASEAN Tourism Research Association (ATRA) recently co-organised with Taylor's University, Malaysia and Centre of Research and Innovation in Tourism successfully hosted a virtual Panel Expert Workshop entitled “Post Vaccine is No Silver Bullet for Tourism Revival: Do We Have an Alternative?”. This workshop gathered key players from tourism industry of the country to brainstorm on the readiness and expectation of the industry during the post-vaccination period. The main objective of the workshop was to outline the short-term to medium-term strategies during the post-vaccination period in Malaysia and the S.E.A region to provide a realistic tourism revival plan.
Prof. Dr. Neethiahnanthan Ari Ragavan, Executive Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences and Leisure Management and President of ATRA played the role as a moderator of the workshop and delivered the tourism scenarios during the opening remarks. The uncertainty over the pandemic and vaccination plan has raised the urgency to create a viable operational plan to strengthen tourism stakeholders’ response post-vaccine period. How could the tourism industry optimize the post-vaccine period effectively given limitations surrounding vaccination plan? The workshop was maneuvered towards developing a revival plan for domestic tourism during the Post Vaccine period. Apart from that, determining specific travel bubble targets for inter-regional travel markets and practical recommendations to tourism authorities of the country were also crystallized in this workshop.
Mr. Mohd Daud Bin Arif, Senior Director of Policy and International Affairs Unit (MOTAC) was invited as guest speaker and had enlightened the session on the contemporary developments according to the Ministry's perspectives and plans. There were also breakout sessions in the workshop to brainstorm the issues raised in more specialized areas of tourism and travel, business events and hospitality, and Food & Beverage. The breakout sessions were facilitated by Prof. Dr. Kashif Husain, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mostafa Rasoolimaneh, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kandappan Balasubramanian, Dr. Lisa Tung, and Dr. Puvaneswaran Kunasekaran from Faculty of Social Science and Leisure Management.