Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia organized a forum entitled “Seizing the Challenge of Sustainability: Future-Proofing Tourism in the New Normal” on 8th January 2021. Prof. Dr. Neethiahnanthan Ari Ragavan, Executive Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences and Leisure Management & President of ASEAN Tourism Research Association (ATRA) was invited as the moderator of the session. The forum consisted of a good mixture of experts from government, academia, and industry. This forum served as a platform to explore new insights, opportunities, and solutions to reinvent the tourism sector by adapting to the new normal with the hopes of emerging stronger and more sustainable than ever before.
Apart from that, the role of the newly launched Malaysian Tourism Policy (2020-2030) was extensively debated in the forum and the speakers welcomed the newly developed policy by the government. Survivability of tourism agencies especially the Small and Medium Enterprises was raised by many of the viewers. The role of the government in implementing short-term strategies to create a resilient industry was also explored by the panel speakers. The panel speakers also agreed that there is a need for a paradigm shift among the industry players to adapt to the current scenario of the tourism business which is highly uncertain and fragile. The creation of niche areas in the post-vaccination era, usage of technology, and readiness to cater domestic market are the key strategies mutually agreed upon by the panel speakers to revive the tourism industry in 2021.