Taylor's School of Hospitality, Tourism and Events hosted a Taylor's University-Universiti Malaysia Sabah (TU-UMS) Matching Grant Research Meeting at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus on 28 March 2023. The meeting was attended by Prof. Dr. Neethiahnanthan Ari Ragavan, Executive Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and Leisure Management, Taylor's University; Prof. Dr. Seyyed Mostafa Rasoolimanesh, Professor of Tourism and Director of Sustainable Tourism Impact Lab; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Joaquim Dias Soeiro, Head of School, School of Hospitality, Tourism and Events and Dr. Thanam Subramaniam, Senior Lecturer, School of Hospitality, Tourism and Events from Taylor's University. Whereas, the research team from Universiti Malaysia Sabah were Prof. Dr. Jennifer Chan Kim Lian and Dr. Tay Kai Xin.
The meeting aimed to discuss the outcomes of the qualitative research on the "Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Tour Operator Business in Malaysia: Strategy, Business Model and Future of Work". During the meeting, both Dr. Thanam and Dr. Tay presented the outcomes of the first phase of data collection (qualitative method). Around 26 tour operators from Klang Valley and Sabah were interviewed from January to Mid-March 2023 to explore the impact of a pandemic on their businesses while addressing survival factors. The participants have also shared their views on the outcomes and discussed further action to be taken as the next steps. The outcomes will be utilized as a guideline to construct a survey questionnaire to collect data for the second phase. In addition, they recommended to publish the outcomes of the data collection as journal articles. Both Universities were happy with the outcomes of the research since it stays on track.