The collaboration will produce more skilled workforce and forging the best practices of learning organisations
by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
TOURISM Malaysia aspires to facilitate exchange programmes with international students in the future following the signing of the memorandum of collaboration (MoC) with Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Tourism Malaysia DG Datuk Musa Yusof said it is imperative for the national tourism agency to collaborate with the industry including higher education institutions to formulate new strategies to ensure its sustainability, which is facing challenges in marketing digitalisation to cater for the targeted market segmentation.
“This collaboration is not only able to produce a more skilled workforce, but will also benefit the development of the organisation for both parties and forging the best practices of learning organisations,” Musa said at the signing ceremony in Shah Alam yesterday.
The MoC focuses on the exchange of expertise on the tourism industry, to create opportunities for future joint or allied funding activities and projects, as well as to create a mutual understanding of business opportunities and needs of both parties.
According to Musa, the collaboration was inspired by what the Malaysian government used to do back in the 70s.
“Back in the 70s, Malaysian students would be sent to the University of Hawaii, and from there you get to learn a lot more.
“Which is why I hope that eventually, we can bring foreign students to learn from us and vice versa with this collaboration with public institutions,” he said.
For this year, 15 of the organisation’s officers will be pursuing their tourism industry education with public institutions via the MoC, which is not exclusive to just UiTM.
UiTM Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Azraai Kassim said the strategic relationship is necessary to strengthen the industry’s academia and linkage to ensure the institution’s competitiveness.
“This is done by acquiring and sharing current knowledge as the tourism industry progresses, as well as towards the realisation of UiTM’s strategic planning to be a globally renowned university by 2025.
“I look forward to assisting Tourism Malaysia in terms of sharing knowledge, skills, research and labour provision,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the topic of tourism in Malaysia, UiTM Faculty of Hotel and Tourism Management Deputy Dean Associate Prof Dr Mohd Hafiz Mohd Hanafiah said the country is working with industry-related players such as hotels to boost the country’s reputation as a Muslim-friendly tourist destination.
“Right now we are hoping to work and keep working on maintaining the reputation so that we can attract more Muslim tourists once the restriction is over, and as it is, we are among the best destination for it,” he said.