The tourism industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors globally and highly contributes to the national income, including the balance of payment in many countries. However, the industry was affected by the worldwide outbreak COVID-19 within the last 2 years. The lockdown, Movement Control Order (MCO) and closure of international borders led to more decline in tourist arrivals and tourists’ receipts. As a result, most tourism stakeholders, including tour operators, travel agencies, tourists, and tourism students, were worried about the industry's future in the post-pandemic era.
In line with this, the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Events (SHTE) organized a virtual Tourism Economics Speaker Series for students on ‘International Trade and Tourism’. This virtual talk aimed to provide a more comprehensive knowledge of international trade while exploring its contribution and impacts on tourism and the hospitality industry. The guest lecture session was a co-teaching session with experts. Prof. Datuk Seri Dr. Victor Wee, Secretary General, ASEAN Tourism Research Association (ATRA) and Professor, School of Hospitality, Tourism & Events, Taylor's University was invited as the guest lecturer to share his knowledge and expertise in tourism economics. Around 60 students from Bachelor of International Tourism Management (Hons.) and Bachelor of International Hospitality Management (Hons.) participated in this 2-hour session.
During this virtual session, Prof. Victor explained the roles and contribution of international trade to the national economy while relating it with economic concepts. He also linked the impact of the China-US trade war on international trade globally. He also shared some relevant case studies to illustrate real-life examples. His interactive teaching method continuously attracted the students and encouraged them to actively participate in the lecture session. Moreover, the Q & A session became more interactive when there was an inquiry about the roles of education industries in enhancing the public sector and tourism industry.
Before joining as a Professor at the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Events at Taylor’s University, he was appointed as a Chairman of Tourism Malaysia in 2009, Member of Malaysia Competitiveness Appeal Tribunal, Jury Member of the 13th and 14th The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism, and Chief Judge for Best Hotels in Malaysia. He ran a successful Visit Malaysia Year 2007 campaign and was also instrumental in establishing the Cabinet Committee on Tourism and Malaysia My Second Home One-stop Centre. Besides being involved in consultancy assignments for the UNWTO, he has also served in several roles upon his retirement, including as the Malaysian Tourism Promotional Board Chairman. He also published several journals, books and book chapters related to sustainable tourism, religious tourism, heritage tourism and issues in the tourism industry.