Abdul Karim (centre) with from left COO of UCSI University Sarawak Campus Mukvinder Kaur Sandhu, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting, Ministry's Permanent Secretary Hii Chang Kee and Founding Editor and Editor-In-Chief of JRTM Hiram Ting showing the Journal of Responsible Tourism Management (JRTM) at the press conference. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: The inaugural issue of the “Journal of Responsible Tourism Management (JRTM)” will be published in January next year in both the electronic and printed forms.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah revealed this when officiating at the launch of JRTM and the first Call for Papers at Dewan Mulu, Baitulmakmur Complex II on Monday (Aug 10).

He said the biennial journal would be the first international journal on tourism and hospitality published in Sarawak and edited by Sarawakians.

Abdul Karim explained that JRTM was a scholarly journal that aimed to advance and disseminate knowledge pertaining to responsible tourism and hospitality based on contemporary issues and cases in Sarawak and any developing destinations locally or internationally. 

“It serves as an avenue to merge the expertise of tourism and hospitality academics, practitioners, government agencies and other stakeholders and provide holistic views, robust findings and practical insights to benefit readers and the community concerned.

“A journal published by any university or research body is often understood as an academic publication serving mainly those in academia. I am glad to learn that JRTM is different because it accepts submissions from both academics and practitioners. As such, articles published in the journal will be useful to both academics and practitioners,” he said.

Despite all the travel and movement restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic, Abdul Karim said the publication of the journal would put Sarawak back on the world map and enhance the image of the state in the mind of the readers.

“Being an international journal, JRTM will appeal to the global audience. At the same time, it will promote Sarawak and inform readers about how we could realise responsible tourism in the local contexts,” he added. 

The minister explained that JRTM would be published by the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management, UCSI University and Sarawak Research Society (SRS) and supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak (MTAC) and Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) Kuching.

“This is something new to MTAC. However, I can see how and why this journal is another effective way to bring different minds together to discuss and implement responsible tourism regardless of where they are. If you look at the list of Advisory and Editorial Board members, UCSI University manages to pull together experts from all over the world

“For me, this is very impressive and we have already started on the right footing to do something together in a responsible and sustainable manner.”

Abdul Karim also hoped tourism and hospitality players or stakeholders in Sarawak and Malaysia as well as other countries would look up to the journal as a reference of responsible tourism development and an exemplar of collaboration between the government, university, practitioners and community to make a real positive and long-lasting impact on society.

“Rest assured that the journal has my full support. MTAC will endorse the journal and we will promote it and see it succeed,” he said.

Also present were Tourism, Arts and Culture Assistant Minister Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak Hii Chang Kee, chief operating officer of UCSI University Sarawak Campus Mukvinder Kaur Sandhu and JRTM editor-in-chief Assoc Prof Dr Hiram Ting.