UUM ONLINE: Langkawi - Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), through its School of Tourism, Hospitality and Environmental Management (STHEM), sealed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Langkawi Tourism Association (LTA) and Adya Hotel Langkawi to initiate a collaborative undertaking that will encompass training, consultation, research and industrial training placement.
The MoU signing ceremony was officiated by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dato’ Seri Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak, who also represented the University in the MoU signing. The LTA was represented by its Deputy Chairman, Mr. Faiz Fahmi Sazali, while Adya Hotel Langkawi was represented by the PKB Hotel Management & Services Chairman-cum-Kuah Assemblyman, the Honourable Nor Saidi Nanyan. The signing was witnessed by the Menteri Besar of Kedah, the Right Honourable Dato' Seri Diraja Ahmad Basha Md Hanipah.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dato' Seri Ahmad Bashah said that the cooperation forged between academic institutions and industry, based on the concept of “Muafakat Kedah” (Kedah Consensus), was crucial to driving a high-impact industry such as the tourism and hospitality industry.
"UUM’s collaboration with Adya Hotel Langkawi and the LTA will give positive input to UUM in its efforts to develop the tourism industry in Langkawi. UUM has the expertise that can indirectly contribute to, not only Adya Hotel and the LTA, but also the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA). In fact, this kind of cooperation will boost the growth of Langkawi into a premier tourist destination on par with world-renowned destinations.
"This collaboration will strengthen ties between Malaysian institutions of higher learning and industry, as well as benefit all the major parties concerned, especially in terms of the implementation of their social responsibility towards their respective major clients, particularly in tourism, hospitality, and events management in Langkawi," he said at the signing of the MoU between UUM and the LTA and Adya Hotel Langkawi, at Adya Hotel, recently.
At the same ceremony, Dato' Seri Ahmad Bashah officiated the launch of the Langkawi International Tourism and Hospitality Research Centre (LITH), a research centre under the STHEM, which was set up to establish cooperation with public and private agencies in the country and then graduate to building a collaborative research network with public and private agencies both within the country and without.
The MoU is also aimed at helping the LTA provide exposure for hotel owners about the importance of public relations and etiquette to them as tour operators, as well as enlighten them on their role in the tourism industry. The result of this collaboration, it is hoped, will help the LTA heighten the image of the Langkawi Island as a popular tourist island all over the world.
The Vice-Chancellor said that the collaborative relations with the LTA and Adya Hotel Langkawi would be able to translate the efforts invested in Langkawi tourism successfully and take it to a much higher level.
"Among the proposed areas of cooperation are the training of the integral players in the field of hospitality and tourism, the production of more tourist guides and making improvements with regard to public relations and other services.
“The collaboration sealed with the LTA and Adya Hotel Langkawi is crucial to establishing a much closer university-industry relationship so as to ensure that all parties benefit from the tourism industry in Langkawi. And this will become the starting point for all parties to collectively ensure that the achievements of the Langkawi Tourism Blueprint 2015 will continue to be built upon and strengthened," he said.
At the ceremony, Dato' Seri Ahmad Bashah also presented letters of appointment to two new Adjunct Fellows of STHEM, namely, Datuk Azli Halim, Chief Executive Officer of Intermediate Network, and Ms Noraza Yusof, former General Manager, Bureau of Tourism Malaysia.
Also present at the ceremony were the Chief Executive Officer of LADA, Dato' Haji Azizan Noordin; Langkawi District Officer, Tuan Haji Isahak Morad; Chief Executive Officer of Permodalan Kedah Berhad, Mr Abdul Rahman Haji Din; President of the Langkawi Municipal Council, Mr Abdul Bari Abdullah; General Manager of Adya Hotel Langkawi, Mr. Razmi Rahmat; Dean of STHEM, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nurhazani Mohd Shariff and senior officials of UUM.
Translated by Mahaliza Mahadhir
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