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30 Oct, 2015

Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil to deliver four talks on how travel & tourism will shape the rising Asian Century

Travel Impact Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil will be delivering four talks in November and December 2015 that will highlight the multi-faceted role of travel & tourism in shaping the rise of the Asian Century. Covering the themes of religious tourism, Islamic travel and the newly-declared UN Sustainable Development Goals, all four will be at events open to the public in Bangkok, Vientiane and Bandar Seri Begawan.

Imtiaz muqbil portrait pix

Together, they will open a new chapter in the Asia-Pacific travel & tourism agenda and give it a refreshed sense of purpose. Details are as follows:

1. “UN Sustainable Development Goals – Making Travel & Tourism a Part of the Solution”

This talk will be delivered upon invitation from PATA CEO Mario Hardy on Dec 2 at the PATAcademy-HCD Workshop on Sustainability in Tourism. It is the first time that a talk on the strong linkage between travel & tourism and the newly-approved SDGs will be given in Asia. Mr. Hardy felt it fitted well with the workshop theme “Designing Our Future – The Grass is Greener Wherever We Stand”.

The new set of 17 SDGs, approved by world leaders at their annual UN summit in September 2015, are designed to create a more balanced, just and sustainable world by 2030. As the multi-dimensional travel and tourism sector can contribute significantly to this cause, this talk will identify ways to put some wind in the sails of this effort.

Bangkok is home to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the regional offices of numerous other UN agencies. Imtiaz Muqbil is the only travel industry journalist to have regularly covered UN meetings and activities over the years. Muqbil long has seen the linkage between the socio-economic, cultural, environmental and geopolitical activities of the UN agencies and the objectives of the travel & tourism industry. Unfortunately, this linkage was largely ignored in the first 15-year era of the Millennium Development Goals but the deficiency can be addressed in the new era of the SDGs.

Because of his extensive experience with both the UN and the travel & tourism sector, Imtiaz Muqbil was commissioned to research and compile the first joint UNWTO-PATA bi-monthly reports on Tourism and the SDGs. Several other high-level speakers from the public and private sectors will be participating in the PATA workshop, which is still open for registration. Please click here: https://www.pata.org/human-capital-development/pata-academy-hcd/december/

2. “Sustainable Development Goals and Tourism …. Stimulating the Conversation.”

On Dec 4, the Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality (LANITH) will hold it’s 17th LANITH Symposium with Imtiaz Muqbil delivering a keynote entitled: “SDG’s and Tourism …. Stimulating the Conversation.”

This talk has been initiated by LANITH Advisor Peter Semone. He says: “In order for tourism to benefit from the new international development agenda and show its importance and leadership as a viable global industry, it is imperative that a dialogue between public and private stakeholders is instigated. Assuming the chairmanship of ASEAN in November 2015, this is an extraordinary opportunity for Lao PDR to demonstrate its leadership and foresight in moving forward with the SDGs as they relate to tourism.”

Mr. Semone adds: “The 17th Lanith Symposium will be held at LANITH’s brand new Vientiane campus with the theme Sustainable Development Goals and Tourism in Lao PDR. The SDGs are relatively new to stakeholders, many of whom struggled to understand the preceding Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Tourism is an important contributor to achieving the SDGs and is specifically mentioned in Goals 8, 12 and 14.”

Imtiaz Muqbil has been invited to talk to “help participants understand the SDGs and how they can help make a difference. Front and centre in the debate will be how to increase tourism’s impact on poverty alleviation, employment, society, culture and environment in Lao PDR and other parts of Asia.”

Mr. Semone is welcoming regional participation at the event. He can be contacted for registration: peter@lanith.com

3. Contribution of Islamic Culture and its Impact on the Asian Tourism Market

Imtiaz Muqbil will be delivering the keynote at a Regional Seminar on Contribution of Islamic Culture and its Impact on the Asian Tourism Market to be organised by the UN World Tourism Organisation and the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources of Brunei Darussalam between 16-17 November 2015 in Bandar Seri Begawan.

With a global population of more than 1.4 billion people, located mostly in Asia, Islamic travel is a growing phenomenon. To tap this potential, U.N. Secretary-General Dr Taleb Rifai initiated a study on the Contribution of Islamic Culture and its Impact on the Asian Tourism Market. Imtiaz Muqbil was appointed the lead Editorial Consultant. At the seminar, his presentation will focus on key findings of the study. Other speakers at the seminar will discuss the emerging market for Islamic tourism, marketing of Islamic tourism products, policy recommendations and addressing negative stereotypes about Islam and communicating positive messages.

The event is open to the public. For details, please contact Islamic Study Coordinator Omar Nawaz at this email address asia2@unwto.org.

4. “Sustainability and Tourism in Palestine”

Imtiaz Muqbil will be speaking at an event commemorating the UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 26 November 2015, at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) HQ in Bangkok. The topic is “Sustainability and Tourism in Palestine”. This is the first time that a session on tourism to Palestine has been slotted into the agenda of the annual event.

The Royal Thai Government recognises the State of Palestine as do most of the world’s governments. However, in spite of this recognition, travel and tourism to the Holy Land faces numerous impediments which, if removed, can open up one of the potentially largest flows of Islamic/Christian religious tourism in history. Imtiaz Muqbil will be presenting ways to make this a reality from Asia, one of the most promising source-markets.

Other speakers at the event will be the Ambassadors of Malaysia, Cuba and South Africa. Professor Dr. Jaran Maluleem, Head of the Department of International Relations, Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University, will also give a talk on “The current state of the Palestinian economy, its social context and political constraints”.

This event is open to the public. For registration and other details, please contact Palestine Solidarity Campaign Thailand chairperson Nick Ferriman nick_ferriman@hotmail.com or Event organiser Joey Liptapanlop joey.thailand@gmail.com