KUALA LUMPUR, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- A Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) symposium was held in Malaysia's Malacca state Monday, focusing on boosting tourism by applications of new technology amid challenges in the post-pandemic era.
The symposium, a roving series of seminars, workshops and panels, was held at the Technical University of Malaysia, Malacca (UTeM). It is the fifth leg of the Belt and Road Initiative Symposium (BRIS) National Tour Seminar.
The BRIS National Tour Seminar is initiated and led by Southeast Asia Research Center for Humanities and Association of Belt and Road Malaysia, in partnership with the Education Association between Malaysia and China and MYEDU Group, and with support from the Chinese Embassy in Malaysia.
BRIS was officially launched at the end of 2021, which features activities including forum, roundtable, roadshow, and training program, with a focus on social innovation.
At Monday's symposium, UTeM Vice Chancellor Massila Kamalrudin said rapid advances in technology especially in applications in tourism present opportunities with an ever increasing number of travelers planning their travels online rather than through tourist agencies, a trend which has accelerated since the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Today, nobody doubts that technology and travel are the perfect combination. This joint force also plays a crucial role in the way we travel: from the vacation destination we choose, all the way to what we do once we're there and even in the time after we've come back," she said.
"As we know, the industry is in the midst of a deep metamorphosis. There are many mitigating factors but the new technological solutions coming about are some of the main actors," she added.
Minister of the Chinese embassy in Malaysia Tang Rui noted that tourism is a carrier of culture, and an important part of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The BRI promotes policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and closer people-to-people ties, Tang said.
"In my view, forging closer people-to-people ties in Belt and Road cooperation is significantly important. Culture and tourism are not only important platforms for exchanges and mutual learning between different countries and cultures, but also serve as a bridge to enhance mutual feeling and friendship," he said, adding the BRI participating countries have been brought huge market opportunities and fast growth for the tourism industry with the rising demand of Chinese tourists.
The scale of tourism among Belt and Road participating countries accounts for about 70 percent of global tourism, while two-way tourism between China and Belt and Road participating countries totaled 60 million trips, he added.