Curtin Malaysia playing significant role in international business events and legacies journal

Miri – 9 November 2022 – The recent launch of the first issue and volume of the International Journal of Business Events and Legacies (IJBEL) by Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah was a significant milestone not just for the state but also Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia).

IJBEL is the world’s first international academic journal specific to business events and their  legacies, and Curtin Malaysia is a key contributor to the establishment of the journal in partnership with Business Events Sarawak (BESarawak), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UiTM) Sarawak and the Sarawak Research Society.

The journal’s core objective is to address issues via case studies, research and viewpoints on topics such as event planning and delivery, and strategies adopted by interconnected sectors such as hospitality, tourism and economics.

Editor-in-chief of IJBEL, Professor Andreas Zins, who is dean of Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Business, said, “We are proud to have made history by publishing the world’s first international academic journal dedicated to business and heritage events.”

Prof. Zins said that many, including those in the business events and tourism industries, have yet to the grasp the concept of legacies related to business events. According to him, and it is the responsibility of institutions of higher learning through academic journals like IJBEL to highlight the relevance of enabling legacy impacts through business events.

He said that in the global economy, mainly products are moved from one place to another. However, tourism is a high-touch customer service sector that involves the consumers themselves moving geographically. While tourism generates mostly positive economic outcomes at the destinations, there can be ecological and socio-cultural impacts on the host communities.

“While leisure travel is a highly individualised behaviour, the decision-making related to travel for business events follows totally different patterns. For anonymous mass tourism, it is not easy to induce and channel lasting added value to the destination communities. However, for business events, the design of the entire event which is in the hand of a few key stakeholders can drive ripple effects into the community at large,” he elaborated

“This can be manifested in an increased awareness and knowledge, better access to improved technology, extended networks for more business opportunities, and so on. It totally depends on the design and shape of the interactions between the travellers and the host communities whether positive long-term effects arise or not. The business event sector can definitely influence this design,  leveraging business events into positive legacy impacts.”

In his speech during the launch, Abdul Karim described IJBEL as an important piece of literature for Sarawak as it is helping the state government to achieve three of its Post-COVID-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 strategic thrusts.

“Under the PCDS enabler of Education and Human Capital, IJBEL is helping to optimise Sarawak’s human capital and produce an agile workforce that can excel globally. This also includes promoting entrepreneurship.

“The second is the PCDS enabler of Innovation, where the journal is leveraging research and commercialisation to drive global innovation.

“And third is the PCDS enabler of Sustainable Development, where research is used to make economic activities more environment friendly,” he explained.

Abdul Karim also said that IJBEL is achieving number four of the UN Sustainable Development Goal, which is Quality Education; and number 17, which is Partnership for the Goals.

“This journal is proving to be an effective platform to reach out to various business event communities around the world and form collaborations on micro and macro scale. For that, I would like to congratulate BESarawak for engaging Curtin Malaysia to set up, develop and manage IJBEL; and UITM and Sarawak Research Society as strategic partners,” he lauded.

Abdul Karim also thanked the journal’s exclusive international association partner, the International Congress and Convention Association, and those in the business events community for successfully publishing Issue One of Volume One of the IJBEL, adding that a free copy of the journal is downloadable from IJBEL’s website.

BESarawak chief executive officer Amelia Roziman meanwhile said that Sarawak’s business events industry is proactive in searching for new ways to deliver business events successfully and lead the way in terms of industry development. This was because BESarawak is looking outwards to help the global industry reset and recover through empirical research and real industry experiences, she said.

Also present during the event was UiTM Sarawak Rector Professor Datuk Dr Jamil Hamali.

The first issue of IJBEL contains six academic papers, four industry papers, and a special note on topics such as effectiveness of hybrid events; managing sustainable events in an urban destination; hosting business events in times of crisis; optimising e-Tourism and e-Marketplaces for business events, and legacy approaches.

IJBEL is an open-access and online journal and no publication fees are charged. The journal gives equal space to contributions from practitioners and academics. Manuscripts from academic scholars are double-blind reviewed whereas industry articles are peer-reviewed.

Abdul Karim (third right) Amelia (third left), Zins (second right) and Jamil (right) showing copies of the IJBEL