Recently, the UASR 2021 academic webinar series on tourism was held online. This series of webinars was launched in April and lasted for more than a month. It was organized by the UASR Secretariat and the Tourism Sub-Alliance, combining the concept of "integration of industry and education". Nearly 100 experts and scholars from Xi’an Jiaotong University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Mae Fah luang University, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University and many other member universities participated in the events. Three intensive webinars were held for discussions on "Innovation and Practice in Hospitality and Tourism Education", "Innovative Collaboration Ideas on the Integration of Research and Industry", "Sustainable Development through Social Tourism" and other topics.
The first webinar was held in early April. Professor Siming Xie from the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University shared the innovation and practice in hotel tourism education with members of the alliance. The shared content incorporated practical cases of the Hotel ICON which has been used for teaching and researching purposes, and the special purpose action group consulting services of SHTM+ICON, and featured the rich school-running experience of SHTM for more than 40 years since its establishment in 1979. At the same time, Fu Jing, deputy dean of Chengdu Ginkgo Hotel Management College, shared the college's innovative collaboration ideas on the integration of research and industry, which triggered great resonance among the members.
The second webinar was held in mid-April. The webinar, themed “Sustainable Development through Social Tourism Roundtable”, was organized online by Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. The webinar invited experts and scholars from Kazakhstan, Russia, Hungary, and Hong Kong and discussed the basic conditions, principles and current status of social tourism based on the best practices of global social tourism.
The third webinar was held in late April. Professor Huiqun Xu of SHTM took the perspective of the Online MicroMasters program and led the participants to explore and jointly discuss the development of the hotel and tourism industry and the improvement of self-education.
It is reported that the normalization of thematic online webinars is one of the innovative measures taken by the UASR Secretariat to deal with the normalization of the pandemic since 2021. Since the launch of the series of thematic webinars, they have been supported and recognized by many member universities. The series of webinars have played a positive role in breaking the boundaries of time and space, strengthening exchanges between members in the Alliance, enriching the connotation of alliance construction, and promoting the realization of sustainable development goals.