Developing Malaysia As The Top Choice For Islamic Tourism Destination

Malaysia is ever committed towards the development & promotion of the Islamic tourism (IT) & Muslim-friendly tourism & hospitality (MFTH) niche segments, domestically & abroad

The Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC), a government agency under the umbrella of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia (MOTAC), is confident that the said ecosystems are sure to be continuously tapped & their target markets engaged & connected to ensure the lucrative potentials are realised

Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip Haji Hasan, Director-General of ITC, supports the proposition that the Muslim travel market has all the potentials to be the next big thing

The Director-General of ITC, Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip Haji Hasan, in an online webinar held today, shared: “Where ITC’s roles & responsibilities are concerned, one of them is conducting research, monitoring & obtaining intelligence on the Muslim travel market in order for us to be able to formulate our strategies.” We call upon our fellow researchers in this field to contribute their findings to be part of ITC Annual Islamic Tourism Journal (ITJ) so that it can be translated into best practices in this industry.”

Entitled “An Overview of Muslim-friendly Tourism & Hospitality in Malaysia”, the talk, which kicked off at 8.45 a.m., is an initiative organised by Ibrahim Sultan Polytechnic (PIS), Johor. However, it was more than just a mere overview, as the name suggests, as it laid great focus on topics such as Halal, Shariah compliance & MFTH matters as a whole

“One of the advantages of this market is that it is so geographically dispersed. Yes, there is a predominantly Muslim population in Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region, but there are Muslims in other parts of the world as well,” he posited.

“There are Muslims in China, Europe, Central Asia & Southeast Asia. In fact, there are 230 million Muslims in ASEAN member states alone, demonstrating the Muslim tourist market potential.”

“Thus, the beauty of this market is that a destination is not overly dependent on a particular country or region for its source of Muslim tourists,” he further added

He also shed light on ITC’s role in the National Tourism Policy (NTP) 2020–2030, which Muslim-friendly tourism was given important weight signifying the importance of this segment of tourism. “ITC is the lead agency in the area of Muslim-friendly tourism & its role will expand flowing from this development,” he said

“We cannot deny the fact that tourists, it is in their nature to invest themselves in activities like eating & drinking, entertainment, shopping, travelling & the like, be it Muslim or non-Muslim tourists. However, for Muslim-friendly travel, they ask for their faith-needs facilities & services.”

On the perks that Malaysia has to offer, which makes it the top Muslim-friendly destination, Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip noted that these features range from Muslim-friendly hotels, availability of Halal food, provision of prayer facilities, family-friendly entertainment, safety & security & many more. The 1st of its kind in the world, ITC introduced a Muslim-friendly Accommodation recognition (MFAR) to cater for Muslim travellers both locals & from overseas

To date, there are more than 40 hotels who have participated in MFAR & they range from local hotel chains such as The Light, The Pearl, Aldiya, Sunway Hotels, to international brands like DoubleTree by Hilton, Movenpick, Pullman & Amari

Other panellists in the webinar were Encik Amri Abdullah of Malaysia’s Halal Industry Expert; Encik Zakaria Ismail, Manager of Perdana Kuala Lumpur City Centre & Mr. Muhammad Azhari Johari, Quality & Shariah Compliance Executive at Perdana Kuala Lumpur City Centre. The event was officially closed by Puan Hajah Normala Abdullah, Deputy Academic Director of PIS

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