ITC-Crescentrating Webinar To Reveal Malaysia’s Success Stories Towards Being Top Muslim-Friendly Destination

The Muslim travel market is on the rise, a growing & expanding one with many opportunities for tourism industry players globally to leverage & prepare for in anticipation of travel beyond COVID-19

Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC), in partnership with CrescentRating, will be conducting an upcoming webinar on Muslim-friendly Malaysia

With an estimated 230 million Muslim population in the ASEAN region & sizeable number of Muslim travellers for intra ASEAN travel, the market potential is huge. It is predicted that with short haul flights & common borders reopening, Muslim travellers may provide a balance to the region’s travel revival when travel formalities are made easier

The upcoming seminar in question is due to take place on 29 July 2021, at 3 pm Malaysian time. The panel of speakers set to be present include Director-General of ITC, Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip Haji Hasan; Director-General of Tourism Malaysia, Mr. Zulkifly Md Said; CEO of CrescentRating, Mr. Fazal Bahardeen; & former Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents (MATTA) Deputy President, Mr. Haji Akil Yusof

Among the contents of the knowledge-sharing session include why there is a need to embrace the said market & how standards on Muslim-friendly tourism & hospitality (MFTH)-related services play an important role in gaining confidence of the market. Malaysia will also share its success stories & experiences in its journey as the top Muslim-friendly tourist destination in the world — a position it defended in the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2021, launched on 14 July

“Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) is ever steadfast in its commitment towards industry preparedness come the re-opening of borders when tourism & travel is allowed once again. Thus, in this upcoming seminar, I hope it will be an insightful resource for our industry players in Southeast Asia who are looking to tap into the Muslim tourist market,” said Director-General of ITC, Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip Haji Hasan.

As a Centre of Excellence, ITC conducts various trainings & shares its research findings with tourism industry practitioners through various webinars even during the pandemic.

“In the recently concluded Halal In Travel Global Summit, ITC was fortunate to be accorded the opportunity to be a part of of the Malaysian representation where we spoke about a wide range of issues — from strengthening our position as the top destination in the Muslim travel market, to ensuring the readiness of the industry come re-opening of international borders, & also, the role of industry players in the Muslim tourist market.”

He further added, saying: “We gathered from the feedback & reception of the event that there is a growing interest in the industry, not just regional in ASEAN but worldwide, towards the Muslim travel market. We realised, to cater to this phenomenon, more avenues such as knowledge-sharing sessions like this webinar are essential to foster greater understanding for the MFTH concept, & establish cooperation & working relationships with our fellow industry players out there.”

Generally, Muslim travellers are noted for two key trends, namely, a greater tendency to have longer stays & a higher propensity to spend more. Where their faith-based needs are concerned, two vital essentials come to mind, that is the availability of Halal food & provision of prayer facilities.

It can be said that the Muslim travel market is not just concentrated in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region alone, it is everywhere. GMTI 2021 pointed out that top destinations inbound & outbound in the Muslim travel market range from ASEAN nations such as Malaysia & Indonesia, & Central Asian nations such as Kazakhstan & Uzbekistan, to a considerable number of non-OIC member states like Singapore, Russia, France & the United Kingdom.

The Muslim travel market goes hand-in-hand with models like Halal travel, Islamic Tourism (IT) & MFTH. Being a niche but also equally lucrative market segment, it means more specific measures are needed to ensure tourism industry players approach the market the best way possible, & this does not exclude destination management.

Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip is of the view that destination management should be aimed at not just sustainable tourism but also responsible tourism.

He said: “Destination management speaks about steps to regulate the economic, social, cultural & environmental perimeters of a tourism destination, in accordance with good governance. A key step towards sustainable tourism, the actions we take in managing our destinations should be geared towards creating an ecosystem that is favourable to our tourists, the host community or population, the industry players, as well as mother nature.”

“Responsible tourism is making travellers an active part of that community, as opposed to them just being a spectator. It should be inculcated within the culture of our tourism industry that nurturing meaningful connections with the visited communities is as important as being respectful of the environment & the local customs,” he concluded.

ITC’s partner hotels under the Muslim-Friendly Accommodation Recognition programme, namely Mardhiyyah Hotel & Suites, Grand Ion Delemen Genting Highlands, & DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, will be sponsoring prizes to lucky members of the audience attending the webinar

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