How fast time flies! We are now in the year 2021 after enduring a very challenging 2020. Many industries were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the global tourism economy, unfortunately, was not spared either. The fight is not over yet and we must remain strong and resilient to face this trying time, and we will win, insha Allah.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), international tourist arrivals declined by 72 per cent between January and October 2020 due to the pandemic, low travel confidence, and international closure of borders.

Nevertheless, we need to continue our efforts to revitalise the tourism sector with the best possible preparation. Insha Allah, our preparation now is for a time later when the availability of effective vaccines and the opening of borders can boost the tourism sector again. While addressing the industry issues, it is also crucial to examine the organisational culture and leadership in responding to the pandemic. These are internal factors that would drive the external factors. We need to look inward especially on Human Resources and its strengths and stamina.

Despite the gloomy situation, Malaysia received good news that it was crowned as best Muslim-friendly destination in the world, as reported in the State of the Global Islamic Economy (SGIE) Report 2020/21 by DinarStandard. This gives us stamina and direction to continue our efforts moving forward.

To connect this, Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) has moved forward with a shift in perspective that is “New thinking, new actions, new results.” We are more focused on cooperation with stakeholders, strengthening ties with industry, and strengthening ITC branding at home and abroad. We continue to leverage our new communications channels such as blog, e-newsletter and other platforms to deliver and perform our services.

We are constrained in many ways especially during Covid-19, however ITC remains calm and focused to accomplish the following:

ITC wishes to thank all our partners and friends for their support and collaboration in facing a tough 2020. We hope to deepen our relationship with you this year through several more of ITC’s activities including training, industry development, research, consultancy work, and more.

I wish everyone a safe and productive year ahead, insha Allah.

Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip Hasan
Director General, Islamic Tourism Centre

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