PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA, 15 NOVEMBER 2021: With 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide, the Muslim consumer market is expected to be among a key strategy to uplift the tourism industry and economies affected by the pandemic, with Islamic Tourism potentially leading the way towards this outcome.

Addressing participants of the 2nd World Islamic Tourism Conference (WITC) organised by Islamic Tourism Centre, YB Dato Sri Nancy Shukri, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said: “Islamic Tourism, and the concept of Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality is a powerful branding, and marketing tool to attract the Muslim market in the new tourism environment, where health and safety are top priorities.”

In tapping into the Muslim tourist market, the Minister proposed three key strategies pertaining to innovation, knowledge and collaboration.

She said that tourism industry players needed to be innovative in product development and capacity building to create products and services suitable for the Muslim tourists. “By adapting existing products and services to suit the Muslim tourist market needs and applying standards and certifications that provide assurance to Muslim customers, destinations can prepare themselves better to serve the market.”

Knowledge about the market was also important to understand their general and unique travel needs, behaviours and preferences. She advocated the virtues of training, upskilling, and research to provide industry players with a familiarity with the market, thus encouraging product development and diversification.

She also emphasised on collaborations, saying that it was a strategy to thrive in the new norm. “Forging partnerships will merge key strengths to move forward stronger. For tourism industry players, such cooperation can enhance marketing and branding while establishing a stronger ecosystem, to serve the Muslim tourist market effectively.”

She noted: “The vastness of Islamic Tourism and its interconnectedness to other areas of the socioeconomy unlocks so many opportunities for everyone. I can say that Islamic Tourism is a yet-untapped area that holds great promise, and potential in advancing the Islamic Economy as a whole. Understanding the Muslim tourist market and their needs, and flowing from that, making the necessary preparations to serve them, paves the way for a new revenue stream or income generation from a potentially lucrative market.”

She was optimistic that Muslim tourists would continue to fulfil their travel needs as borders gradually reopened. At the height of pre-pandemic tourism, Muslim tourist expenditure amounted to USD194 billion, and is expected to reach USD208 billion in 2024, taking into consideration the impact of COVID-19.

“It’s still a significant figure despite the recent travel disruption,” the Minister said, and encouraged all industry players across all sectors of the economy — travel, finance, medical, media and entertainment, medical, food and beverage, technology, telecommunications, transportation, education, retail, etc. — to participate in and benefit from the Islamic Tourism economy. 

“The potential for income revenue exists by making efforts to close the existing gap between demand and supply for Muslim-Friendly tourism products, and services across the Islamic Economy.”

WITC continues with exciting discussions over the next two days from 16 to 17 Nov. Among them is a special presentation by Prof. Dr. Jon Wilson, Director – International Business, Regent’s University London, UK, on 17 November who will address the importance of halal branding for tourism businesses.

Participants stand a chance to win exciting prizes from Taiwan Tourism, Bureau KL Office, Mardhiyyah Hotel & Suites, Lotus Desaru Resort & Spa, Ikhlas and Teratak Spa.

Register for the online conference at

Background on WITC:

The 2nd World Islamic Tourism Conference or WITC in short, is organised by Islamic Tourism Centre, to explore the challenges and opportunity related to the development, management and promotion  of Muslim-friendly tourism in a time of post-pandemic recovery.  

The conference, focusing on the theme “Islamic Tourism New Norms and Revitalisation,” is held in a hybrid format, covering both physical and virtual participants. It is streamed live via Zoom from World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur.

The three-day international conference is power-packed with exciting key topics and a line-up of well-respected speakers from governments and city councils, the diplomatic community, business owners, tourism industry, academia, and the media, covering the following seven sessions:

Ambassadors and Leaders Forum

Topic: The Economics of Islamic Tourism – What’s in store after Covid-19

Emerging Islamic Tourism Destinations

Presentations by key Muslim-Friendly tourist destinations, i.e. Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Malaysia 

Domestic Tourism Forum

Topic: Domestic Tourism Revival for the Muslim Market

Islamic Tourism Business Forum

Topic: Destination Readiness for Global Muslim-friendly Tourism

Islamic Tourism Lifestyle

Presentations by the media, tourism association, and other tourism industry players

Islamic Tourism Scholars Forum

Topic: The Future of Islamic Tourism 

Islamic Tourism Urban Forum

Topic: Challenges in City Recovery from the Pandemic for Tourism Confidence

—– END —–

Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) is an entity under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia tasked to develop the Islamic tourism segment for Malaysia. It advocates for Muslim-friendly tourism (MFT) by offering research and market intelligence, training, industry development consultation, Muslim-friendly tourism and hospitality (MFTH) services standards and certification, and information exchange.

In 2021, ITC was named the recipient of the Strategic Business Alliance Award at The BrandLaureate World Halal Best Brand E-Branding Awards 2021. It is a recognition of ITC’s efforts and endeavours in formulating new strategies to meet the new normal of the business environment to ensure business continuity and sustainability, notwithstanding its role to develop and grow the Islamic tourism segment in Malaysia.

In addition, Malaysia was named top country in the region in the MFT sector by the State of the Global Islamic Economy (SGIE) Report 2020/21. Malaysia also retained the top-ranked destination in the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2021, a position it has defended since the launch of the Index in 2015.

These recognitions are an added motivation for ITC to continue to strengthen its efforts in being a prime mover and leading institution to ensure Malaysia is at the forefront of MFTH.

For further details, kindly contact:

Islamic Tourism Centre,
Level 13, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia
No. 2 Tower 1, Jalan P5/6,
Precinct 5, 62200 Putrajaya, Malaysia
Tel: 03-8891 7177 or via email

Follow ITC on these social platforms:

Facebook: Islamic Tourism Centre
Twitter: @itc_my
Instagram: @itc_my


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