PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA, 22 JULY 2022: Can Islamic Tourism be a viable strategy to ensure prosperity for communities, stakeholders and destinations who invest in the Muslim tourist market?
This is the key question which Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) is addressing in a short course it’s offering under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Malaysia Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP).
Conducted online from 19 to 27 July, the “Short Course on Strategies in Developing and Managing Sustainable Muslim-Friendly Destinations and Products” sees participation from 11 international participants from the tourism ministries of Cambodia, Kiribati, Togo and Vietnam seeking insights into the burgeoning Muslim tourist market and how to cater to it.
Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip Hasan, Director-General, ITC, said: “ITC is pleased to have this opportunity once again to share our insights with the international audience participating in MTCP this year. We thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for collaborating and entrusting us to conduct this programme with them.”
He shared: “As global borders start to reopen, we will be seeing movements of travellers to fulfil their pent-up travel demands. Certainly, we can expect the Muslim tourist market to start travelling as well. They, too, want to satisfy their travel needs and see what’s new in other destinations, especially after the prolonged pandemic. As Muslims, they have specific needs to fulfil during their travels. Destinations and tourism trade players who realise this will understand that there is a business opportunity in catering to this market.”
He added: “Malaysia has long been interested in the Muslim tourist market, and many of our tourism product operators have enhanced their services to provide a more wholesome experience for Muslim families, the Muslim women travellers and so forth. Malaysia has seen the market growth, and we have grown alongside it by encouraging more tourism industry players to cater to this market. We have guided state tourism boards, hotels, tour guides, travel agents, and spa operators, among others, in their journey to understand this market. We share our insights with them through trainings such as this, standards development, and the research that we conduct into the market.”
Combining presentations and case studies, the course examines the potential of the Muslim tourist market and its future growth trends, and shared insights on their travel patterns. In addition, the role of governments in supporting sustainable tourism is discussed.
Several case studies will be presented to show how Malaysia’s tourism industry players have implemented strategies to cater to the Muslim tourist market and addressed the challenges therein. Putrajaya Corporation, Restu Foundation, Mardhiyyah Hotel and Suites (a recipient of ITC’s Muslim-Friendly Accommodation Recognition certification scheme), Association of Malaysian Spas, Malaysian Homestay Entrepreneurs Association, and Islamic Outreach ABIM Centre will share their experiences in this area.
A topic on Halal certification and its impact on global tourism will also be discussed by Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM).
Besides these presentations, the international participants were also given the opportunity to learn Bahasa Melayu language in a fun and interactive way.
About the MTCP programme:
The Malaysia Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) is an initiative by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since 2009, the Ministry has entrusted Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) to organise and host the MTCP as a knowledge-sharing platform for participants from all around the world. The objective is to foster close relations and advance the understanding of tourism on a global level. The MTCP programme also facilitates knowledge exchange and the sharing of best practices in tourism among international participants, with a focus on Islamic Tourism. In light of Malaysia’s leading position as a Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality destination, case studies and Malaysia’s own experiences in catering to Muslim tourists are shared with participants to increase their awareness and understanding of this special market.
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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) service standards and certification, and information exchange.
In 2021, ITC received two key awards, i.e. Strategic Business Alliance Award at The BrandLaureate World Halal Best Brand E-Branding Awards 2021, and Best Islamic Tourism Leadership Gold Award 2021 by Malaysia Tourism Council. These are 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 recently named top country in the world in the MFT sector by the State of the Global Islamic Economy (SGIE) Report 2022 by DinarStandard in partnership with Salaam Standard and supported by Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism.
Malaysia also retained the top-ranked destination in the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2022, 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
(Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia)
Level 13, No. 2 Tower 1, Jalan P5/6,
Precinct 5, 62200 Putrajaya, Malaysia
Tel: 03-8891 7177 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
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