International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. In conjunction with that, Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) would like to honour the women we’ve had the pleasure of working with throughout our journey in advancing the Islamic Tourism space in Malaysia. We’ve worked with many great women in our time, and though we can’t feature them all here, know that we support them wholeheartedly towards their professional and personal goals. 

To further inspire us all on this journey of life, we’ve invited some of these women to share their success stories with us. Here, they reveal the highs of their lives and what motivates them to keep going through tough times. We hope that this spotlight on the women we’ve worked with – and whom we have utmost respect for – will inspire us all on our journey forward!

For this IWD blog series, we’re excited to speak with Ms. Hannah Pearson, Director of Pear Anderson. She is one of ITC’s close collaborators and great supporter, always generously sharing her insights and bouncing ideas together about the travel market. We look forward to cheer her on her journey in the travel business as well as her trail adventures as she pushes herself towards greater highs!

Hannah Pearson
Director, Pear Anderson


ITC: Can you introduce yourself to our readers? Tell us a little bit about yourself – personal, family and business-wise?

Hannah Pearson: I’m originally from the UK, and have been living and working in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for many years now. Malaysia at this point is practically my home, and where I am raising my two sons.

I run Pear Anderson, a consulting firm specialising in the Southeast Asian and Muslim travel market, and am the co-host of a travel industry podcast, The South East Asia Travel Show. I am also Regional Director Asia for the Adventure Travel Trade Association.

ITC: What’s your most recent accomplishment in your personal life that you’ve been most proud of? Why was this achievement special to you?

Hannah: One of the highlights for me pre-pandemic was running a 30 km trail race on Mt Bromo in Indonesia with my sister-in-law. 

It took us 7 hours, through mud, sand and puddles, and we were exhausted at the end of it – but the views were stunning, and I was so proud that we kept going.

ITC: What’s your most recent accomplishment, career/business-wise, that you’ve been most proud of? Why was this achievement special to you?

Hannah: Since the pandemic hit, my firm, Pear Anderson, have put together a free weekly report and online dashboard tracking the impact of COVID-19 on the SE Asian tourism industry, looking at inbound to outbound tourism, domestic tourism to travel bubbles, lockdowns to vaccinations, and everything in between.

In late February 2022, the report hit 20,000 updates, just in time to celebrate its 2nd anniversary. The fact that we are delivering invaluable updates to the thousands of tourism stakeholders who have now subscribed gives me immense satisfaction, allowing Pear Anderson to support, in some small way, the recovery of the tourism industry in the region.

ITC: What are the values you hold on to that have helped you to be where you are today – values that have helped to see you through the good and bad times?

Hannah: Being generous – not even necessarily in a monetary way. Giving your time, your knowledge, will always be appreciated, and I have found many intangible benefits from living life with a generous mindset.

ITC: What’s your project/ ambition/ goals that you wish to achieve next (personal and career/business-wise)?

Hannah: My next goal for Pear Anderson is to continue to make our free weekly report as useful as possible to tourism stakeholders, adapting it as the current situation changes.

My personal goal is to finally run a 50 km trail race – although I certainly have a long way to go in terms of training to get my physical fitness to the right level.

ITC: Could you share with us your experience of working with ITC and what you value about this relationship?

Hannah: Pear Anderson and ITC have collaborated with speaking at events, and ITC have been invaluable to raise Pear Anderson’s profile within the Muslim-friendly market segment.

What I truly value about ITC is that they are promoting a tourism that is all about inclusivity – encouraging tourism businesses to be “Muslim friendly” does not mean that they should be “unfriendly” to non-Muslim travellers. Rather, it is a philosophy of true hospitality, ensuring that all guests are made to feel welcome and enabling them to be able to follow their faith-specific requirements.


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