ITC HOSTED ITELS IN PENANG TO INTRODUCE ISLAMIC TOURISM AS AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTAL TOOL

PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA, 14 JULY 2022: Islamic Tourism Centre’s (ITC) Seminar Keusahawanan dan Kepimpinan Pelancongan Islam (Islamic Tourism Entrepreneurship and Leadership Seminar – ITELS) was held at Jen Hotel, Penang on 22-23 June, 2022 to showcase the vast dimension of Islamic tourism and how businesses can leverage on and fit Muslim travel needs sustainably in the industry. 

An initiative by ITC in conjunction with Islamic Tourism Week 2022, the seminar drew in the interests of youths, entrepreneurs and tourism industry players who wanted to venture into the growing and potentially profitable field of Islamic Tourism.

Held for the second time, the ITELS lineup of experienced and inspiring partners shared the information, economic and entrepreneurial opportunities that could be developed in the Islamic Tourism segment.

Speakers from Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), myBurgerLab, Malaysia Association of Wellness Trainer (MAWT) and Perbadanan Nasional Berhad (PERNAS) delved into the world of Islamic Tourism and shared insights on how to chart a new career or business path in it.

ITELS was also verified as a Continuing Tourism Related Education (CTRE) Course by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Heritage (MOTAC). Licensed tour guides who participated in the ITELS earned two CTRE points from the course.

Across the two days, 70 participants listened to six industry experts as they shared insights to spur better understanding of the Islamic Tourism industry. The seminar also included a case study presentation by MyBurgerLab co-founder, Chen Ren Yi.

Following were the key highlights of the seminar:

Islamic Tourism needs strategic thinking. 

– ITC Director-General, Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip Haji Hasan

Though Malaysia retained its No. 1 ranking in the GMTI 2022 index as the most Muslim-Friendly Tourist Destination, more work needs to be done. 

This is because other countries such as Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand are fast gaining traction in winning Muslim travellers over with their readiness to expand upon the vast dimension of Islamic Tourism. 

Leadership and entrepreneurship are two combined qualities needed to ensure the viability of the business as well the best utilisation of funds. The thinking must change towards new opportunities. Leadership start within the person himself before expanding to the larger setting. 

It is fundamental for tourism and hospitality players to innovate and be creative. Only then we can look at the opportunities within the Islamic Tourism segment with focus.

 

13 financing facilities available through Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA). 

– Encik A Razu Abdul Razak, Director of Business Financing at Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA)

MARA continues to help entrepreneurs and provides dedicated funding schemes to support the Government’s aim of revitalising the tourism sector in the endemic economy. 

These funding schemes are intended to enable entrepreneurship and churn out more entrepreneurs for sustainable growth in the Islamic Tourism sector.

There is also a Special Business Financing Scheme for Women (DanaNITA).

 

With any business, think consumer first.
– Chin Ren Yi, co-founder of MyBurgerLab

Focusing on the product is natural, but a customer-centric strategy helps generate long-lasting business value. Put out a product that the customer wants instead of marketing to them what you think they ought to want. 

The market is huge – and it’s not just exclusive to F&B, but other industries as well. To compete, businesses need to innovate fast. 

One example is to collaborate with other brands that allow for new insight gains and growth in business.

 

A future-fit business requires good leadership skills.
– Puan Liz Othman, business coach and president of Malaysian Association of Wellness Trainers (MAWT).

Being a good leader means learning the art of listening.

A good leader is also a life-long learner. This helps you evolve faster than the business and drive it to the next level.

Manage people by demonstrating the work they do is meaningful, both to themselves and others. Communicate and empower others to find purpose at work.

 

Navigating a new or any business in the new normal requires financial planning.
– Encik Mohd Fuad Halim, Head of Outreach Programme, Perbadanan Nasional Berhad (PERNAS)

Keep accurate financial records at all times. This is crucial for mitigating financial risk.

Bring in an experienced professional, even if you have a strong financial background, to help ensure proper risk management so you can focus on the business.

 

The goal of halal certification is to give assurance to the consumers that the food products are produced according to the Shariah law and to provide assurance on the safety of the food products.

– Dr. Lokman Ab. Rahman, Pengarah Bahagian Penerbitan JAKIM

 

The Muslim-Friendly Tourism Products Hospitality and Packages (MFT ProHPack) provides the necessary marketing tools to achieve business innovation in meeting the needs of Muslim tourists and how to be competitive and scalable.

– Dr. Hisham Sabri, Timbalan Pengarah, Pusat Keusahawanan Universiti, USIM

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About ITC:

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 itc@itc.gov.my/v2

For media-related matters, contact the Corporate Communications team:

Anis, Manager, +6012 321 9137, anis@itc.gov.my/v2
Nadhirah, Sr. Executive, +6019 356 0530, nadhirah@itc.gov.my/v2
Ainaa Izzati, Asst. Executive, +6010 266 2535, ainaa@itc.gov.my/v2

Follow ITC on these social platforms:
Facebook: Islamic Tourism Centre
Twitter: @itc_my
Instagram: @itc_my
Youtube: Islamic Tourism Centre


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