Local tourists are pouring into popular tourism site in Malaysia as the country relaunches tourism after months of hiatus.

Picture: Redang Island, Terengganu, Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA, 01 NOVEMBER 2021: With the expectation of a rebound in tourism, being well-prepared and trained for the future of travel in the new norm is significant for the tourism workforce to respond to post-pandemic demands.

This was the main message conveyed by Datuk Wira Dr. Noor Zari bin Hamat as the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia and the Chairman of Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) in the opening remarks of the 16th Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) entitled “Strategies in Enhancing Tourism Workforce in The New Norm”.

Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) was once again honoured to be given the chance by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to host the MTCP as an education platform for participants from all around the world. The programme welcomed 20 participants from eight countries: Egypt, Algeria, Azerbaijan,  Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Thailand.

This time, in a  5-day short course from 11 Oct to 15 Oct 2021, ITC has designed fascinating content to address issues such as tourism crisis management and highlight the skills and creativity needed by the tourism workforce to survive during and after the pandemic.

Datuk Wira Dr. Noor Zari expressed the need for tourism industry players to learn and adapt to a new environment. He opined: “With the pending growth of tourism beyond the pandemic, we anticipate changes in the future of work, in line with new behaviours and emerging trends in travel. New models of tourism business that adapt to the post-pandemic environment may also arise.”

Here, education is important in expanding the tourism business and broadening service and product options in order to fulfil new demands. This could mean more specialty jobs, a larger market, or even the development of new sorts of work within the industry. 

The Director-General of ITC, Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip Haji Hasan also said: “Through this short course, we wanted to bring different perspectives and experiences on the topic from the government and regulator perspective to industry players to academicians.” 

Here are some of the insights shared by the presenters: 

  • Mr. Jayappragas a/l Muthuveeroo, Senior Principal Assistant Secretary, Tourism Policy and International Affairs Division, and Mdm Mohanasundari a/p Selvaraj, under Secretary, Industry Development Division, both from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture (MOTAC), spoke about the government’s role in creating enabling policies and initiatives that aided industry players during the pandemic.
  • Prof. Dr Vikneswaran Nair, Dean, Graduate Studies & Research from the University of the Bahamas, dug into the impacts of the pandemic and how it affected perceptions on responsible tourism and sustainability.
  • Mr. Rohizam Md Yusoff, President of Digital Travel Technology Association Malaysia (DiTTAM), shared how digitalisation and technology led the way. 
  • Datin Dr. Arni Abdul Ghani, Senior lecturer, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA, gave us her perspective on academia and the role of educational institutions in empowering a new generation of leaders.
  • The wrap-up by Prof. Dr. Khairil Wahidin Awang, Dean from the faculty of Hospitality, Tourism and Wellness, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK), concluded the input throughout a  5-day short course.

The participants were also inspired by the real-life examples of individuals and organisations in the tourism industry who were resilient in the face of the pandemic, such as Mr. Saidal Udin, a youth leader in Kinabatangan Sabah; Mr. Zaidi Shahrim, the Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS); YM Raja Mohd Hafiz YM Raja Nasharuddin, a Muslim-Friendly Tour Guide; and Mr. Zaini Haji Zainuddin, the Director of Sales, Marketing and Events from Sarawak Cultural Village.

A virtual tour of Kellie’s Castle in Perak was arranged for participants, guided by General Manager of Kellie’s Castle Mr. Zamari Muhyi, who also spoke about the potential of “Dark Tourism”. 

Bahasa Melayu language lessons with Cikgu Midah were also scheduled for participants to pick up some basic Malay phrases.

Overall, the MTCP programme showcased the importance of education for the tourism industry practitioners with emphasis on new knowledge, market insights, and current academic research. It highlighted that continuous learning would ensure corporate success and business continuity throughout and after COVID-19. ITC was delighted to offer education and training to strengthen and empower tourism practitioners, particularly in light of the changing tourist environment.

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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) 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
Youtube: Islamic Tourism Centre

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