ITC STRENGTHENS ROLE OF MALAYSIAN CO-OPS IN TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY

PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA, 31 JANUARY 2022: Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) has joined hands with Malaysia National Co-operative Movement (Angkatan Koperasi Kebangsaan Malaysia Berhad – ANGKASA) to raise the competitiveness level of ANGKASA members involved in the tourism and hospitality sector.

Through a 3-day online programme conducted from 28-30 January 2022, entitled Muslim-Friendly Hospitality Management (Pengurusan Hospitaliti Mesra-Muslim), ITC delivered training to 23 ANGKASA members who operate hotels, homestays, and spas throughout Malaysia, giving them insights into the opportunities available in Islamic Tourism and the Muslim tourist market, which is expected to flourish post-pandemic.

Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip Hasan, ITC Director-General said: “We are pleased to have this opportunity to collaborate with ANGKASA to raise the level of tourism and hospitality products and services for the Muslim tourist market. It’s a key preparation towards accelerating tourism and economic recovery.”

The programme provided ANGKASA members with knowledge of how to cater to the needs of the Muslim tourists, among other things through development of products and services geared towards their faith-based requirements for Halal food and prayer facilities, as well as in-house services that prioritise aspects of safety, security, and hygiene.

Datuk Haji Mohamad Ali Hasan, ANGKASA Board Member and Chairman of ANGKASA Tourism, Personal Care and Wellness Sector (Sektor Pelancongan, Penjagaan Diri dan Kesihatan ANGKASA), said in his opening speech that the partnership with ITC was a positive step to rejuvenate the tourism industry: “The recovery of the nation and its tourism industry requires focused and organised efforts that ensure tourist safety and that the tourism premises themselves are operated safely. With this training and understanding for Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality concept, we hope that our members can increase the quality of their products and services, create added value, and be more sustainable in their business.”

A key focus of the training was on the Muslim-Friendly Tourism Products, Hospitality and Packages (MFT ProHPack) guidelines that ITC developed to help tourism industry players benchmark themselves against the needs of Muslim tourists. It consists of a set of criteria across 11 tourism sectors, fulfilment of which would lead to the tourism-related business being awarded the MFT ProHPack recognition by ITC, a mark of its high standards of product and service, in line with the tenets of Islam.

Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip Hasan said: “As a lead agency in Islamic Tourism development, ITC’s role is to create awareness and facilitate the participation of more tourism industry players in the Islamic Tourism economy. We do this by providing training and knowledge, standards and certification. By signing up for the MFT ProHPack recognition programme, tourism industry players will have the knowledge, added value and marketing tools to confidently expand their business potential towards the Muslim tourist market. They will be able to compete with other tourism and hospitality brand names in the country.”

He added that ITC welcomed the opportunity to train and share knowledge about Islamic Tourism and the Muslim tourist market with others and that ITC was ready to guide industry players strategically plan for Islamic Tourism development.

The 11 tourism and hospitality sectors that can apply for MFT ProHPack recognition from ITC are hotels,  tourism packages, tourism products, transportation hubs, convention centres, theme parks, shopping malls, highway rest service areas, medical facilities, homestay and kampungstay accommodations, and spa centres. The MFT ProHPack recognition would enable the tourism businesses to position and market themselves better as Muslim-friendly and attract more Muslim tourists.

Among the topics covered in the ITC training programme were:

  • The development and growth of Muslim-Friendly Tourism
  • Understanding the basic components of Muslim-Friendly Hospitality 
  • The Muslim-Friendly Tourism Products, Hospitality and Packages (MFT ProHPack) recognition programme by ITC

The training programme was created by ITC for ANGKASA, and delivered by ITC training partners. ITC will deliver two more training courses on this topic for ANGKASA members this year.

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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 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 itc@itc.gov.my/v2

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