Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) believes that Port Dickson, a coastal town and holiday destination in Negeri Sembilan, has all the elements to be turned into a sustainable Islamic Tourism destination. (Picture: PD Marina, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan. Source: Tourism Malaysia)

PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA, 29 JULY 2021: At the recently concluded live webinar “Reimagining Port Dickson Tourism”, Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) was given the opportunity to be represented by its Director-General, Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip Haji Hasan, who addressed the audience about the potential of Islamic Tourism and sustainable tourism in Port Dickson. The event was organised by iPortal and DHS & Asiana Hospitality Academy on 28 July 2021.

Port Dickson, a holiday getaway seaside destination situated in Negeri Sembilan, on the central western coast of Peninsular Malaysia, is home to some 120,000 residents. Located some 30 kilometres to the southwest of state capital Seremban, the town is home to a number of places of interest such as the P.D. Ostrich Show Farm, Army Museum Port Dickson and Lukut Museum.

For the niche Muslim travel segment, places of interest around the town which can be considered include the Baitul Hilal Complex or Teluk Kemang Observatory, and Sungai Menyala Edu-Ecotourism Centre. The former, more than 50 years old, is notably the prime location in the country to determine the arrival of the month of Ramadan (month of fasting) each year, besides serving as a centre for development of astronomy and astro-tourism destination in Malaysia.

Sungai Menyala Edu-Ecotourism Centre is based in the Sungai Menyala Forest Reserve, spanning an area of up to 1,280 hectares. Besides being one of the lowest-lying Dipterocarp forests in the region, it is famous for a 45-metre high Jelutong tree, and owing to its 15% composition of swampland, visitors can expect a wide variety of flora and fauna here.

Worth mentioning as well is a trail of mosques found in the area which includes the Masjid Jamek Abdullah Sijang, Masjid Jamek Pasir Panjang, and Masjid Kariah Telok Kemang, hence ensuring Muslim visitors of prayer facilities and mosque trails for their tourism pursuits too.

The event, which kicked off at 9 a.m., saw Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip begin his remarks reminiscing on the value of Port Dickson in the memories of most Malaysians. He opened: “For us, Port Dickson holds a special place in our hearts, being one of the earliest holiday destinations we experienced as a child or teenager. A crown jewel of Negeri  Sembilan state, Port Dickson indeed has contributed significantly to the tourism industry here.”

He proceeded to describe how he envisioned a reimagined Port Dickson, one that is “well-developed, well-maintained and thriving”. He, too, believed that the long-term plan to turn Negeri Sembilan into a developed state by 2045, which included the regeneration of Port Dickson as a key tourism destination, was a prime development which captured the interest of many. 

“The plan focuses on inclusivity and sustainability. Indeed, I concur that sustainable tourism, which takes into consideration its current and future states notwithstanding other factors such as social and environmental impacts, show that the state is driven to ensure it meets the above aspirations,” he added.

Flowing from that, he introduced to the audience the concept of Islamic tourism and Muslim-friendly tourism and hospitality (MFTH): “Islamic tourism is traditionally referred to activities such as Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage, but in an ever-evolving world, this has now stretched to cover Shariah-compliant tour and travel activities for leisure purposes, and even equally niche tourism segments such as business, sports, special interests and as such.”

Generally, two paramount needs are of concern in the Muslim travel market, the availability of Halal food and provision of prayer facilities. Besides, Muslim travellers are also known for longer periods of stays in addition to an inclination towards greater spending. The latter is especially prominent among those from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, one of the key components of the market. 

He added: “It has been observed that this market is growing, hence it comes as no surprise that the demand for Shariah-compliant tourism and hospitality facilities and services is on the rise. This serves as a call for tourism industry players and stakeholders to recognise this phenomenon and respond and deliver accordingly and effectively.”

He further clarified how Islamic Tourism and MFTH actually perpetuated the sustainable tourism concept, saying: “Both Islamic Tourism and MFTH models are based upon taking care of our environment and having regard for the visited communities. Qualities such as cleanliness, safety, etiquette, and respect are universally-accepted human values that form the basis of Islamic Tourism.”

“Thus, by promoting those values, it signifies embracing trust, care and empathy, and respecting one another by celebrating our similarities and respecting each other’s differences, notwithstanding inculcating responsibility, which are also the values inherent in sustainable development,” noted Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip.

Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip also reiterated the significance of Malaysia’s top ranking in the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2021, saying: “This recognition is a key indicator of where our strengths lie, and where our focus should be, moving forward. With stronger buy-in from industry players towards strengthening the Islamic Tourism and Muslim-Friendly potential of Port Dickson and well-made preparations from now to meet the pent-up demand of Muslim travel in the future, I can picture a reimagined Port Dickson being at the forefront welcoming Muslim tourists to its shores.”


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 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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