KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, 18 OCTOBER 2023: Malaysia’s position as a medical and wellness tourism destination has become a model among developing nations seeking to develop the sector.
Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC), an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC), has just concluded the training course on “Developing and Managing Muslim-Friendly Healthcare and Wellness Tourism Destinations on Products” under the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) today.
The training programme, coordinated by ITC and funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia (MFA), saw the participation of 14 government officials in charge of the development of healthcare and wellness tourism in their home countries. Some 10 developing nations took part in the training that ran from 9 to 18 October, namely Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Tajikistan, Thailand and Timor-Leste.
ITC is honored to be trusted to showcase some of Malaysia’s best Muslim-friendly and healthcare and wellness practices to the participants through sharing sessions with local experts, lecture classes, and site visits. They were also given the opportunity to network with industry practitioners from Destination Management Offices (DMOs), hospitals, resorts, spa and wellness centres, among others, in Klang Valley and Perak, that included Prince Court Medical Centre, Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia, The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat and Teratak Spa.
Medical and wellness development is one of the sectors in the tourism industry acknowledged by Malaysian Government for its potential and is included as the country’s 2024 Budget. The sector is also one of the areas covered in the ITC-developed Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality Assurance and Recognition (MFAR), a programme that recognises Muslim-friendly products and services in the tourism and hospitality space.
Developing and Managing Muslim-Friendly Healthcare and Wellness Tourism Destinations on Products is the 19th MTCP programme conducted by ITC, and the first physical one by the agency after 4 years.
The Malaysian Technical Cooperation Program (MTCP) was established in 1980 as Malaysia’s commitment to South-South Cooperation through the sharing of Malaysia’s development experiences and expertise with other developing countries.
MTCP is premised on the principle that the development of a country is dependent on the quality of its human capital and resources. MTCP emphasises human resources development mainly through training; short-term courses in public and private Malaysian training institutions, and long-term courses in Malaysian public universities. Other forms of assistance include study visits, practical attachments and provision of services of experts.
Annually, MTCP collaborates with its leading Training Institutions to conduct capacity building programmes in various key areas of development. Since its inception in 1980, more than 34,000 participants from 144 countries have benefited from the various programmes offered under the MTCP.
A new direction for the MTCP was formulated following its placement under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (also known as Wisma Putra) in 2010. It entails prioritising developing countries of strategic interests, focusing on Malaysia’s area of expertise, demand-driven courses/programmes, cultivation of potential participants who would later serve as ‘friends of Malaysia’, public-private partnership (PPP) and collaboration with new development partners beyond MTCP’s traditional partners. From the eleven key broad areas, the MTCP would give more attention to the following areas namely Professional Services, Management and Public Administration, Economic and Trade, Science, Technology and ICT Management, Industrial/Technical Training, Finance, Diplomacy, Health Services, Humanitarian, Academic/Education and Social Development.
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 recognition, and information exchange.
Malaysia was named the top country in the region in the MFTH sector by the State of the Global Islamic Economy (SGIE) Report 2022. The country also retained the top-ranked destination in the Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2023, a position it has defended since the launch of the Index in 2015. In the same year, Malaysia was recognised as the Top Muslim-Friendly Destination of the Year (OIC) and Top Muslim Women-Friendly Destination of the Year in Halal in Travel Awards 2023.
In addition, 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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