Tourism businesses can leverage on the capabilities and services provided by the Islamic Tourism Centre, an award-winning government agency in Malaysia, to cater to the unique needs of Muslim-friendly travel and hospitality
Brought to you by Islamic Tourism Centre
The Muslim travel space presents massive opportunities where global Muslim tourist expenditures in 2028 is forecasted at US$225 billion while worldwide Muslim tourist arrivals in the same year is expected to hit 230 million.
For travel and hospitality industry players keen to tap into the billion-dollar Muslim tourist market, they can capitalise on the capabilities and services provided by Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC), an award-winning agency of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia.
First and only government agency
ITC is the first and only government agency in the world that focuses on Islamic tourism development.
Since 2009, it has championed Islamic tourism and developed the growth of the Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality (MFTH) industry for Malaysia and shared its expertise with the world.
Nur Alyssa Coraline Yussin, acting director-general, ITC, told TTG Asia: “ITC takes proactive measures to strengthen the Islamic Tourism ecosystem by empowering local industry players and the general public who are interested in tapping into the lucrative Muslim tourist market.”
Working closely with Malaysia’s tourism industry players, ITC has trained and recognised up to 131 Muslim-Friendly Tourist Guides (MFTGs) country-wide.
Through the Islamic Tourism Entrepreneurship and Leadership Seminar (ITELS) series held last year, the agency had also reached out to 314 business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, sharing with them the prospects of the Muslim tourist market and the business resources to succeed.
In the same year, the Mosque Visit Guide Training (MosVi) enrolled 31 mosque representatives interested in the potential of developing their mosques as a tourist attraction.
Today, Malaysia is the world’s leading Muslim-friendly destination with the capacity to further bolster its position in the future.
Cater to unique needs of Islamic tourism
Industry players keen to operate within the MFTH space should come up with or enhance their products and services as a value-add to Muslim travellers who do not wish to compromise their faith-based needs while travelling.
For example, accommodations with Muslim-friendly services and facilities are always a top priority for Muslim tourists. The provision of prayer rugs, prayer direction signage, and halal food and beverages will contribute greatly to guest satisfaction.
Hospitality operators can gain the trust of the Muslim tourist market by getting their premises rated and periodically audited by credible recognition programmes like the Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality Accreditation and Recognition (MFAR) offered by ITC.
Muslim travellers also enjoy getting a taste of local delicacies but must abide by the Islamic dietary standard – Halal. These are permitted foods for Muslim consumption and are prepared according to the teachings of Islam which include how meats are slaughtered and the absence of prohibited items in meals.
They will travel with ease of mind, knowing that there are halal-certified food and beverage outlets approved by a competent authority like the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) and other recognised certification bodies at the destination visited.
The MFTH branding firmly positions businesses and destinations to attract the growing Muslim tourist market, as well as informs the market of the added value and enhanced experience businesses provide towards welcoming Muslim travellers.
Assistance from ITC
ITC provides support and expertise to businesses and destinations to get on board, work towards successful product and service development and delivery, leading to increased market engagement, attraction and loyalty.
Through industry insights, market intelligence, research into the Islamic tourism development, training, knowledge-sharing through conferences and publications, Muslim-friendly standards and recognition programmes, and advisory services, the government agency has led industry players in strengthening their position in Islamic tourism.
For example, tourism businesses can upskill and prepare themselves to meet the demands of the Muslim tourist market with ITC’s training programmes that give clarity to the behaviours of the market and what it demands from industry stakeholders.
They can also learn more about the opportunities available in Islamic tourism and the Muslim-friendly tourist market through ITC’s knowledge-sharing events, publications and platforms.
To keep up with the changing landscape of the tourism industry, ITC has recently rebranded its trademark MFAR to become a more inclusive programme relevant to industry stakeholders beyond the hotel sector.
Yussin added: “To further strengthen and sustain the Muslim-Friendly tourism and hospitality ecosystem, ITC is collaborating with higher learning institutions and industry leaders through quality research that introduces fresh ideas and insights into the Muslim tourist market. There’s growth opportunities within this market, and the research which we present at the Islamic Tourism Symposium (ITS) will expand the body of knowledge of Islamic Tourism and stimulate this growth.”
Keen to learn more about the opportunities in the lucrative Muslim tourist market?
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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