Putrajaya, Malaysia, 3 September 2021 – Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC), an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia (MOTAC), will be holding a forum entitled “ITC Muslim-friendly Tourism and Hospitality Forum: Potentials and Perspectives” in the upcoming 17th Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS), on 9 September.
The Director-General of ITC, Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip Haji Hasan, is delighted that ITC will be part of yet another great initiative to engage with core business organisations and decision-making entities out there who take an interest in the Halal economy, particularly Islamic Tourism and Muslim-friendly tourism and hospitality (MFTH), in an effort to forge greater understanding, cooperation and collaboration.
He began: “This year marks another year of ITC’s involvement in MIHAS, a platform for all industry players affiliated in the Islamic economy, to exchange views and opinions and showcase their products and services. Indeed, the Islamic economy covers a wide realm of sectors, from finance and banking, to pharmaceuticals, gastronomy, and even tourism and hospitality.”
“As an internationally-recognised agency in matters related to Islamic Tourism, ITC is looking forward to meeting fellow MIHAS participants particularly those who are interested to expand their business by tapping into the Muslim travel market, a niche but lucrative segment of tourism.”
“This forum will seek to provide insights and information to the questions which industry players and stakeholders have with regards to the Muslim travel market and with it, Islamic Tourism and MFTH,” he added.
“As we all know, the Muslim travel market is a diverse and widespread one. It is growing at an accelerating pace and boasts many opportunities owing to its lucrative potentials – based on the fact that Muslim tourists are known for their behaviour to travel in groups besides a higher propensity to spend more and have longer periods of stay.”
“Generally, two priorities spring to mind with regards to Muslim travellers – their niche faith-based needs such as availability of Halal food and prayer facilities. Malaysia, as a Muslim-majority nation, readily caters to those needs and in the past years, Malaysia has been recognised as the top destination of choice among consumers in the Muslim travel market.”
Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip further opined: “Moving on from tour and travel, Muslim-friendliness is not just about pilgrimage and visiting holy sites in the strictest sense. In fact, the term has evolved into one that carries values such as safety, hygiene, cleanliness and respect. All of those values, inculcated into one’s running of business, is more than likely to ensure sustainability and inclusivity in the long run.”
Thus, ITC has been actively involved in its key roles such as research and training, standards and certification, in advocating and promoting the development of Islamic Tourism in Malaysia and around the world, to encourage more industry players to tap into the Muslim travel market. For example, the publication of Islamic Tourism Journal (ITJ) and the introduction of the Muslim-friendly Accommodation Recognition (MFAR) – the latter being the first of its kind in the world to be introduced by a government agency.
“I hope that through this forum, ITC’s endeavours, be it in promoting the Islamic Tourism model and MFTH branding, or striving to set better common understanding and discourse among our partners on those concepts, will continue and meet its objectives whilst opening up a new and potentially lucrative market opportunity for businesses out there,” he concluded.
The forum, which is set to take place virtually, will witness the Secretary-General of MOTAC cum Chairman of ITC, Datuk Wira Dr. Noor Zari Hamat, address the audience in his opening speech, followed by a panel of four speakers, across a wide range of tourism-related industry sectors, namely:-
● Mr. Zakaria Ismail, Hotel Manager of Perdana Kuala Lumpur City Centre
● Ms. Jane Rai, award-winning tour guide and ITC-certified Muslim-friendly Tour
● Ms. Liz Othman, Founder of Teratak Spa
● Mr. Mohd Daud Mohd Arif, CEO of Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC)
In addition, MIHAS 2021, at the outset, will run from 9 to 12 September 2021, also on an online platform. The event is organised by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and will be hosted by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
For more information and registration, click here: www.mihasvirtual.com.my/