KUALA LUMPUR: The International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) and the Islamic Tourism Centre have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Government in a bid to make the country the premier hub for Muslim tourists.
Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said the MoU would make Malaysia an ideal destination for Islamic tourism among Islamic countries.
“This, in return, will provide significant economic returns to Malaysia as well as creating employment opportunities to graduates,” said Nazri, whose speech was read out by ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Ong Hong Peng here yesterday.
The MoU would see collaboration in areas such as internship, attachments and the mobility of staff and students, tourism, culture, skills upgrading and joint research and publication, he said.
Currently, out of the 25.03 million tourist arrivals last year, about 22% – more than five million – were from Muslim majority countries. Dr Ong said: “We hope to increase the Islamic tourist arrivals to 30%.”
For Visit Malaysia Year (VMY), which was officially launched yesterday, Nazri urged all groups to double up efforts to ensure that the delivery of services was of the highest standard at all times.
VMY 2014, said Nazri, was vital in achieving the Tourism Transformation Plan target of attracting 36 million tourist arrivals and RM168bil in receipts by 2020.