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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Growing market in Islamic tourism

HALAL lifestyle, Syariah-compliant businesses, developing standards, accreditation and investment for Islamic tourism — these were some of the key topics discussed at the Joint Seminar On Islamic Tourism 2014.

Held at PNB Darby Park Executive Suite in Kuala Lumpur recently, its aim was to provide an ideal platform for industry players to identify, analyse and discuss issues, opportunities and challenges in
Islamic tourism.

Tourism And Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the seminar was a great opportunity for industry players to brainstorm on how to cater to Muslim tourists.
“Islamic tourism is an emerging market and on the global scale, Muslims make up 23 per cent of the world population, which is a big market to tap from,” he said at the opening ceremony.
He added that in 2012, the global revenue from Islamic tourism was estimated at RM411 billion excluding travel for umrah and haj.

“In fact, the expenditure is expected to grow to RM543 billion in 2018 and this proves that Islamic tourism is a huge business that’s growing tremendously,” Nazri said, adding that many Muslim minority countries such as Japan and Australia are starting to look at the market and have developed creative strategies such as providing halal food, prayer facilities and other necessities.

Malaysia, being one of the most Muslim-friendly holiday destination in the world, is also targetting more Muslim travellers, which will add vibrancy to Visit Malaysia Year 2014.

Also present at the opening ceremony were Ministry Of Tourism And Culture secretary-general Datuk Dr Ong Hong Peng, Islamic Tourism Centre director-general Zulkifly Md Said and Indonesian Tourism And Creative Industry deputy minister Dr Sapta Nirwandar.

Organised by Islamic Tourism Centre (an agency under the Ministry of Tourism And Culture), in collaboration with Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism And Creative Economy, the seminar was deemed a great accomplishment with 18 speakers from various backgrounds sharing their knowledge and thoughts to improve the industry.

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