KUALA LUMPUR: Entrepreneurs in the Islamic tourism segment need to improve their understanding of the halal aspects to enable them to identify unique selling points for their respective tourism products.
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (pix) said this would also give the assurance that their products are not contravening the Islamic tenets.
To attract more entrepreneurs to venture into the Islamic tourism segment, she also encouraged cooperation between the Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) and Department of Standards Malaysia in drawing up clear guidelines and standards pertaining to Islamic tourism products and services.
“This is for the existing and new entrepreneurs to receive continued assistance, besides raising the standards in quality of Islamic tourism while the products generated can also compete with the other tourism products,“ she said in her keynote address at the Islamic Tourism Entrepreneurship and Leadership Seminar, held virtually, today.
“The scope of Islamic tourism is wide, covering Muslim-friendly products and services, hospitality and accommodation but the venturing into this is still at an early stage, hence the need to expose the entrepreneurs to the new business opportunities.
“Venturing into new businesses is important, considering the Global Muslim Tourism Index (GMTI) 2021 expecting the number of Muslim tourists to reach 26 million at the year end if the states’ and international borders are opened.
“The same report also expects the Muslim tourism market to recover up to 80 per cent in 2023. Looking at the Islamic tourism performance in contributing to the post-Covid-19 economic growth, it indirectly shows that there’s already a big economic opportunity for entrepreneurs and young people to venture into the Islamic tourism market segment,” she added.
Nancy also said that in 2019, before the pandemic, there were 5.3 million Muslim tourist arrivals in Malaysia, spending a total of RM16.72 billion, thus making Malaysia being recognised as the best country in the Muslim-Friendly Tourism sector since 2011 by the DinarStandard and CrescentRating.