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14 Feb, 2014

Malaysia, Indonesia Team Up for First Joint Seminar on Islamic Tourism

Malaysia and Indonesia are to hold the first joint seminar on promoting Islamic tourism, one of the most promising future trends in travel, especially within the Asia-Pacific region.

To be held 17-18 February in Kuala Lumpur, the seminar is the result of cooperation between the Islamic Tourism Centre (Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia), Ministry of Tourism & Creative Economy, and PT Sofyan Hotels Tbk – Sofyan Hospitality. Although designed to focus on enhancing the service and hospitality industry to cater to Muslim visitors to both countries, its conclusions and recommendations will have an important bearing on travel trends both within the ASEAN and Asia-Pacific regions.


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The seminar is targetted at accommodation providers, F&B operators, government agencies/ departments, travel and tourism associations, higher learning institutions and suppliers of products and services to the Islamic travel & tourism industry.

The seminar will be opened by Mr. Zulkifly Said, Director General, Islamic Tourism Centre, followed by inaugural speeches by Dr. Sapta Nirwandar, Vice Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Indonesia, and YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Tan Sri Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia.

The Islamic world has a combined population of nearly 1.4 billion stretching across a huge swathe of territory from Morocco to Mindanao. Most of this population is concentrated in the Asia-Pacific region, covering Muslim-majority countries such as Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh to significant minority populations in India and China.

In the past decade, there has been a significant shift by Muslim travellers away from the United States and Europe, thanks to blatantly discriminatory racial profiling and visa-restriction policies and targetted media campaigns to portray Muslims as terrorists. Islamic countries have benefitted from this shift, and are now gearing up to market themselves more prominently, based on Islamic traditions, culture and values.

In the introduction to the seminar, the ITC website says, “Islamic Tourism is gaining popularity especially with the increase in the arrivals of Muslim tourists to Asia. Several countries such as Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia have been beneficiaries of the increase in the market share of Muslim tourists to this region.

“The development of Islamic tourism and travel has brought options to Muslim travellers. There is a need to develop customised / tailored tourism products and services to accommodate this dynamic and emerging market.

“Despite the increasing numbers of Muslim tourists to this region, efforts by hotels or accommodation providers to offer customised products and services to suit this segment of the market are still lacking while the demands for more and exclusive facilities and services for Muslim tourists are increasing.”

The seminar is designed to help participants particularly accommodation providers to “identify, analyse and discuss on the issues, opportunities and challenges as well as ideal approach in implementing suitable hospitality and services to cater for the Muslim guests.”

At the same time, it is also designed to promote integration and cooperation among ASEAN countries particularly in the development of Islamic tourism.

The specific topics to be covered are:

(+) Islamic Tourism: Current Trends and Potentials to Malaysia;

(+) Wisata Shariah / Islamic Tourism in Indonesia;

(+) Tourism: From the Perspective of Halal Lifestyle;

(+) Shariah Guided Business: Hotel Management in Islam;

(+) Developing Standards & Accreditation for Islamic Tourism;

(+) Business and Investment in Islamic Tourism; and,

(+) F&B Evolution in Islamic Tourism: Innovation, Challenges and Standardisation.

The line-up of eminent speakers includes:

(+) Ibu Esthy Reko Astuti, Director General of Tourism Marketing, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Indonesia;

(+) Dr. Adiwarman Azwar Karim, Vice Chairman, National Islamic Council of Sharia-Indonesia’s Council of Ulema (DSN-MUI);

(+) Ust. Mohamad Zamri Mohamed Shapik, Principal Assistant Director (PPUI), Malaysian Islamic Training Institute (ILIM);

(+) Mr. Fazal Bahardeen, CEO, Crescentrating, Singapore;

(+) YBhg. Dato’ Aidit Ghazali, Founder/Principal Consultant, Akademi Aidit Sdn Bhd;

(+) YBhg. Datuk Hj. Mohd Ilyas Zainal Abidin, Group General Manager, DePalma Hotel, Malaysia;

(+) Bpk. Riyanto Sofyan, Chairman, Sofyan Hotels, Indonesia;

(+) Mr. Hani Lashin, Group General Manager, Jawhara Group of Hotels, Dubai, UAE;

(+) Prof. Dr. Amran Hamzah, Director, Centre for Innovative Planning & Development (CIPD), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (HTM);

(+) Ir. Firmansyah Rahim, Director General for Tourism Destination Development, Ministry of Tourism & Creative Economy, Indonesia;

(+) Mdm. Fadilah Baharin, Director General, Department of Standards, Malaysia;

(+) Mr. Darhim Hashim, Group CFO, Cita KapitalSdn Bhd, Malaysia;

(+) Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hamzah Mohd Salleh, Director, Institute of Halal Research & Training (INHART), International Islamic University of Malaysia IIUM);

(+) Ust. Dr. Lokman Abdul Rahman, President, Association of Malaysia Halal Executives (PEHMA);

(+) Ir. Lukman ul Hakim, Director, Assessment Institute for Food, Drugs and Cosmetics – Indonesian Council of Ulema (LPPOM-MUI);

For further enquiries, please contact:

Ms. Siti Sarah: sitisarah@itc.gov.my

Mdm. Nur Alyssa: alyssa@itc.gov.my

Website: www.itc.gov.my