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5 May, 2014

Jakarta to host first Global Forum on Islamic Tourism

Jakarta – Tourism industry officials and executives from 57 countries of the Islamic world and beyond are to meet in Jakarta between 2-3 June 2014 for the first International Forum on Islamic Tourism. It is being organised by the Indonesia Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy in line with the commitment made at eighth Islamic Tourism Ministers meeting on 6 December 2013 in Banjul, Gambia.

The objectives are to cement the role of Islamic tourism in supporting socio-economic development and poverty alleviation; developing the promising potential of the business in catering to Muslim travellers and enhancing the cooperation for developing Islamic tourism among the stakeholders of OIC Member countries.

Delegates will also discuss the policies and strategies for integrating Islamic values in tourism activities, identify ways to develop and deliver products and services in line with Islamic values, and help Islamic destinations and companies sharpen their branding & positioning strategies.

The global population of an estimated 1.4 billion people Muslims living in a huge trans-continental swathe of territory from Morocco to Mindanao is witnessing significant growth in travellers as well as changes in preferences and trends. Issues raised at meetings of Islamic tourism ministers over the years include the need to strengthen intra-Islamic travel as a means of combating racial profiling, visa curbs and other forms of blatant discrimination being experienced by Muslim travellers worldwide.

According to a report issued by the Jeddah-based Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), tourism has emerged as one of the most important mechanisms for achieving socio-economic development and poverty alleviation in OIC Member States and a priority sector identified in the OIC Ten-Year Programme of Action.

The 1st Islamic Tourism Ministers conference was held in Isfahan, Iran, in October 2000. Seven ministerial meetings have been held since then, in addition to a number of expert group meetings, tourism exhibitions, private sector meetings and seminars.

Says the report, “The Islamic economy is not just about the needs and preferences of the Muslims, it is for those who seek ethical trade, quality products, and good experiences. As such, the Islamic economy goes beyond geographic, cultural and religious boundaries, and it is emerging as a new economic paradigm that is likely to have a significant global impact over the next decade.”

It notes that tourism is seven sectors in the Islamic economy that have been steadily rising, namely halal food, Islamic finance and insurance industry, modest clothing, halal pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, as well as Islamic values-influenced travel and media/recreation sectors which providing tremendous opportunities in synergistic growth and investment.”

According to a report issued by the Statistical Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC OIC) on International Tourism in the OIC Countries, international tourist arrivals in the OIC countries reached 131.6 million in 2007, a market share of 14.6% of international tourist arrivals worldwide. These tourists generated $106.9 billion as international tourism receipts in the OIC countries, a 12.4 per cent share in total tourism receipts worldwide.

By 2011, international tourist arrivals in the OIC countries had risen to 151.6 million, equal to a 15.2 per cent share of arrivals worldwide. International tourism receipts amounted to $135.5 billion in the same year, a 13% per cent share in world’s total tourism receipts, the report says.

The report notes that these total figures do not quite reflect the imbalance in shares of the individual countries. The vast majority of arrivals and earnings are concentrated in the main OIC tourist destinations. Turkey, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Indonesia, Lebanon, Qatar, and Jordan. Many countries in the African continent get left behind, and finding ways to narrow this gap will be a major focus of the forum.

Speakers from government agencies, consultancies and private sector companies will share their studies and experiences. Delegates will include public and private sector executives, representatives of NTOs of OIC Member states, as well as other tourism stakeholders such as associations, airlines, hotels, restaurants, academics, and tour operators.

Click here to download a registration form: 1st_int_forum_islamic_tourism_registration_form_en.pdf

For more information on travel & tourism trends, developments and opportunities in the Islamic world click here: https://www.travel-impact-newswire.com/category/islamic-world-in-focus/