GEORGE TOWN: Muslim-friendly tourism is a more accurate term to send a clear message to the industry players that Islamic tourism is not exclusively for Muslims.
Islamic Tourism Centre’s (ITC) director-general, Zulkifly Md Said said Muslim-friendly tourism took into account the views of their non-Muslim counterparts and how everyone could benefit from adopting the standard.
“The size of the Muslim travel market is huge and the number of Muslim travellers is increasing globally, and many nations are vying for the attention of these travellers to visit their countries.
“Some have even branded or packaged their countries as Syariah-compliant, designed halal tours and promote religious tourism,” he said in his speech at the Second Islamic Tourism Masterclass: Muslim-Friendly Hospitality Services Standard, here, Thursday.
He said the Muslim-friendly term presented a more precise alternative than halal tourism or Syariah-compliant, which were loose and confusing terms used as the common denominator for Islamic tourism by several organisations in the country, which to date had no clear definition nor official guidance.
“In this country, we promote ourselves as a Muslim-friendly destination because it is a multiracial and multicultural country and the Muslims here are more moderate than in other places,” he added.
On the masterclass programme, Zulkifly said it was designed to engage and interact with the industry players in guiding them on the practicality of the Islamic tourism standard.
The programme focuses on sharing of knowledge and technical know-how in setting up a systematic assurance system to preserve the integrity of Islamic tourism products and services in three categories, namely accommodation, tour packages and tourist guides.