World Islamic Tourism Council President, Dato Mohd Khalid Harun said that the Muslim market would likely pickup travel in a big way once the CoOVID-19 situation improves and called for destinations and industry players to prepare for the eventual reopening of tourism now.
Islamic tourism is one of the prominent sectors in Halal industry and through tourism in Malaysia can diversify their economies or earn income from their foreign currency. As we can see, tourism has also become one of the biggest and potential revenues to generate income in this globalized and inter-connected world, particularly in Malaysia.
Dato Mohd Khalid urged industry players in Malaysia to start thinking of how to serve the Muslim tourist market by considering things like making halal or permissible food and prayer facilities easily available. He said: “These needs can be integrated into facilities and attractions like shopping malls, restaurants, theme parks, accommodation, and even at special events. We must continue to provide the necessary infrastructure and facilities to meet the expected numbers of Muslim travelers from around the globe once borders are opened again, as well as fulfilling their faith-based requirements.
Dato Mohd Khalid said: “One of the programs the World Islamic Tourism Council will initiate is the Islamic Tourism Conference & Exhibition. It is an added-value program for industry player globally to take this opportunity to learn from the expert in the conference and to make networking during the Exhibition.
In year 2019, there was a total of 140 million Muslim tourists, representing 10% of the global travel industry. This number is expected to increase post-pandemic with the Muslim population growing at a rate of 70% compared to the global average of 32%.
Among the Muslim tourist markets known for their high consumer purchasing power are the Gulf Cooperation Council, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Iran, Turkey, Western Europe, and North America markets.
World Islamic Tourism Council is optimistic that Islamic tourism has the potential to produce higher returns for the country’s tourism industry and to create Malaysia as the key Islamic tourism destination once COVID-19 is eradicated. Dato Mohd Khalid, stated that he was confident that Malaysia’s Islamic tourism sector can bounce back higher following COVID-19.