SEMPORNA, Dec 7 — Malaysia should actively develop Muslim-friendly tourism concept to attract more Muslims tourists to the country.
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said halal and Muslim-friendly tourism has a huge potential and can turn into a game changer in the world tourism industry.
“It will generate lucrative income and create job opportunities as well as business for locals.
“The global halal and Muslim-friendly tourism is expected to worth more than US$220 billion or almost RM1 trillion by 2020,” he said during the launching of International Muslim Friendly Carnival 2019 (IMFC) here, today.
The five-day event (Dec 6-10) attended by more than 1,000 government officers and industry players, was co-organised by the federal and the state governments.
Ranked top in the Mastercard-Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel Index for nine consecutive years as the world main halal tourist destination, Mohamaddin said, Malaysia still need to double up its effort to promote the Muslim-friendly tourism sector.
“The sector is growing rapidly every year with more than 165 million Muslims worldwide expected to book their journeys and visit their choice of destination next year,” he said.
Mohamaddin said countries who are not members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) such as United Kingdom, South Korea and Japan, are now eagerly developing their services and facilities to be more Muslim-friendly including halal restaurants to attract more Muslim tourists.
“Therefore, all parties should improve their products and services, and to strengthen the effort,” he said and added that his ministry and Tourism Malaysia would highlight halal and Muslim-friendly tourism sector as one of the cores of Visit Malaysia Year 2020 strategic plan.