Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Malaysia Expects To Attract 3.2 Million Inbound Muslim Tourist Arrivals

Photo: MOTAC facebook
SHAH ALAM, March 30 (Bernama) -- The Ministry of Tourism and Culture through Islamic Tourism Centre hopes to attract 3.2 million inbound Muslim tourist arrivals this year, said Deputy Minister of Tourism and Culture Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.

She said, Malaysia was still the preferred global destination in the fast-growing Muslim travel market, in offering Muslim-friendly environment which includes everything from excellent attractions, halal food and accommodation.

"The significant increase in Muslim tourist arrivals in the world has put a great demand for accommodations which are 'Muslim friendly'.

"If we exclude Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, Malaysia is the top preference for Muslim tourists followed by Turkey," she told a press conference after presenting Islamic Quality Standard (IQS) awards to 30 domestic and International hotels and nine travel agencies here, today.

Commenting further, Mas Ermieyati said about 871 airlines from Muslim countries flew to Malaysia every week and this showed many of the airlines were interested to expand their network to Malaysia.

She said the top five tourist arrivals from Muslim countries to Malaysia were Indonesia, Brunei, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and followed by Pakistan.

The deputy minister said the top five per capita expenditure of Muslim tourists in Malaysia were Saudi Arabia with an estimated spending of RM9,459 for an average length of stay of 10 days, Kuwait (RM8,494 for 7.3 days), Oman (more than RM7,900 for 8.7 days), United Arab Emirates (RM7,389 for 7.6 days) and Iran (RM5,880 for 7.7 days).

Mas Ermieyati said the demand for Islamic Tourism had increased in recent times, with many organisations having developed their services in accordance with syariah compliance.

"The Muslim population is expected to rise from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.2 billion by 2030 and we must grab the opportunity available in the field of tourism to empower Islamic Tourism in whatever way," she said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Universal Crescent Standard Centre (UCSC), Datuk Dr Ismail Ibrahim said the award ceremony organised by UCSC was given to the hotel operators and travel agencies in recognition of their outstanding contribution in providing syariah compliant services and hospitality for travelers in Malaysia and abroad.

He said due to the high demand for Syariah compliance tourism, UCSC this year had received outstanding response from hotels in Indonesia, Turkey, Dubai and Malaysia which wanted to be Syariah compliance certified hotel and had submitted their application for IQS award.

-bernama.

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