IPOH, PERAK, 18 AUGUST 2023: Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC), an agency under the purview of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), today launched the Islamic Tourism Month 2023 (ITM 2023), a month-long celebration dedicated to showcasing the nation’s remarkable Muslim-friendly tourism offerings by the travel industry.
ITM 2023 was officially launched by the Menteri Besar of Perak, YAB Dato’ Seri Haji Saarani Mohamad at Casuarina Convention Centre, Ipoh, Perak, accompanied by Deputy Minister of MOTAC, YB Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan and Director-General of ITC, Nizran Noordin.
MOTAC’s aim is to highlight Malaysia’s diverse array of Muslim-friendly products and services, foster collaboration among industry stakeholders, and solidify strategic partnerships among the Islamic Tourism ecosystem players through the Islamic Tourism Month.
Held from 21 August till 17 September 2023, ITM 2023 is a month-long showcase of events, activities, and tourism offerings for the public, tourists, tourism industry players, and entrepreneurs alike that presents itself as a gallery of the rich and unique Islamic tourism experiences Malaysia has to offer.
On top of special promotions on accommodations, travel packages, spa and wellness experiences, food and beverages, shopping and retail offers, as well as events, seminars and exhibitions, ITM 2023 will feature a unique event, a Mosque Open Day co-organised with selected prominent mosques around Malaysia with special tours and activities organised for the public.
This year’s Islamic Tourism Month is enhanced by the use of QR technology to provide the public with easy and instant access to the exclusive offers by ITM partners during the entire month. There is also a TikTok Challenge that the public can participate in to win special prizes sponsored by various industry partners. Among the top prizes are 30 prepaid cards pre-loaded with RM1,000 each by Mastercard.
In recent years, Malaysia has achieved remarkable milestones in the Muslim-friendly travel space, earning recognition as a leading destination for Islamic tourism. Malaysia was named the top country in the Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality (MFTH) sector by the State of the Global Islamic Economy (SGIE) Report 2022.
The country also retained the top-ranked destination in the Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2023, a position it has defended since the launch of the Index in 2015. In the same year, Malaysia was recognised as the Top Muslim-Friendly Destination of the Year (OIC) and Best Muslim Women-Friendly Destination of the Year in Halal in Travel Awards 2023.
During the launch, YAB Dato’ Seri Haji Saarani Mohamad emphasised that Perak always strove to be the lead example in spearheading the experience economy through Islamic Tourism, which is part of the Perak Sejahtera 2030 blueprint.
The Menteri Besar of Perak said, “Perak has always been a land rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. With the support of the state government and the cooperation of our communities, we have embarked on a journey to transform Perak into a premier Muslim-friendly destination in line with the Perak Sejahtera 2030 blueprint. The Islamic Tourism Month 2023 is just the beginning of an exciting chapter, as we look forward to the grand event of ‘Visit Perak Year 2024’”.
Also speaking at the ceremony, YB Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan noted that Malaysia attracted 10.07 million international tourists last year since the reopening of international borders in April 2022, and that Muslims made up 2.12 million of the numbers, spending a total of RM5.37 billion.
“This is a testament to successful collaborative effort between industry players, that are in line with the key strategies under the National Tourism Policy 2020-2030. Islamic Tourism Month has immense potential to be a signature event for Malaysia to attract Muslim tourists from this region and beyond,” said the Deputy Minister of MOTAC.
ITC’s Director-General, Nizran Noordin highlighted that each of the events and activities were specially curated by ITC and its partners to provide an immersive experience to all Muslim and non-Muslim travellers.
“Islamic Tourism Month 2023 serves as a platform to create immense value for the industry, the public, and tourists alike. For tourism industry players, it’s an opportunity for them to offer products and services in high demand by the Muslim tourist market. At the same time, the domestic tourists and international travellers get to experience Malaysia’s multi-cultural diversity and moderate Islamic lifestyle in a safe and welcoming environment. Overall, it fosters mutual understanding and promotes Islamic lifestyles and heritage, nurturing stronger bonds of friendship and harmony among people from different walks of life,” said Nizran Noordin.
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About Islamic Tourism Centre:
Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) is an entity under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia, tasked to develop the Islamic Tourism segment for Malaysia. It advocates for Muslim-friendly tourism (MFT) by offering research and market intelligence, training, industry development consultation, Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality (MFTH) services standards and recognition, and information exchange.
Malaysia was named the top country in the region in the MFTH sector by the State of the Global Islamic Economy (SGIE) Report 2022. The country also retained the top-ranked destination in the Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2023, a position it has defended since the launch of the Index in 2015. In the same year, Malaysia was recognised as the Top Muslim-Friendly Destination of the Year (OIC) and Top Muslim Women-Friendly Destination of the Year in Halal in Travel Awards 2023.
In addition, ITC was named the recipient of the Strategic Business Alliance Award at The BrandLaureate World Halal Best Brand E-Branding Awards 2021. It is a recognition of ITC’s efforts and endeavours in formulating new strategies to meet the new normal of the business environment to ensure business continuity and sustainability, notwithstanding its role to develop and grow the Islamic tourism segment in Malaysia.
These recognitions are an added motivation for ITC to continue to strengthen its efforts in being a prime mover and leading institution to ensure Malaysia is at the forefront of MFTH.
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