KOTA KINABALU, 28 November 2022: Sabah is exploring ways to boost Islamic tourism by ensuring the state rolls out the red carpet for Muslim tourists.

This initiative was bolstered by a seminar on Muslim-friendly Tourism and Hospitality last Friday to explore insights on how Sabah tourism stakeholders can realise the full market potential while growing the islamic tourism segment in Malaysia.

The event was co-organised by the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) and the Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC), an entity under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture.

STB deputy chief executive officer of marketing, Tay Shu Lan, said the travel industry catering to Muslims recognises it has significant untapped potential for expansion and that Sabah should capitalise on the Muslim market.

She quoted the recent Mastercard-Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel 2022 report that estimated Muslim travellers worldwide increased to peak at 160 million in 2019.

It is expected that by 2028, Muslim travel spending will reach USD225 billion, with the young and new generation, as well as women, being identified as a growing demographic within the Muslim population and acting as driving forces that influence travel.

“Malaysia is the top destination for Muslim travellers, closely followed by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. These are the regions that Sabah Tourism has reached out to in terms of destination promotion.

“The seminar helped tourism industry players in Sabah to better understand the significance of the Muslim tourist market, the basic requirements and needs of Muslim tourists, and how their products or destination could become more Muslim-friendly,” Tay said.

Meanwhile, ITC Industry Development Director (Covering) / Manager Fitra Mohd Ali said that Sabah has the potential to grow as a Muslim-friendly destination and should seize the opportunity to create products that meet the required standards.

He mentioned the Kota Kinabalu state mosque, halal food, Muslim-friendly spas, and Muslim-friendly healthcare tourism as the products that would appeal to Muslim visitors.

Seminar, participants gained insights about the ITC’s Muslim-friendly tourism and hospitality certification programmes which identifies and recognises Muslim-friendly accommodation and tourism products and packages.

For more information visit: www.sabahtourism.com.

(Your Stories: Sabah Tourism Board)

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