ITC leads Muslim-friendly sales mission

LONDON, 23 February 2024: The Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) and Tourism Malaysia are leading a special Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality (MFTH) Sales Mission to Paris, France and London, UK, this week.

The mission enables Malaysian tourism industry players to reach out to travel agents and Muslim community associations in the two European capital cities to share information on the best Muslim-friendly Malaysia offerings.

The mission highlights the importance of booking Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality Assurance and Recognition (MFAR)-approved services, such as accommodation and Muslim-Friendly Tourist Guides (MFTGs).

In London, ITC and Tourism Malaysia will lead Malaysia’s delegation to the Muslim Travel Show at Excel London from 24 February to 25, which will be the final stop of the two-country sales mission. The event will attract around 40,000 visitors over two days. The sales mission will present Malaysia’s varied attractions and services from ITC, Tourism Malaysia and other partners showcasing their MFTH products and services, namely Andalusia Travel and Tours, Kurma Getaways Travel Management and Nasyrul Quran.

ITC and Tourism Malaysia will also introduce the newly launched MY Ramadan Experience packages to the European market, where tourists can find an impressive selection of four-day, three-night or three-day, two-night programmes, offering an opportunity to immerse themselves in the festivities of Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month, in Malaysia.

ITC director-general Nizran Noordin said: “ITC organised this sales mission following the success of the China Imam familiarisation trip we organised last January, where some 35 Imams from the East Asian country were introduced to Malaysia’s diverse culture, heritage, nature and modern attractions in a tour package tailored to suit the Muslim tourists’ interests and needs. By working with Imams and collaborating with our partner, Malaysia Inbound Chinese Association (MICA), we hope to see a cascading impact that leads to 18,000 Muslim tourists from China visiting Malaysia from this effort alone.”

He added: “We see the same opportunity in the European market that we want to tap. In France, there is a Muslim population of 5.7 million. In the UK, a study revealed that 68% of British Muslims prioritise halal food availability and Muslim-friendly environments when they choose their travel destinations. Traditionally considered in the tourism industry to have substantial purchasing power, the market shows a high demand for outbound travel, a combination that Malaysia’s tourism businesses can benefit from, especially in preparing for the much-anticipated Visit Malaysia Year 2026.”

A Muslim-majority nation, Malaysia provides a mature and established Muslim-friendly ecosystem that allows Muslim travellers to enjoy the widely available Halal food ranging from local delicacies to international fast-food chains, visit tourist attraction sites with on-site Musollahs, spend their nights at Muslim-friendly hotels, and enjoy many other value-added services that make travelling a hassle-free experience for them. 

These have earned Malaysia the top position in the CrescentRating and Mastercard Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) report on Muslim-Friendly Destination Ranking for eight consecutive times from 2015 to 2023 (no report was released in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic). On top of that, the recently announced plans for Malaysia’s visa liberalisation and connectivity expansion will make the destination even more accessible to global Muslim travellers.

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.