Kuala Lumpur, 22 Nov 2021 – INCEIF today signed an agreement with Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) to conduct a study on the potential use of cryptocurrencies in Malaysia’s Muslim-friendly tourism industry. In addition, a study will also be conducted to look into the possibility of harnessing the sustainable and responsible tourism aspect of the industry.
ITC, an agency under Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), is tasked to develop the Islamic tourism eco-system in Malaysia as well as promote Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality (MFTH) sector domestically and internationally.
Malaysia recently topped, again, the list of best Muslim-friendly holiday destinations for Muslim travellers, according to the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2021. The GMTI 2021 report stated that although the pandemic had ravaged the tourism sector, some destinations were ready to be activated in anticipation of borders reopening. These destinations had a strong foundation in Muslim-friendly facilities and services, and had continued their stakeholder awareness, capacity building and destination marketing to the Muslim outbound markets even during the pandemic.
Malaysia has also been named as the best country in four out of six sectors in the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2020/21 and emerged as the top-ranked country in the Muslim-Friendly Travel (MFT) sector. Additionally, Malaysia came out tops in the Halal Food, Islamic Finance, and Pharmaceutical & Cosmetics sectors in the report by research firm DinarStandard.
Realising the huge potential of Islamic tourism under the concept of MFTH, Malaysia through MOTAC and ITC would continue to increase the effort to gain more market shares. The studies to be conducted in collaboration with INCEIF, under the university’s Action Based Learning (ABL) programme, would provide much needed facts and statistics to optimise the potentials of the MTFH sector. It is important that Malaysia leverage on the potential of Islamic tourism to prepare for the reopening of travel and the recovery of Muslim tourists to the country.
INCEIF Deputy President Academic & Dean of School of Graduate and Professional Studies Prof Dr. Mansor H. Ibrahim represented INCEIF at the agreement exchange ceremony held at INCEIF Campus today while ITC was represented by Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip Haji Hasan, Director-General of Islamic Tourism Centre. The event was witnessed by MOTAC Secretary General Datuk Wira Dr. Noor Zari Hamat.
Prof Mansor said: “INCEIF as a thought and knowledge leader in Islamic finance is honoured to share our expertise in this national agenda. With ITC’s industry knowledge and network, the ABL team would be able to bridge the gap between research and business practice. The projects would hopefully lead to the creation of a conducive innovation ecosystem to address the industry’s pain points that require demand-driven research.”
ITC conducts research and capacity building as well as develop MFTH products and services. The agency has been consistently working with industry players to build their capacity in Islamic tourism, thus ensuring that the needs of Muslim visitors are better served.
Datuk Wira Dr. Noor Zari Hamat said: “ITC is pleased to collaborate with INCEIF to expand the knowledge base of Islamic Tourism and to share just how dynamic it is as a sector, even equal in importance to Islamic finance and economy. These studies, providing deep insights into the Muslim consumer market, will enhance Islamic tourism and its role in driving the Islamic economy. In turn, such knowledge will motivate more business participation and investment in Islamic Tourism. ITC is always looking to support tourism industry players and provide them with knowledge to drive product and service innovation to cater to the needs of Muslim tourists. The research presented will be the critical foundation for decisions made to grow the tourism industry and economy.”
The ABL projects are conducted by INCEIF students during the September 2021 Semester. They will be mentored by INCEIF Faculty Member with close guidance from ITC officials. For the January 2022 Semester, another batch of INCEIF students are expected to conduct studies on:
- sustainable tourism of Malaysian UNESCO heritage sites.
- the trend and value of Islamic tourism ecosystem in Malaysia;
- the socioeconomic impact and opportunities of Malaysia as the hub of modest fashion.
The ABL experience is part of the curriculum for full-time students from Masters in Islamic Finance Practice, Master in Islamic Finance programmes and MBA (Sustainable Business). ABL’s innovative and creative module pushes students to unleash their potential, in particular on-the-job skills. Students are exposed to an innovative approach to learning through practical tasks and activities for them to complete in a real workplace as they are provided with the opportunity to translate their academic-based knowledge into action by solving real business issues or developing new solutions for the industry. As a university, the opportunity to collaborate with the industry is invaluable, particularly for students as they are placed in real situations to prepare them to thrive in the dynamic world.