PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA, 31 MAY 2022: With a combination of charming European landscape, halal food, significant history, mosque architecture, and natural attractions, Bosnia and Herzegovina could appeal strongly to Muslim travellers, observed Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) following its participation in the Sarajevo Business Forum (SBF) from 11 to 12 May 2022.
Mr. Mohd Akil bin Mohd Yusof, an ITC Board of Trustees member who participated in SBF as a panel speaker in the “Malaysia-Bosnia Herzegovina Business Talk” session, said: “During the pandemic, there was little travel. This is the right time to introduce Bosnia and Herzegovina as a Muslim-friendly destination. With Malaysia’s experience in advocating and readying its tourism industry players for Muslim tourists since 2009, with the establishment of ITC, it can be a good model for Bosnia and Herzegovina to refer to. Malaysia has developed a solid foundation for Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality through its research, training, standards and guidelines for industry players.”
He observed that Bosnia’s Islamic civilisation is “amazing, untouched and needs to be discovered.”
However, he pointed out that as an emerging destination positioned to attract the Muslim traveller, Bosnia and Herzegovina will need to set the proper tourism foundations for success.
“Bosnia would benefit from having a national tourism board to drive the marketing efforts for the whole country. People will want to get destination information, so strong branding and communications are important to let people know what Bosnia has to offer,” Mr. Mohd Akil said.
He said that ITC was ready to assist Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tourism industry players in developing its Muslim-friendly tourism ecosystem. “We’ve met with some of their local industry players and they are all keen to develop this tourism potential. Given Malaysia’s strong friendship with Bosnia and Herzegovina in past history, it’s natural to want to deepen tourism relations next.”
“We also see Bosnia and Herzegovina as a potential Muslim tourist source market for Malaysia to tap into. I think Malaysia’s tourism industry players should look into attracting this market to Malaysia,” he said.
“ITC looks forward to working with the tourism industry players in both countries for a win-win situation,” he added.
Bosnians can fly to Malaysia via Istanbul by Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Singapore Airlines.
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) service standards and certification, and information exchange.
In 2021, ITC received two key awards, i.e. Strategic Business Alliance Award at The BrandLaureate World Halal Best Brand E-Branding Awards 2021, and Best Islamic Tourism Leadership Gold Award 2021 by Malaysia Tourism Council. These are 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.
In addition, Malaysia was recently named top country in the world in the MFT sector by the State of the Global Islamic Economy (SGIE) Report 2022 by DinarStandard in partnership with Salaam Standard and supported by Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism.
Malaysia also retained the top-ranked destination in the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2021, a position it has defended since the launch of the Index in 2015.
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.
For further details, kindly contact:
Islamic Tourism Centre
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