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Factors influencing the growth of Muslim friendly hospitality services in Malaysia

Ramli, Noriah and Zawawi, Majdah (2019) Factors influencing the growth of Muslim friendly hospitality services in Malaysia. In: 2nd International Halal Tourism Congress, 4-6 April 2019, Antalya, Turkey. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Halal today is no longer focused on food and beverages manufacturing but also halal pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, logistics, consumer goods and Muslim friendly hospitality services. Changes in the Muslim lifestyle and spending ability have a positive impact on the growth in the global halal industry market. Advancement in communication technology, availability of online information on Muslim friendly hospitality globally, the increasing awareness on the needs of Muslim travellers including halal food, prayer facilities, Muslim friendly accommodation, Muslim friendly tourism products and activities, and Muslim friendly tour guide are identified as the major factors that attract Muslims to travel. The Muslim friendly hospitality services are Shariah guided requirement for tourism industry players in setting up an assurance system to preserve the integrity of products and services provided for Muslim travellers (Department of Standard Malaysia, MS 2610:2015 Muslim Friendly Hospitality Services_Requirements). From the economic point of view with more than 50 Muslim countries (no less than 1.6 billion Muslims) huge opportunities await those who are willing to meet the demands for Muslim-friendly hospitality products and services. Muslim tourist expenditure growth is estimated to be approximately 4.79% per annum on average from 2012 – 2020 and by the year 2020, growth in Muslim travel is expected to touch 4.8%, significantly higher than the global figure of only 3.8%. It is also revealed that of the Top 20 countries exhibiting the largest growth in tourism expenditure between 2005 –2010, 25% is from Muslim-majority OIC-member countries. Offering tourism products and services that are Shariah-compliant opens them up to this increasingly affluent tourist market that would otherwise not spend their money on them, thus enabling the products and services to be enjoyed by everyone, i.e. both non-Muslims and Muslims. Among the factors that increase the opportunity in Muslim friendly hospitality services in Malaysia covers various sectors such as transportation, tourist arrival points such as airport, accommodation, dining, prayer facilities and ground handling. Realising the great economic gain offered by the industry and the huge potential offered by Muslim friendly tourism hospitality services certain countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand government and related tourism hospitality agencies play a proactive role to enhance products and services which are suitable for Muslim tourist. Steps are taken to enhance the infrastructure in the industry. Hence, in order to do so it is important to know and understand its requirements and the needs of the Muslim travellers particularly. The discussion will be divided into three main parts as follows. Part I will highlight the growth of the Halal industry in Malaysia as well as globally. This section will further deliberate on the emergence of Muslim friendly hospitality industry in Malaysia as well global market, its contribution to the national GDP, its potentials and factors that support the growth of the industry. This part will also discuss the initiatives taken by the relevant agencies in order to support the growth and sustainability of the Muslim friendly hospitality services in Malaysia. Part II will highlight the needs of Muslim travellers especially when travelling to non-Islamic countries. This section will discuss the Management responsibility in ensuring their hospitality facilities and services are suitable for Muslim guest. This section will touch on the specific requirements that suit the Muslim travellers including ideal concept of Muslim friendly accommodation, Muslim friendly tourism products selection, Muslim friendly tour guide, Muslim friendly tourism package, prayer facilities, and halal food. This section will also discuss type activities, services and tourism products which are not suitable for Muslim tourist. The discussion will be based on Malaysian experience in managing Muslim friendly hospitality services with a special reference to Malaysian Standard MS 2610:2015 Muslim Friendly Hospitality Services_Requirements. This part will highlight the finding that Muslim friendly hospitality services is doable and manageable even in a non-Islamic country such as Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, Australia, and Europe. Part III will discuss the prospect and challenges of Muslim friendly hospitality services in Malaysia and globally. Among others it will highlight certain global issues that may have hampered the growth of the industry directly and indirectly. The occurrence of such problems does not only happen in a non-Islamic country but also in an Islamic country such as Malaysia. In Malaysia for example certain organization such as hotel prohibits female Muslim workers at wearing hijab or head cover to be stationed at the front office. This scenario suggested that the hotel management had failed to understand the fundamental rights of its Muslim workers. Besides, Islamaphobia is also a threat to the growth of Muslim friendly hospitality services globally. Moreover unavailability of Muslim friendly facilities such as halal food restaurant, inadequate information on Muslim friendly hospitality services, prayer facilities and the like may also influence the growth of the particular industry in many countries. Hence, tourism attraction and availability of tourism products alone are insufficient to attract Muslim tourist to travel. Key words: Muslim friendly, needs, prospects, challenges

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Plenary Papers)
Additional Information: 1379/73116
Uncontrolled Keywords: Muslim friendly, needs, prospects, challenges
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes: Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws
Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws > Department of Civil Law
Depositing User: Assistant professor Noriah Ramli
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2019 14:40
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2019 14:40
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/73116

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