After the first ‘Halal’ airline in the world with the failed Rayani Air, Malaysia had the first ‘Halal’ lifts in the world. It also has the first ‘Halal’ or Muslim-friendly prison in the Islamist-controlled state of Terengganu which obtained Malaysia’s Halal Verification Certificate (MHVC).
The Independent last week reported the country also got its halal cargo company to transport only and exclusively Muslim-friendly products. That is no alcohol or pork and other products deemed illicit will be ferried by the carrier.
This week, the country’s Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry introduced the “Muslim-Friendly Hotel Recognition” initiative, a form of accreditation which recognises Islamic compliant accommodation for tourists.
The halal instruments are based on the Shariah laws and Malaysians of Islamic faith are fond of restaurants and other facilities and products displaying ‘Halal’ logos and certificates.
Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi says the accreditation, implemented by the Islamic Tourist Centre (ITC) is the first of its kind in the world issued by a government agency, the Star newspaper reported.
The Minister says Malaysia is the first country in the world to have a government-backed initiative and such standards or accreditation currently out in the market are all released by travel entities.
There are three levels of accreditation; platinum, gold and silver, based on the level of compliance to the standards that have been set and it includes the proximity to mosques and other Islamic attractions, in-room prayer facilities such as praying mats and kiblat direction signs, halal-certified restaurants, segregated gyms and swimming pools for women.
He says this an important initiative to empower the tourism industry, especially the Islamic tourism segment to begin developing the industry towards its next phase.
It will also set the standards for others to follow.
It is implemented because Malaysia acknowledges the potential of the Islamic tourism sector as travellers from Muslim countries, especially the Middle East, are the biggest spenders in Malaysia’s tourism industry.
Malaysia is undoubtedly a preferred Muslim tourist destination. In 2018, Malaysia recorded an estimated 5.2 million Muslim tourist arrivals.
The index also estimates that there will be 160 million Muslim travellers by 2020. This figure is expected to increase by 230 million by 2026. -/TISG
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