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Published on May 16, 2014

To identify business potentials and promote global sharia tourism, Indonesia will host the first ever OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference) International Forum on Islamic Tourism which will take place at the Borobudur Hotel, in the capital city of Jakarta from 2nd to 3rd June 2014.

Carrying the theme “Islamic Tourism: The Prospects and Challenges”, the forum is co-organized by the OIC and the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic Indonesia.

Deputy Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, Sapta Nirwandar, stated in Jakarta, on Monday, 12th May 2014, that Indonesia was chosen by the majority of tourism ministers of OIC member states during their conference in Banjul, Gambia, on 6th December 2014, to host the first Forum “This is concrete action on the part of the tourism ministers of OIC members, as we have agreed to further develop sharia tourism in OIC countries” said Sapta as quoted by Antara news agency.

According to the Deputy Minister, Shariah tourism is projected to grow since the world’s Muslim population will reach 2.2 billion, or around 26.4 percent of the world’s population (8.2 billion) in 2030. According to the State of the Global Islamic Economy 2012 research that was conducted by Thomson Reuters, Muslims spent USid=”mce_marker”,088 billion on halal food, which is equal to 16.6 percent of worldwide food spending. The figure is projected to increase to id=”mce_marker”,626 billion in 2018. Meanwhile, in 2012, the Muslim population spent USid=”mce_marker”37 billion in travelling (excluding haj and minor haj), which is equal to 12.5 percent of global spending. This number is forecast to reach USid=”mce_marker”81 billion by 2018.

“The Forum is expected also to be able to promote Sharia tourism destinations and their products, such as hotels, travel packages, restaurants, and spas. We also encourage the business sector to see the huge business opportunities available in Sharia-based tourism,” added Sapta.

The forum will be participated by public and private sector establishments –particularly at national level of OIC member countries, local governments of Indonesia, as well as other tourism stakeholders such as associations, airlines, hotels, restaurants, tour operators, and others.

Among objectives of the forum are to emphasize tourism as one of the key sectors of the Islamic economy that supports the global economy; to mainstream Islamic tourism in the global tourism development; to recognize the promising potentials of the business in catering to Muslim travelers; and to increase cooperation in developing Islamic tourism among stakeholders of OIC member countries.

The Forum will focus on the following areas for Islamic Tourism prospects and challenges as one of the global Islamic Economic key sectors, namely :

a. The growing contribution of Islamic tourism in the economic sector in support of socio-economic development and poverty alleviation;

b. Policy and strategy behind the success of integrating Islamic values in tourism activities;

c. Expectations and how to deliver the products as well as Services.

d. Branding and Positioning strategy to market Islamic Tourism

A number of destinations in Indonesia being prepared to receive Islamic Tourism are, among others, Aceh, West Sumatra, Makassarand surroundings, and more.

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