OIC member states consider ways of boosting Islamic Tourism

JAKARTA: The member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) are considering ways of boosting Islamic Tourism during the 1st International Forum of the Organisation on Islamic Tourism which began in Jakarta yesterday.

The forum is attended by representatives of 27 OIC member states, relevant institutions, private sector and civil society organisations.

OIC Secretary-General, Iyad Ameen Madani, in a message to the forum which was delivered on his behalf by OIC Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Affairs, Ambassador Hameed Opeloyeru, traced the significance of the forum on Islamic Tourism to consolidation of the gains made in the area of Islamic Finance and the establishment of OIC Halal standards.

He explained that a major component of Islamic Tourism was the development of Shariah-compliant hotels and resorts, entertainment and sport facilities, in addition to visits to Islamic cultural sites, promotion of Halal food and drinks, and family dedicated swimming and spa areas, among others.

The Secretary-General expressed the hope that the outcome of the forum would increase awareness on the opportunities available in the Islamic tourism sector and would therefore scale-up the attractiveness of heritage and cultural tourism for the ever-increasing population of Muslim travellers.

The opening session was also addressed by the Vice President of Indonesia, Dr. Boediono, while other keynote speakers featured the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia, Ms. Mari E. Pangestu, the Minister of Culture and Tourism of Gambia and Chairman of the 8th Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers (ICTM), Mrs. Fatou Mas Jobe-Nije, and the Malaysian Minister of Tourism and Culture, YB Dato Seri Mohamed Nazri Bin Abdul Aziz.

The two-day Forum will discuss and formulate recommendations on the development of a successful Islamic tourism destination, the expansion of business through Halal and Shariah-compliance and building of an effective communication to promote Islamic tourism.