The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, YB Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan, expressed his honor in personally welcoming 35 esteemed Imams from China to Malaysia. This special familiarization trip, marked by a significant event at KLIA 2 terminal, aims to enhance cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Malaysia and China. Organized by the Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) and Malaysian Inbound Chinese Association (MICA), the Imams’ visit focuses on exploring Malaysia’s cultural heritage, historical landmarks, vibrant traditions, and its Muslim-friendly tourism and hospitality offerings.
YB Khairul Firdaus stated, “I am delighted to welcome the distinguished delegation of Imams to Malaysia. This visit not only provides them with an opportunity to explore our beautiful country but also allows us to showcase the warm hospitality and cultural diversity that define Malaysia, while also highlighting Malaysia as a Muslim-friendly environment.” The Deputy Minister highlighted the collaborative efforts to strengthen Malaysia’s Muslim-friendly ecosystem, leveraging research-backed information, standards development, and training across all tourism sectors.
The intention is to position Malaysia as a regional Umrah hub, providing pre- or post-Umrah packages for pilgrims to explore Malaysia, thereby boosting revenue and establishing Malaysia as a prominent global destination for Muslim travelers. The collaboration between ITC and MICA, targeting the China Muslim market, is seen as a crucial step toward positioning Malaysia as a premier destination for Muslim tourists in China, fostering economic contributions and cultural exchanges.
MICA President, Nizran Noordin, highlighted the organization’s 30 years of experience in servicing the China tourist market, facilitating engagements with the Muslim community and introducing Malaysia’s vibrant culture, celebrations, and Halal food. Various training initiatives by ITC, including Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality seminars, competency training for travel agents, and the launch of exclusive Malaysia Malay Cultural Tour Packages, have contributed to enhancing Malaysia’s appeal to Muslim travelers from China.
As part of ongoing efforts, a unique China Imam Fam Trip is scheduled from January 10 to 16, 2024, hosting 36 Imams to familiarize them with Malaysia’s Muslim-friendly offerings. Additionally, the launch of “Ramadan Experience” packages collaboratively introduced by ITC and Tourism Malaysia aims to showcase Malaysia’s vibrancy during Ramadan. As Malaysia anticipates tourism recovery in 2024, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture (MOTAC) emphasizes its commitment to promoting inclusivity and diversity, making Malaysia an inviting and accommodating destination for visitors worldwide.