The Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC), which was launched in Malacca today, is Malaysia’s specific initiative to encourage tourist arrivals from Muslim nations and Muslim communities abroad, said Tourism minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.
She said the centre was also in line with the government’s wish to make Malaysia a major global tourism destination.
“Islamic tourism is expanding and a niche market which is growing in importance,” she said at the launching of the ITC at the Al-Azim Mosque in Bukit Palah by Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob.
ITC is previously known as the Commonwealth Tourism Centre based in Mid Valley, Kuala Lumpur.
The Cabinet, however, decided that the centre be turned into an ITC following requests by many Muslim nations which wanted Malaysia to share its tourism experience.
Azalina said Islamic tourism covered numerous aspects, including those related to the economy and arts.
“In terms of the economy, the Islamic tourism aims to expand tourism within the Muslim world, develop new tourist destinations and strengthen cooperation between governments and institutions in Muslim countries,” she said.