Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) was officially launched on 16 March 2009 at the Al-Azim State Mosque’s Auditorium in Melaka. Registered as a company limited by guarantee with the Registrar of Companies (ROC) under The Companies Act 1965, the centre was established to assist the Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia in undertaking strategic tourism research and market intelligence as well as providing training and capacity-building services in relation to Islamic tourism. ITC is overseen by a Board of Directors comprising Government officials and key professionals in the tourism and hospitality industry as well as higher learning institutions.
Aside from complementing and supplementing the functions of the Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia and Tourism Malaysia, ITC also serves as an advisory body particularly in matters pertaining to Islamic tourism. Over the years, the centre has increasingly become a point of reference among stakeholders and industry players, and seen as an industry expert for Islamic tourism.
Fully aware of the global potential of Islamic tourism, ITC is constantly and continuously working with stakeholders and industry players to ensure that Malaysia is always at the forefront of Islamic tourism. The centre is committed in serving the government of Malaysia and stakeholders by providing an objective and impartial understanding of tourism issues at national, regional and international levels and to use tourism as a means to promote goodwill among mankind.
ITC’s Strategic Objectives:
- Undertake strategic research for tourism policy formulation that will enhance travel and sustainable tourism development of the Malaysian tourism industry.
- Serve as a focal point for tourism strategic research on market intelligence.
- Undertake tourism research projects and collaborate with local and international tourism research institutes and institutes of higher learning.
- Provide capacity building initiatives in tourism development.
- Undertake information exchange initiatives on sustainable tourism best practices.
ITC’s Past Initiatives
- Collaborated with local universities in carrying out researches and training programmes on Islamic tourism.
- Organised training courses under the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP).
- Organised seminars on community-based tourism for third world countries in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
- Organised Regional Seminars on Islamic Tourism (ReSIT) with regards to Islamic tour packages and tourism trails.
- Organised Joint Seminars on Islamic Tourism (JoSIT) to discuss matters regarding the sustainability of Muslim tourist arrivals in Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.
- Organised the International Islamic Tourism Conference & Travel Mart (ITCM) 2010.
- Co-organised the International Islamic Tourism & Halal Conference (IISTHAL) 2009 in collaboration with KHAAZ International and GITC Secretariat.
- Main supporter of the 1st International Islamic Tourism Standard Conference, the Islamic Fashion Festival 2012, the World Islamic Tourism Mart (WITM) and the OIC World BIZ (OWBIZ).
- Published a blueprint with Akademi Aidit titled ‘Strategic Plan for Islamic Tourism Development’.
- Worked with local tour operators in developing custom-made tour packages to fulfil the needs of Muslim tourists and published the ‘Malaysia: The Islamic Tour Experience’ booklet.
- Collaborated with Brunei Tourism Development Department in producing the ‘Brunei and Malaysia: The Islamic Tour Experience’ booklet.
- Published a comprehensive guide on Malaysia’s most remarkable mosques titled ‘Mosque Trails in Malaysia’.
ITC’s Future Initiatives
- Collaborate with other Southeast Asian countries – namely Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines – in organising seminars and workshops on the development of Islamic tourism within the region.
- Develop standards and guidelines for Malaysia’s Islamic tourism sector in a bid to improve the country’s tourism products and services.