Islamic tourism is not just limited to the provision of Halal food, but also includes hospitality services that comply with the Islamic Law (Shariah). This encompasses hotels, resorts, restaurants and airlines that do not serve alcoholic beverages, offer food with halal certificates, and provide separate wellness facilities for women, prayer facilities and a generally Muslim-friendly environment.
As the global Muslim population grows, so does the potential for Muslim-friendly hospitality services to become big business, as travel-savvy Muslims tend to choose their destinations based on the availability of Shariah-compliant food and facilities.
MUSLIM FRIENDLY HOSPITALITY SERVICES (MFHS) STANDARD
The Muslim Friendly Hospitality Services (MFHS) standard is Malaysia’s first standard dedicated for the Islamic tourism sector. Initiated and led by International Institute for Halal Research & Training (INHART) of International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), the original submission to develop the standard was made in December 2012 to the Department of Standards Malaysia (DSM). This was followed by the appointment of SIRIM as the standard’s secretariat by DSM and the formation of draft committee by the Technical Committee (TC) on Management System from Islamic Perspectives.
The drafting committee of the standard comprises main representatives of tourism industry players including Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC), Tourism Malaysia, Malaysia Association of Hotel Owners (MAHO), Malaysia Association of Hotel (MAH), Malaysia Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), Bumiputera Travel and Tour Agents Association of Malaysia (Bumitra) and Malaysian Tourist Guides Council (MTGC).
After months of developing, drafting and revising the document was released as “Draft Malaysian Standard : Muslim Friendly Hospitality Services – Requirements” for a two-month public comment commencing 1 August 2014 until 30 September 2014.
In January 2015, the standard was officially published as “MS2610:2015 – Muslim Friendly Hospitality Services – Requirements”. It provides guidelines on three critical components of the Islamic tourism supply chain namely the accommodation premises, tour packages and tourist guides.
At the moment, there is no regulation in Malaysia that governs the Islamic tourism sector and the adoption of the standard is however solely on voluntary basis. On the part of ITC, the standard will be promoted to the tourism industry players especially those who are looking to make some operational changes in order capture the lucrative Muslim tourist markets.
This standard is available for purchase at :
Department of Standards Malaysia (DSM)
Century Square, Level 2,
Block 2300, Jalan Usahawan,
Contact +603-8318 0002
It also available as an e-publication and can be purchased online on DSM’s website.
Click HERE to purchase online.