Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri , Minister of Tourist, Arts and Culture, has asked more tourism sector players to reconsider their products in order to better cater to female customers.
She praised the Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) for playing a role in strengthening Malaysia as a safe tourist destination by championing the notion of Muslim-friendly tourism and hospitality, which she spoke about virtually today at the ITC Corporate Forum themed ‘Women in Islamic Tourism Economy.'
While the concept is inspired by Muslim tourists' faith-based needs and requirements, it also prioritises the safety, privacy, and comfort of female travellers,“ she said.
Nancy mentioned in her speech that one of ITC's major initiatives is the Muslim-Friendly Accommodation Recognition (MFAR) programme, which recognises hotels and resorts that meet the demands of Muslim tourists, including the provision of gender-separated facilities like swimming pools and gyms.
Thus according her, the ITC has recognised 44 hotels in the country as part of the MFAR programme, including both local and foreign chains.
In the 2019 Mastercard-Crescentrating Report, ‘Muslim Women in Travel,' Malaysia was named as the most popular Muslim-Friendly Destination for Women, thanks to ITC's efforts, she added.
Moving forward, Nancy stated that the government would assist ITC's efforts to develop guidelines for other Muslim-friendly tourism products, hospitality, and services.
These guidelines, she said, will benefit all female travellers visiting Malaysia, regardless of faith, by prioritising their privacy and safety.
Nancy said that women in the tourism industry are generally concentrated in low-skilled or informal jobs, restricting their ability to absorb economic shocks such as the unanticipated Covid-19 outbreak.
Furthermore, she stated that, like women in other occupations, women in tourism are frequently subjected to unwelcome maltreatment.
As a result, she added, events like yesterday's discussion will address how to make tourism a safer, more inclusive, meaningful, and sustainable space for the growing number of women working in the industry as well as tourists.
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