Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri has asked more tourism industry companies to reconsider their products in order to better cater to female customers.
She praised the Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) for playing a part in strengthening Malaysia as a safe tourist destination by supporting the notion of Muslim-friendly tourism and hospitality, speaking at an online discussion titled "Women in Islamic Tourism Economy" recently.
“While the concept is inspired by Muslim tourists' faith-based wants and expectations, it also prioritizes the safety, privacy, and comfort of female travelers,” she explained.
Nancy mentioned in her speech that one of ITC's major initiatives is the Muslim-Friendly Accommodation Recognition (MFAR) program, which recognizes hotels and resorts that meet the demands of Muslim tourists, including the provision of gender-separated facilities like swimming pools and gyms.
According to her, ITC has recognized 44 hotels in the country as part of the MFAR initiative, including local chains and foreign brands.
Malaysia was named the most popular Muslim-Friendly Destination for Women in the 2019 Mastercard-Crescentrating Report, Muslim Women In Travel, thanks to ITC's efforts, she added.
Nancy stated that the ministry will continue to assist ITC's efforts to set criteria for Muslim-friendly products, hospitality, and services in the tourism industry.
These measures, she claimed, will benefit all female travelers visiting Malaysia, regardless of faith, by prioritizing their privacy and safety.
Nancy stated that women in the tourism business 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.
She stated that events like the summit would focus on how to make tourism a safer, more inclusive, meaningful, and long-term space for the growing number of women working in the industry as well as tourists.
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