By Christopher Lidom
KUCHING, Sept 15: Tourism players should collaborate to promote more Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality (MFTH) experiences, products, and services which highlight Sarawak’s history and identity, says Dato Sri Nancy Shukri.
Nancy, who is the Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture (Motac), said industry players in Sarawak should take the opportunity to venture into this sector by highlighting Sarawak’s natural treasures, local cultures, traditions, food and handicrafts to Muslim tourists locally and internationally.
“Sarawak has various assets and uniqueness that can be developed as a business opportunity to meet the growing demand of the Islamic tourism market,” said Nancy in her speech when attending the Islamic Tourism Entrepreneurship and Leadership Seminar (ITELS) at a local hotel, today.
Nancy suggested that industry players in Sarawak work together with local mosques throughout the State to promote their history as well as cross-cultural understanding.
According to her, the expanding scope of the MFTH sector not only brings lucrative economic returns, its impact in bridging social, cultural and heritage gaps between tourists and local communities is also remarkable.
She said the development of mosque tourism can be used to showcase Sarawak’s way of life, art and culture which cannot be experienced anywhere else.
“This includes homestay activities that can highlight the distinctive heritage of the ethnic groups found in this State,” she added.
She also pointed out that among the locations which can be highlighted is Santubong because it is where the second oldest Malay state in the world was born.
“This includes the tomb of Sultan Tengah of Sarawak, archaeological sites such as the prehistoric cemetery at Tanjong Kubor, as well as early human activities in establishing an iron industry in Sungai Jaong and rock carvings from the previous civilisations.
“All this can be used as an interesting story for Muslim tourists,” she said. — DayakDaily