Sarawak first to be selected as potential destination for mosque tourism

Dato Sri Nancy Shukri

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KUCHING, Nov 27: Sarawak is the first State selected as a potential destination for mosque tourism.

Federal Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Dato Sri Nancy Shukri said that the uniqueness of Sarawak’s mosques and the State’s rich cultural and natural assets contributed to Malaysia’s Islamic tourism industry and the socio-economy.

“As a MOTAC (Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture) minister and a native of Sarawak, I am confident that the potential of mosque tourism in the State can give a new twist to the tourism and culture industry,” said Nancy when speaking at the Sarawak Mosque Tourism Pre-Launch Ceremony held at a local hotel, here today.

Nancy noted Sarawak has a variety of mosques with unique and beautiful designs and historical value.

She explained the richness of Sarawak’s local culture, natural attractions, cuisines, handicrafts, as well as the lifestyle of the community could be incorporated into mosque tourism and developed into a tourism package.

“Mosque tourism is a unique and innovative development in line with the National Tourism Policy 2020-2030 to enhance tourists’ experience and satisfaction of visitors to the country.

“At the national level, it is a positive development that can promote unity through tourism activities.

“It is an ideal activity to introduce the Muslim community and culture in our country to tourists at the international level,” she added.

Meanwhile, Nancy, who is also Batang Sadong MP, hoped that the programme would also be organised in other locations in Sarawak to be a new (tourism) product in the State.

“That is why we in the tourism industry need to think creatively and innovatively. The people want to go somewhere to see the uniqueness and advantages of a place,” she said.

Nancy also presented the Muslim-Friendly Accommodation Recognition (MFAR) certificates to five hotels in Sarawak during the programme.

Nancy (fifth left), together with MOTAC secretary-general Datuk Wira Dr Noor Zari Hamat (third left) and permanent secretary to the State Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture Hii Chang Kee (fourth right), in a group photo with representatives from the five hotels that received the MFAR certificates.

Among the recipients of the MFAR certificates are Waterfront Hotel Kuching, Hilton Kuching, Riverside Majestic (Astana) Kuching, Riverside Majestic (Puteri) Kuching, and Grand Margherita Kuching.

With these five hotels, Sarawak now has seven MFAR hotels, including Pullman Kuching and Pullman Miri. — DayakDaily