A comprehensive module helps youth to become excellent Islamic Tourism entrepreneurs
An important component which any industry cannot disregard is education. Significant preparation must be carried out at the university level to strengthen Islamic tourism so youth, especially tourism students, can further develop other exciting tourism products and initiatives.
Dr Hisham Sabri, Senior Lecturer at the Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), said: “There are many activities that have been done by the industry, especially from the perspective of the Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC).”
“One is the Islamic Tourism Entrepreneurship and Leadership Seminar (ITELS). This module is being created to introduce Islamic Tourism and the Muslim travel market. It entices the interest of entrepreneurs to take part in this sector.”
Hisham said ITELS would enhance the economic growth of the community and the country. It addresses how the government can help industry players to grow in the Islamic Tourism sector. He also mentioned ITC’s Muslim-friendly Tour Guide (MFTG) programme, which exposed young tourist guides to the opportunities they can gain from catering for the Muslim travel market.
Including the value of Islamic Tourism in the syllabus
He shared that the actual definition of Islamic Tourism greatly impacted the university. This is because it can transcend other issues beyond travel, including history, arts, culture, heritage, economy and education.
“From this definition, we can see that ‘Islamic Tourism’ significantly impacts the university modules – the exercises and the syllabus. When we talk about history, we need to look into what has been done through the Sirah an-Nabawiyyah (history of the prophets), etc.
“When we talk about entrepreneurship, it relates to how we develop the business, manage finance, market our products and handle stakeholders. These issues need the proper syllabus or way to conduct the body of knowledge. It is some of the improvement we can try to improve at the university level,” Hisham said, adding that more Islam Tourism courses may encourage more engagement with the industry.
With all these engagements with the industry, students or university graduates will be equipped with the knowledge and practical experience needed. Additionally, improved modules at the university level will help the university to produce high-quality graduates.
Hisham said Islamic Tourism was unique as it did not only help economic and soft skills development but would also reward people in the hereafter.