Perak committed to developing stakeholders to utilise the potential of Muslim-friendly tourism fully
BY KHIRTINI K KUMARAN
The Muslim-friendly tourism industry has enormous potential, and Perak is geared towards developing its tourism products and services to draw Muslim tourists, particularly from the international market.
Perak State Executive Council of Tourism, Industry, Investment, and Corridor Development, YB Loh Sze Yee, said Perak is committed to developing its tourism industry players to understand Muslim friendly tourism market and how to diversify their service and offerings to capitalise on its potential.
Putting Perak on the map for Muslim tourism
He noted that most, if not all, tourism products and offerings in Perak were Muslim-friendly to cater to the Muslim majority populace. Perak is, therefore, well known among the local tourist industry as a Muslim-friendly destination, in contrast to the international tourist market.
“However, we are definitely on the right track and are gaining traction among international travellers,” said Loh.
“It’s a combined effort from the government, NGOs, tourism players, non-tourism players, and the community.
“Support and recognition from government agencies like Islamic Tourism Council (ITC) help promote and establish Perak as a Muslim-friendly tourism destination.”
He also shared his appreciation for the two-day Islamic Tourism roadshow organised by ITC, which encompassed two programmes, the Islamic Tourism Entrepreneurship and Leadership Seminar (ITELS) and the Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality Assurance and Recognition (MFAR).
“These programmes help create awareness among the tourism players on the nature of Muslim friendly tourism, and correct the misconception that Muslim friendly tourism is only for Muslim tourists and travellers.”
Multicultural and rich in history
Loh pointed out Malaysia was very special because of its multicultural society, where the Muslim and non-Muslim communities have lived harmoniously for a long time. It offered multicultural tourism experiences. And Perak was no different.
Ipoh, the capital city of the Perak state, is known for its great food and culture, architectural buildings, caves, and limestone hills. In Taiping, attractions include a large park around the famous Taiping Lake and the nearby Taiping Zoo.
Kellie’s Castle, he shared, was one of the top tourist spots in Batu Gajah, famous for its mystery and romantic stories of love and tragedy.
“We also have the Tanjung Tualang Tin Dredge No 5 (TT5) in Batu Gajah, the only remaining tin dredge in Malaysia.
“Meanwhile, in Kuala Kangsar, we have one of the oldest mosques in Perak, Masjid Ubudiah. It is considered one of the most beautiful mosques in Malaysia and a symbol of pride and faith for Muslims in Perak.
“We also have one of the most beautiful palace complexes in Malaysia, Istana Iskandariah, the royal palace of the
Perak Sultanate and the official residence of the Sultan of Perak, located in Kuala Kangsar.”
Perak has a UNESCO site in Lenggong Valley, where the Perak Man, Southeast Asia’s oldest, most complete human skeleton, was found and is currently displayed at the Lenggong Archaeological Museum.
The State, said Loh, was rich in history, natural resources, tradition and culture.