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Malaysia Unveils Ambitious Plans for Muslim-Friendly Tourism in 2024

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KUALA LUMPUR, 10 January 2024 – In response to Malaysia Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s call for a strengthened focus on Muslim-Friendly Tourism in Malaysia, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), through its agency Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC), has embarked on a comprehensive strategy to attract Muslim tourists. This initiative comes as part of the broader tourism recovery efforts, supported by a dedicated budget allocation of RM350 million in 2024.

According to MOTAC in a statement today, China has consistently been a key tourism source market for Malaysia, and we, at the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, are dedicated to expanding opportunities for our tourism industry.

“Recognizing the vast potential of the untapped Muslim market in China, we aim to deepen the interaction between the Muslim communities in Malaysia and China.

To facilitate this, we are delighted to announce new measures to enhance connectivity and ease of travel between the two countries. In addition to the recently unveiled Malaysian visa liberalization plans, efforts are underway to optimize flight connectivity. Following negotiations with several airlines, we anticipate the launch of a round-trip flight from Xi’an to Kuala Lumpur in March and a chartered flight from Urumqi to Kuala Lumpur in May or July this year. These initiatives aim to optimize connectivity, ensuring a seamless experience for tourists visiting Malaysia.” said MOTAC.

Malaysia takes pride in its reputation as a Muslim-friendly tourism and hospitality ecosystem brand, securing the top
spot in the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2023 for the eighth consecutive time.

“In line with our commitment to strengthening Malaysia’s Muslim-friendly ecosystem, the Ministry is working towards establishing Malaysia as a regional ‘Umrah Hub.’ This initiative will provide Muslim travelers, including those from China, with the opportunity to explore Malaysia’s diverse attractions before or after performing their Umrah.

The current Familiarization Trip (Fam Trip) for the 36 Imams is particularly significant as it coincides with the 50th
anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia in 2024. This milestone is celebrated through a carefully curated itinerary, offering the Imams a chance to immerse themselves in the culture, food, and lifestyle of
Malaysian Muslims.” said MOTAC.

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