Regional Seminar on Contribution of Islamic Culture and its Impact on the Asian Tourism Market
Brunei’s Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism, Dato Paduka Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, graced the seminar on the “Contribution of Islamic Culture and its Impact on the Asian Tourism Market” that was jointly organized by UNWTO and Brunei Darussalam, in Bandar Seri Begawan on the 16th – 17th of November 2015.
Brunei’s recent decision to upgrade tourism to ministerial status on par with its primary resource of oil and gas is ample proof of the importance given to the sector by the Government. Therefore, the presentation of the initial findings of the UNWTO study on the contribution of Islamic culture and its impact on the Asian tourism market in the form of an executive summary, which formed the basis of the seminar, is of special significance. The study included an overall assessment of the historical evolution, and the cultural and economic contribution of the Islamic tourism market in the region. In addition the study carries country monographs with incisive information and data on the potential of Islamic tourism of destinations in Asia and the Pacific ranging from Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The seminar was centred around presentations and discussions with distinguished speakers and panelists on issues such as The potential of the emerging market for Islamic Tourism, Building bridges between Muslim and non-Muslim populations to promote a culture of peace, stability and understanding, and Policy recommendations/Marketing of Islamic Tourism Products.
The seminar was the first of its kind organized by UNWTO on this thematic subject and Brunei as the host had shown early interest in holding this event. As the Honourable Minister concluded, Islamic values are to be at the core of Brunei’s tourism drive.
Over 100 delegates and participants from the region and from Brunei included public and private sector officials and stakeholders.
The outcome of the seminar will no doubt pave the way for greater co-operation and understanding of the Islamic tourism market. It is hoped that this is a stepping stone for further research and analysis of the role and contribution of Islamic culture and its impact on the tourism market on a regional, intra-regional and global scale.
UNWTO wishes to extend its sincere thanks to China Chamber of Tourism (CCT) for their sponsorship and contribution to the Study and the Seminar.