Indonesia aims to tap growing Muslim travel market


JAKARTA, Jan. 8 — The Indonesian government plans to get more benefit from growing Muslim travelers worldwide as the country has a great potential of sharia (Islamic) tourism, local media reported on Tuesday.

The archipelago country has the potential to offer sharia tourism as most of its population are Muslims.

Under the sharia tourism, the leisure complies with Islamic law, such as the provision of cuisine and beverages that contain no pork or alcohol, and the separation of men and women at tourist events and sites.

To reach the goal, the government plans to promote the packages to Muslim travelers worldwide, particularly from the Middle East, Risky Handayani, director for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) at the tourism and creative economy ministry was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying.

He said that the ministry would cooperate with travel agencies, hotels and restaurants in promoting the packages.

According to a study, Muslim tourists globally represented a major niche market worth 126.1 billion U.S. dollars through 2011. The demand is expected to grow by 4.8 percent annually through 2020, compared to the global average of 3.8 percent.