According to the Global Islamic Economy Indicator, Indonesia ranks 4th for halal tourism, which is geared towards Muslim families who abide by rules of Islam. Indonesia is listed for the first time among the top ten countries with the best halal tourism ecosystem. As outbound travel is expected to reach $283 billion worldwide by 2022, the Ministry of Tourism has been developing the tourism sector by improving is standardization and quality of halal tourism.
The State of the Global Islamic Economy 2017/2018 report ranked Indonesia 4th based on Global Islamic Economy Indicator (GIEI) criteria, including inbound halal tourism in relation to its size, halal friendly ecosystem, media and events as well as contribution to employment.
Based on the report, which was initiated by Thomson Reuters in collaboration with DinarStandard, Indonesia has a major area of tourism growth with equally driving development by launching a Global Halal Travel Alliance to bolster tourism, especially to compete with other ASEAN countries.
The other top three countries that have well-developed halal tourism are Malaysia, United Arab Emirates and Turkey. As the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia is still lagging behind Malaysia, which shows a significant sector score reach of 109, while Indonesia comes in at 46.
On the other side, the ministry compiled a list of strategies to further develop halal tourist attractions in the country. Indonesia aims to attract 3.8 million Muslim visitors in 2018, and five million by 2019, which will contribute towards its target of 20 million international visitors in the same year.
Taking place later this year, the Indonesia Halal Tourism Expo is designed to function as a platform for buyers and for expanding the investment towards the sector specifically.
Arief Yahya, Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism stated that a larger budget is allocated towards halal tourism, most of which is being invested in sales missions and trade shows, the local industry, promoting halal tourism and developing regulations to strengthen the local halal tourism sector.
“In 2016 and 2017, the Ministry of Tourism worked with the Halal Tourism Acceleration and Development Team to mobilize the industry, develop regulations and aggressively promote Indonesia as a halal and family-friendly destination,” Yahya said on State of the Global Islamic Economy testimonial.
He added that the ministry is developing the Indonesia Muslim Travel Index, which monitors the performance of halal tourism. First and foremost, Indonesia provides incentives for investment in the tourism sector, including tax allowance, import duty exemptions, land tax reduction and ease of licensing and permits.
The ministry compiled a list of strategies to further develop halal tourist attractions in the country. Indonesia aims to attract 3.8 million Muslim visitors in 2018, and five million by 2019, which will contribute towards its target of 20 million international visitors in the same year.
Furthermore, Indonesia highlights and promotes the top five halal tourism destinations in Indonesia, namely Aceh, West Sumatra, Jakarta, West Java, and Lombok.
On the other hand, Indonesia still faces the challenge of increasing the value of inbound tourists to Indonesia and in the governance aspect within the tourism sector, especially in tourism infrastructure.