Practitioner Comments on Religious Tourism Regulations

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    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Riyanto Sofyan, owner of sharia hotel chain Sofyan Hotel, welcomed the government's plan to standardize sharia tourism. In order to improve growth in sharia tourism, there are two paradigms that need to be modified: the current public trend to socialize sharia tourism and the public's economic growth.

    Riyanto said the Muslim population's economic potentials in the world are fairly huge. Based on the current world population demographic, there are approximately 56 percent of Muslim residents who are at their productive stage. They have started to change from traditional to futuristic Muslims who do not reject changing times. "They are more open toward technologies, lifestyles, but still adhere to religious rules," Riyanto explained.

    The development of sharia economics, especially in the tourist industry is expected to grow exponentially in the future with large potential benefits. "So we are attempting to boost sharia economic growth with halal and safe labels," said Riyanto.

    A number of countries like Thailand, Australia and the United States -  not paying attention to the growth in sharia tourism - have started to strategize to collect their potential benefits. "Why can't we compete with them? I hope the government would be able to grab its potentials."

    JAYADI SUPRIADIN