Turnover of Sharia Tourism Reaches Rp1,659 Trillion

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    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Riyanto Sofyan, owner of sharia hotel chain Sofyan Hotel, said the Muslim population's economic potentials in the world are fairly huge. Approximately 56 percent of Muslim residents are at their productive stage, and 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 at a seminar on sharia tourism prospects yesterday.

    The Tourism and Creative Economy ministry's data stated the total turnover of sharia tourism has reached US$137 billion (Rp1,659 trillion) and is expected to grow up to US$181 billion (Rp2,191 trillion) in 2018.

    The ministry's marketing director general Esthy Reko Astuti said they would immediately complete sharia standardization on three tourist facilities: restaurants, spas, and travel agencies. "Our target is to finish them by the end of this month."

    The standardization that they have completed, he added, is merely for sharia hotels. They would endeavor to complete their targets for other business segments by the end of September this year. Once they are completed, the government would attempt to meet with the sharia tourism entrepreneurs in Indonesia with institutions linked with the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), Muslim business communities, the tourism industry, and academics. "[It is] so that this program will be further improved."