Tourism industry is one of the world’s largest industries with global economic contribution of over 7.6 trillion U.S dollars in 2016. The Muslim countries around the world also not exclude from contributing the revenue in the arising of tourism industry of global.
Even though tourism is the largest market in Muslim countries, there is less than 10% of the global revenue goes to this market. The article written by Mina Ghadani entitled ‘The role of Islam in tourism industry’ in 2012 showed the studies on the several topics which ae the relationship between Islam and tourism, aspects of the interconnection between Islam and tourism, manners of Muslims as hosts and guests, and the international collaboration in Islamic tourism industry. However, the main idea of the article is the influences of Islam religion in different aspect of tourism in Iran.
Firstly, the author explained about the relationship between Islam and tourism. Islam has approximately 1.5 billion followers all around the world which showed that Islam is the leading religions globally.
In Islam, the Quran and Sunnah/Hadith directed the life of Muslim. There are several Quran verses cited about travelling which in the point of view of Islam, travelling is a view of achieving spiritual, physical and social goals. Besides that, travel also can enhance health and well-being, reducing stress and enabling Muslims to serve God better. The author stressed that traveling is acquisition of knowledge and is a test of patience and perseverance. He agreed that tourism is compatible with Islam and encouraged by its teaching. According to Hassan (2005), there are different interpretations of religion in tourism because of the different socio-cultural impact.
However, the author stated that the whole societies tend to be conservative on one idea of religion in tourism. Besides that, the author emphasised that religion has become highly politicized which cause the effect towards international tourism and certain visitors are target for extremist. Next, the author explained on the aspects of the interconnection between Islam and tourism. In Islam, certain type of travels has important function of social and religion function. For instance, pilgrimage is one of the Islam’s five pillars which the function is for the religious purpose and also ukhwah between Muslim around the world.
The author stressed out that Muslim should travel and visit their friends and relatives at the same time fully appreciate the beauty of God’s world. From several scholars, the author concluded that over millions people travel for religious purpose especially to Mecca. In the article, the author mentioned on the inequalities of opportunity in tourism. Okhovat (2010) claimed that the ‘women’s inferior status is legitimized’ in the Middle East resulted in barriers for women to participate in tourism activity.
According to the author, even though Islam does not oppose to tourism despite of the issue of gender-based inequalities of opportunity, but the bad relationship between Western and Islamic nation affect the international tourism. Both sides have different impression, concept and cultures in which shaped the attitudes of hosts and tourists differently.