Vol 1, No 1 (2020) 32–42

Halal Tourism: Between Eco­nom­ic Oppor­tu­ni­ties and Social Acceptance

Madziat­ul Churiyah, Heri Pratik­to, Fil­ianti and Muham­mad Fikri Akbar

Fac­ul­ty of Econ­o­my Uni­ver­si­tas Negeri Malang, Jalan Semarang 5, Malang 65145, Indonesia

Cor­re­spon­dence should be addressed to Madziat­ul Churiyah; madziatul.​churiyah.​fe@​um.​ac.​id

Cite this: Nusan­tara Halal J. 2020, Vol. 1 No. 1 pp. 32–42 (Arti­cle) | Received 28 June 2020 | Revised 1 August 2020 | Accept­ed 2 August 2020 | Pub­lished 21 August 2020 | http://​dx​.doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​7​9​7​7​/​u​m​0​6​0​.​2​0​2​0​v​1​p​0​3​2​-​042


Halal Tourism trends encounter improve­ment due to the increas­ing num­ber of Mus­lim tourists who trav­el to var­i­ous coun­tries and spend an excep­tion­al amount of funds every year. Halal Tourism pos­i­tive­ly affects coun­tries’ eco­nom­ic growth, includ­ing Indone­sia. GMTI 2019 places Indone­sia as the best Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tion. Con­se­quent­ly, the Indone­sia gov­ern­ment is con­tin­u­ous­ly work­ing on this promis­ing eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ty by devel­op­ing Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tions in sev­er­al areas. How­ev­er, what has been pro­ject­ed by the Indone­sia gov­ern­ment to grab this glob­al eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ty faces social rejec­tions. This study aims to ana­lyze the eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ty of the Halal Tourism trend and the accep­tance from Indonesia’s soci­ety affect­ed by this project devel­op­ment. The lit­er­a­ture analy­sis reveals that Indone­sia soci­ety refus­es the Halal Tourism con­cept due to the low com­pre­hen­sion of the Halal Tourism con­cept. Thus, edu­ca­tion on Halal Tourism should be con­duct­ed, and focused seg­men­ta­tion of Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tion is urgent to be completed.

Key­words: Halal tourism, social accep­tance, Mus­lim tourists, eco­nom­ic opportunities.


The Halal Tourism trend opens up a num­ber of oppor­tu­ni­ties for many coun­tries, one of which is Indone­sia, such as eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ties and the pro­mo­tion of nat­ur­al and cul­tur­al wealth. Halal Tourism plays an essen­tial role in eco­nom­ic growth because it is able to cre­ate mil­lions of jobs to increase nation­al income [1–3]. Indone­sia is mak­ing a lot of rev­enue from the Halal Tourism sec­tor. Thom­son Reuters, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Dinar Stan­dard, made a report titled “State of the Glob­al Islam­ic Econ­o­my 2018/​2019.” They said that in 2017 Mus­lim tourists have spent the usu­al amount of US $ 177 bil­lion and will expe­ri­ence an increase every year so that by 2023 its spend­ing costs will reach US $ 274 bil­lion. Indone­sia also felt the effects of spend­ing on Mus­lim tourists from var­i­ous parts of the world. Indone­sia occu­pies the fourth posi­tion after Malaysia, UAE, and Turkey as the coun­try with the most sig­nif­i­cant income through Halal Tourism [4]. The lat­est report states that through the Halal Tourism mar­ket, which grew 15%, Indone­sia won 2.8 mil­lion Mus­lim tourist vis­its and gen­er­at­ed a for­eign exchange of more than 30 tril­lion Rupi­ah [5].

GMTI (Glob­al Mus­lim Trav­el Index) 2019 named Indone­sia as the best Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tion in the world. Indone­sia, which has the largest Mus­lim major­i­ty pop­u­la­tion in the world and extra­or­di­nary nat­ur­al and cul­tur­al rich­es, agrees with the coro­na­tion [6]. The gov­ern­ment also wel­comes this coro­na­tion and con­tin­ues to strive to devel­op Halal Tourism. Cur­rent­ly, through [7], The gov­ern­ment has focused on devel­op­ing Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tions in eight provinces, name­ly Aceh, North Suma­tra, West Java, East Java, Yogyakar­ta, West Nusa Teng­gara, South Sulawe­si, and South  Kali­man­tan. The selec­tion of these eight provinces is based on the find­ing of abun­dant nat­ur­al resources, tourism, culi­nary, and cul­ture so that this poten­tial is expect­ed to accel­er­ate the devel­op­ment of Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tions. In North Suma­tra, one of the pro­ject­ed des­ti­na­tions is Lake Toba which is the largest lake in South­east Asia and as the largest vol­canic lake in the world. In terms of the com­mu­ni­ty envi­ron­ment, the major­i­ty of the pop­u­la­tion around Lake Toba is a Chris­t­ian Batak tribe.

The North Suma­tra Provin­cial Gov­ern­ment is pro­ject­ing Lake Toba as a Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tion that impacts on the reg­u­la­tion of sell­ing pork-based food [8]. This is intend­ed to attract tourists from neigh­bor­ing coun­tries such as Brunei Darus­salam and Malaysia. In the same year, the Min­is­ter of Tourism and Cre­ative Econ­o­my also voiced about devel­op­ing Halal Tourism in Bali, a province that is pre­dom­i­nant­ly inhab­it­ed by Hin­dus [9]. Com­mu­ni­ties around the two regions respond­ed in the form of rejec­tion. The com­mu­ni­ty around Lake Toba even made a cel­e­bra­tion of the Lake Toba Pig Fes­ti­val which con­tained activ­i­ties in the form of pig rac­ing, pig self­ies to debauch­ery to eat pork dish­es to cel­e­brate the rejec­tion of the planned devel­op­ment of Halal Tourism on Lake Toba by the North Suma­tra Provin­cial Gov­ern­ment [10]. The same thing hap­pened in Bali; many peo­ple, gov­ern­ment fig­ures, and tourism fig­ures reject­ed the plan to devel­op Halal Tourism in Bali.  One of the gov­ern­ment fig­ures said the idea could not be accept­ed because Bali was already well-known and would con­tin­ue to main­tain its brand­ing as Cul­tur­al Tourism, not reli­gious tourism [9].

The emer­gence of a rejec­tion reac­tion from the com­mu­ni­ty around the devel­op­ment of Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tions by the Indone­sian gov­ern­ment is very unfor­tu­nate. The pri­ma­ry pur­pose of devel­op­ing Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tions is not to replace what already exists, but only to try to pro­vide ameni­ties and every­thing to cre­ate a Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tion that can accom­mo­date the needs of Mus­lim tourists from var­i­ous worlds. That is because Halal Tourism plays a vital role in eco­nom­ic growth and pro­vides employ­ment for the sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ty [11,12]. The pur­pose of this study is to ana­lyze the eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ties that come from Halal Tourism and the reac­tion of the major­i­ty of peo­ple who reject it. This research will have a pos­i­tive impact on the broad­er com­mu­ni­ty of Indone­sia in the form of pro­vid­ing a real under­stand­ing of the con­cept of Halal Tourism and the oppor­tu­ni­ties brought from it. While to the Indone­sian gov­ern­ment, this research is essen­tial as an effort to clar­i­fy to the broad­er com­mu­ni­ty and for busi­ness­es engaged in the field of Halal Tourism, it can be used as a ref­er­ence as a pro­jec­tion for the devel­op­ment of future Halal Tourism business.

Literature Review

Halal Tourism Concept

Islam is per­haps the unique reli­gion in the world and brings Mus­lims (adher­ents) to fol­low what has been taught through the Koran (the word of God that is Allah SWT) and the Hadith (all the words, behav­ior and silence of Muham­mad SAW as the last Apos­tle). The Qur’an con­tains guide­lines and arrange­ments for all aspects of life and human activ­i­ties so that the role of Islam also influ­ences Mus­lim trav­el [13–16]. Along with the times, Mus­lims are increas­ing­ly aware of this posi­tion, and they are try­ing to choose tourist des­ti­na­tions that can accom­mo­date the needs of wor­ship while car­ry­ing out tourist trips such as the avail­abil­i­ty of halal food, Mus­lim-friend­ly hotels, and des­ti­na­tions that do not dis­play pornog­ra­phy or the like. Halal is a com­pul­so­ry choice for Mus­lims, which does not only cov­er food mat­ters. There­fore, the devel­op­ment of Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tions must be guid­ed by teach­ings and prin­ci­ples in accor­dance with Islam­ic law; this includes all aspects of tourism activ­i­ties [2]. Inter­pret halal as what­ev­er is per­mit­ted in Islam. Where­as in Ara­bic, halal is used in the Koran and has the same mean­ing as said [17], those are things or actions that are per­mit­ted by Islam­ic law, in this case, sharia law [18]. There­fore Halal Tourism is every­thing that is cov­ered in tourism and is ensured to be in har­mo­ny with Islam­ic laws.

At present, there are many def­i­n­i­tions of Halal Tourism; some even men­tion it in the term Islam­ic Tourism although, in con­clu­sion, it is agreed that the use of the word Halal Tourism is more suit­able [19]. States Halal Tourism as a trav­el tour car­ried out by Mus­lims based on Islam­ic law relat­ing to the selec­tion of des­ti­na­tions and activ­i­ties car­ried out by Mus­lims in it [20]. Car­boni et al. also stat­ed the same thing by adding the efforts of Mus­lims to main­tain reli­gious orders dur­ing the trip, which means that the choice of des­ti­na­tion does not have to be in a place with a Mus­lim major­i­ty pop­u­la­tion [21]. Var­gas-Sánchez et al. also pro­vides a def­i­n­i­tion of Halal Tourism as a tour that is car­ried out for recre­ation­al and social pur­pos­es and is based on spir­i­tu­al moti­va­tion or not, but Mus­lims who trav­el con­tin­ue to try to adjust their activ­i­ties to remain in accor­dance with reli­gious cor­ri­dors [22].

In fact, Halal Tourism is not relat­ed to Mus­lims alone. That is, Halal Tourism can be tilled, enjoyed until it is made a strong eco­nom­ic pro­jec­tion by non-Mus­lims too. Mus­lim major­i­ty coun­tries and Mus­lim minori­ties can still work on Halal Tourism pro­jec­tions, and this is the cur­rent trend, as is the case in Thai­land, Japan, South Korea, Sin­ga­pore, New Zeland, and many more [23]. Non-Mus­lims can con­tin­ue to enjoy Halal Tourism as long as it does not con­tra­dict what has been believed. Accord­ing to [24] for non-Mus­lim tourists, Halal Tourism is health insur­ance through halal prod­ucts offered. In addi­tion, Halal Tourism also pro­vides an alter­na­tive choice for non-Mus­lim tourists who expect a health-con­scious life dur­ing a tour and want a new expe­ri­ence in enjoy­ing the social cul­ture that is based on Islam­ic prin­ci­ples [18]. Even a study con­duct­ed on Chris­t­ian and athe­ist tourists, the major­i­ty of them con­sid­er Halal Tourism is not a prob­lem in the sense that they can enjoy it because it is regard­ed as a mean­ing­ful expe­ri­ence [14].

Accord­ing to the ben­e­fits pro­vid­ed by Halal Tourism for both Mus­lim and non-Mus­lim tourists [25], it is not dif­fi­cult to say that, from the per­spec­tive of the future, Halal Tourism is a promis­ing mar­ket. This des­ti­na­tion can be addressed uni­ver­sal­ly to Mus­lims and non-Mus­lims with no ele­ment of racial vio­lence [24].

Economic Opportunities in Halal Tourism Trend

The world’s Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion is grow­ing very rapid­ly. PEW Research pre­dicts that by 2050 Mus­lim growth will reach 2.8 bil­lion with the most pro­duc­tive birth rate when com­pared to oth­er reli­gions in the world. It seems that this increase is in line with the glob­al halal mar­ket demand growth. [26] said the grow­ing demand for halal prod­ucts and ser­vices amid the ever-increas­ing Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion has opened up new oppor­tu­ni­ties to devel­op the sup­ply of Mus­lim needs, includ­ing Halal Tourism.

Muhamad et al. dubbed Halal Tourism as a ‘new bil­lion-dol­lar trav­el trend [26]. This is unde­ni­able because, indeed, Mus­lim con­sumers are one of the fastest-grow­ing mar­ket seg­ments today [27]. Based on this, Halal Tourism has received spe­cial atten­tion from busi­ness­es in Mus­lim major­i­ty- and Mus­lim minor­i­ty-pop­u­lat­ed coun­tries [26]. They are grap­pling with the devel­op­ment plan for Halal Tourism and its poli­cies by bal­anc­ing the eco­nom­ic and social ben­e­fits that will be gen­er­at­ed [28] to com­pete for the income of USD 220 bil­lion from 160 mil­lion Mus­lim tourists in 2020. Even the nom­i­nal is pre­dict­ed to con­tin­ue increas­ing by 6% per year, so it is antic­i­pat­ed that the amount of Mus­lim tourist expen­di­ture in 2026 will reach USD 300 bil­lion [6].

As a coun­try with the largest Mus­lim major­i­ty pop­u­la­tion in the world, Indone­sia is not only try­ing to be a mar­ket, but Indone­sia also wants to be a pro­duc­er of world Halal Tourism [29]. For Indone­sia, Halal Tourism pro­vides an oppor­tu­ni­ty to sup­port the eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment of local com­mu­ni­ties by devel­op­ing small busi­ness­es and cre­ative indus­tries for local com­mu­ni­ties [24]. Dur­ing this time the income obtained is quite fan­tas­tic, the lat­est report states that through the Halal Tourism mar­ket which grew 15%, Indone­sia won 2.8 mil­lion Mus­lim tourists and gen­er­at­ed a for­eign exchange of more than 30 tril­lion Rupi­ah. Halal Tourism also absorbs a lot of new work­ers, so the unem­ploy­ment rate has decreased. That is because the Halal Tourism project opens many indus­tries rang­ing from halal food and drinks, Mus­lim-friend­ly hotels, halal tourism tours, Islam­ic-themed sou­venirs, and much more. Nat­u­ral­ly, if the Gov­ern­ment of Indone­sia is seri­ous about this Halal Tourism project, for exam­ple, in the Nation­al Medi­um-Term Devel­op­ment Plan (RPJMN) 2020–2024, tourism (includ­ing Halal Tourism) is set as one of the focus­es of the nation’s eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment pro­gram [5].

Motivation Behind Why is Muslim Traveling

Since ancient times Mus­lims have trav­eled, both to tourist des­ti­na­tions and oth­er places. For exam­ple, Muham­mad (pbuh) trav­eled from Mec­ca to Med­i­na for the ben­e­fit of Islam, and Mus­lims made the pil­grim­age to Mec­ca [28,30]. In addi­tion, there are fig­ures in the ear­ly his­to­ry of Islam who trav­el, and the sto­ry is very well known among Mus­lims name­ly Ibn Bat­tuta who trav­eled to all parts of Asia, North and West Africa, and East­ern and South­ern Europe from 1325 AD to 1354 AD and get a warm wel­come from the sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ty  [27,30]. Then at this time, the Mus­lims are pop­u­lar with the term hos­pi­tal­i­ty, which is the activ­i­ty of vis­it­ing rel­a­tives both inside and out­side the city, which is also syn­ony­mous with the imple­men­ta­tion of the trip with regard to travel.

Mus­lims are not nec­es­sar­i­ly fond of a tour, but there is an under­ly­ing fac­tor. Aside from being one of the ways to relieve fatigue from rou­tine activ­i­ties, in fact, the Koran and Hadith, as the high­est guide­lines for Mus­lims, also encour­age the imple­men­ta­tion of tourism activ­i­ties, name­ly to trav­el to var­i­ous places. One of the vers­es of the Koran is Al-Mulk verse 15:

“It is He who made the earth tame for you — so walk among its slopes and eat of His pro­vi­sion — and to Him is the resurrection.”

It is not uncom­mon for Mus­lims to trav­el to find out the var­i­ous cre­ations of Allah SWT, rang­ing from the many races, eth­nic­i­ties, cul­tures, and skin col­ors to make them think of His greatness.

How­ev­er, the avail­abil­i­ty of tourism des­ti­na­tions is often not fol­low­ing the norms con­tained in Islam­ic law, such as the exis­tence of pornog­ra­phy to gam­bling. In addi­tion, tourism des­ti­na­tions locat­ed in Mus­lim minor­i­ty areas are often unable to accom­mo­date the needs of Mus­lims, such as the lack of infra­struc­ture for purifi­ca­tion and prayer. There­fore, the con­cept of Halal Tourism emerges to pro­vide an alter­na­tive amid the rise of hedo­nic tourism [28]. So that the basic needs of Mus­lims relat­ing to dai­ly wor­ship can still be ade­quate­ly accom­mo­dat­ed dur­ing a tour.


This study is a qual­i­ta­tive study that reviews the lit­er­a­ture in the form of jour­nals regard­ing Halal Tourism, doc­u­ments issued by the Gov­ern­ment of Indone­sia regard­ing the strat­e­gy for devel­op­ing Halal Tourism, and reports from glob­al orga­ni­za­tions relat­ing to the assess­ment of Halal Tourism and reli­gious pro­jec­tions in the world. Quan­ti­ta­tive data analy­sis is also car­ried out through data released by the Gov­ern­ment of Indone­sia and glob­al orga­ni­za­tions. This study was car­ried out as an effort to increase the reper­toire of knowl­edge about the devel­op­ment of Halal Tourism, which is based on the accep­tance of the com­mu­ni­ty around the devel­op­ment of Halal Tourism destinations.


It’s Halal Tourism, not Islamic Tourism

There are many terms for trav­el activ­i­ties under­tak­en by Mus­lims, both for spir­i­tu­al pur­pos­es and not. The two terms most wide­ly used in research are Islam­ic Tourism [15,21], and Halal Tourism [31]. What has become a trend in recent years is not Islam­ic Tourism but Halal Tourism. That is due to the term Islam­ic Tourism is more appro­pri­ate to be used in jour­neys for spir­i­tu­al pur­pos­es or the imple­men­ta­tion of wor­ship, name­ly Hajj and Umrah in the holy land of Mec­ca. Where­as Halal Tourism cov­ers a broad­er range of activ­i­ties, name­ly trips made by Mus­lims for recre­ation­al pur­pos­es and intend­ed for wor­ship (such as see­ing the cre­ation of Allah SWT to think more about His great­ness) to var­i­ous places in the world, both to Mus­lim-major­i­ty coun­tries and Mus­lim minori­ties. Dur­ing the trip, Mus­lims try to con­tin­ue to imple­ment the basics of Islam­ic law, such as pray­ing, cov­er­ing the gen­i­tals, and eat­ing halal food.

In a sim­ple term,  the activ­i­ties in Halal Tourism can also be car­ried out by non-Mus­lims, but not with activ­i­ties in Islam­ic Tourism, name­ly car­ry­ing out Hajj and Umrah, which must be pre­ced­ed by becom­ing adher­ents of the Islam­ic reli­gion (say two sen­tences of sha­ha­da). Activ­i­ties in Halal Tourism include the con­sump­tion of halal food, the pro­vi­sion of hotel accom­mo­da­tion, and Mus­lim friend­ly trans­porta­tion, which can also be enjoyed by non-Mus­lims for sev­er­al rea­sons [32]. Even in the per­spec­tive of eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ties, the pro­vi­sion of the needs of Mus­lims dur­ing a tour can also be made by non-Mus­lims so that it will have a pos­i­tive eco­nom­ic impact on them [23,33]. From here, it seems too much if you con­sid­er the pro­ject­ed devel­op­ment of Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tions in some areas as an effort to Islamiza­tion and will dam­age the exist­ing cul­tur­al order. The halal mar­ket is indeed the belle of many coun­tries, includ­ing Mus­lim minor­i­ty coun­tries. The proof, New Zeland, as a coun­try with a Mus­lim minor­i­ty, occu­pies the high­est halal exporters [33]. In addi­tion, oth­er Mus­lim minor­i­ty coun­tries such as Thai­land and Sin­ga­pore also com­pete to pro­vide the best ser­vice for Mus­lim tourists [34].

The Reasons Why Halal Tourism Concept Rejected

The Indone­sian government’s effort to encour­age the Halal Tourism estab­lish­ment in some areas seems to face issues. The chal­lenges come from the rejec­tion of the soci­ety sur­round­ed the Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tion project. A doc­u­ment from Indone­sia Islam­ic Mas­ter­plan in 2019–2024 men­tions eight provinces fore­cast­ed to be the Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tion, name­ly Aceh, North Sumat­era, West Java, East Java, Yogyakar­ta, West Nusa Teng­gara, South Sulawe­si, and South Kali­man­tan. How­ev­er, in the recent imple­men­ta­tion, there are eight dif­fer­ent provinces adopt­ed as Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tions, name­ly Aceh, Bali, Jakar­ta, West Java, East Java, West Nusa Teng­gara, Riau, and West Sumat­era. Each of these provinces pos­sess­es dif­fer­ent excel­lences, such as in nature tourism, arti­fi­cial tourism, cul­tur­al tourism, and culi­nary. The provinces pro­ject­ed to be Indone­sia Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tion man­i­fest­ed in the 2019–2024 Halal Tourism Devel­op­ment Strat­e­gy blue­print are illus­trat­ed in Fig. 1.

Fig­ure 1. 10 Pro­ject­ed Halal Tourism Des­ti­na­tion through Three Pri­ma­ry Gates. Source: 2019–2024 Halal Tourism Devel­op­ment Strat­e­gy Blueprint

From those eight pro­ject­ed des­ti­na­tions, the two already imple­ment­ed areas face social rejec­tion, North Sumat­era and Bali. As the devel­op­ment pro­gressed, the new­ly joined pro­ject­ed des­ti­na­tion, East Nusa Teng­gara, also encounter exclu­sion. The soci­ety men­tions that the Halal label con­tra­dicts the sur­round­ing society’s cul­ture. They even sug­gest that the Halal Tourism notion may only dam­age the diversity.

Addi­tion­al­ly, the rejec­tion also comes from col­lege stu­dents who held a strike car­ry­ing a ban­ner that reads, “Lake Toba Needs No Halal Label.” They state that the imple­men­ta­tion of Halal Tourism will dis­turb the soci­ety that has lived in har­mo­ny [35]. A sim­i­lar idea is also expressed by Samosir Regent and one leg­isla­tive mem­ber of North Sumat­era. They explic­it­ly refuse the Hal­la Tourism des­ti­na­tion project in Lake Toba due to it is not in accor­dance with the Indone­sia Nation­al mot­to, Bhin­neka Tung­gal Ika.

In addi­tion, the Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tion project in Bali was first brought up by one of Indone­sia politi­cians, San­di­a­ga Uno [36]. He iden­ti­fies a rel­a­tive­ly broad eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ty on Bali’s Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tion project. A sim­i­lar opin­ion was also men­tioned by the Min­is­ter of Tourism and Cre­ative Econ­o­my, Wish­nu­ta­ma, even if he lat­er clar­i­fied that he was not sug­gest­ing the idea [37]. Addi­tion­al­ly, Bali Gov­er­nor, I Wayan Koster, and one of the Bali tourism fig­ures, Gede Wiratha, also rejects the idea. Gede Wiratha declared that the con­cept is not accept­able since Bali has been famous for its cul­tur­al tourism and will con­tin­ue to main­tain that brand­ing, not reli­gious tourism [9]. The head of ASITA (Asso­ci­a­tion of the Indone­sian Tours and Trav­el) Bali, I Ketut Ardana, also artic­u­lates the same rea­son for his rejec­tion [36].

Fur­ther, Labuan Bajo, locat­ed in East Nusa Teng­gara, is recent­ly pro­ject­ed as one of the Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tions. How­ev­er, that con­cept was straight­ly reject­ed by East Nusa Teng­gara Gov­er­nor Vik­tor Laisko­dat. He explained that Halal Tourism devel­op­ment in Labuan Bajo would pro­voke con­flict with­in the tourism busi­ness that prop­a­gate oth­er social con­flicts [38]. In social media, a lot of Indone­sia peo­ple refuse the idea and hold dis­cus­sions on this topic.

There­fore, the rejec­tion of halal Tourism Des­ti­na­tion from the sur­round­ing soci­ety is gen­er­at­ed by the assump­tion of Islami­sa­tion. This, lat­er, per­ceives to con­tra­dict the exist­ing diver­si­ty cul­ture. Fur­ther, the appli­ca­tion of Islam­ic val­ues to meet Mus­lim tourists will dis­man­tle the cul­tur­al val­ues and tra­di­tions con­struct­ed in soci­ety. Con­verse­ly, Indone­sia is a coun­try with mil­lions of diver­si­ty with a nation­al mot­to of Bhin­neka Tung­gal Ika. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, this con­flict is mate­ri­al­ized from a con­cep­tu­al mis­un­der­stand­ing of halal Tourism. Mean­while, Mus­lim minor­i­ty coun­tries, such as Japan, Chi­na, South Korea, Thai­land, Sin­ga­pore, New Zealand, and so forth, per­ceive this as an eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ty [23,33,34,39].

Halal Tourism is not equal to Islami­sa­tion effort since it only accom­mo­dates Mus­lim tourists’ demand to prac­tice Islam­ic Sharia dur­ing their trav­el. Even [31] care­ful­ly defines Halal Tourism by con­sid­er­ing Islam­ic laws, cos­tumer tar­gets (Mus­lim, non-Mus­lim, or both), des­ti­na­tions (Mus­lim major­i­ty or minor­i­ty coun­try), the offered prod­ucts and ser­vices, as well as the pur­pose of the trav­el. Thus, Halal Tourism is the effort to ful­fill the tourist needs to the prac­tice of wor­ship that aims to gain eco­nom­ic rev­enue; it is not a form of Islamiza­tion. That occurs in Indone­sia through the con­cepts pro­vid­ed by the government.

The Urgency of Segmenting Halal Tourism Destinations and Education Society

Halal Tourism seg­men­ta­tion in Indone­sia expe­ri­ences social rejec­tion due to the mis­un­der­stand­ing, as well as the major­i­ty com­ing from oth­er reli­gious adher­ents who have a robust cul­ture. For the suc­cess of Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tion estab­lish­ment, the gov­ern­ment should con­sid­er sev­er­al aspects in con­struct­ing the area seg­men­ta­tion, such as the local cul­ture that pos­si­bly gets crum­bled if the estab­lish­ment pro­gressed. Since Indone­sia has many poten­tial tourism areas, then Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tion can be holis­ti­cal­ly devel­oped in one area. 

That way, the Mus­lim tourists’ needs to com­ply with Islam­ic laws can be accom­mo­dat­ed. The Mus­lim tourists’ con­tent­ments rely on the ful­fill­ment of their demands dur­ing their vis­it to that des­ti­na­tion [1,20,40–42]. Once the inte­grat­ed ser­vices relat­ed to Halal Tourism are pro­vid­ed, then the Mus­lim tourists’ sat­is­fac­tion will be accel­er­at­ed; thus, they will re-vis­it the des­ti­na­tion, and WOM (Word of Mouth) inter­ac­tion will occur [20,39]. WOM is one of the prac­ti­cal indi­rect mar­ket­ing tools for the gov­ern­ment in pro­mot­ing Indone­sia Halal Tourism to the world. The seg­men­ta­tion can be con­duct­ed by con­sid­er­ing the Key Halal Trav­el Trends in 2019 (Halal Trav­el 2.0) released by GMTI 2019, as pre­sent­ed in Fig 2. 

Fig­ure 2. Key Halal Trav­el Trends in 2019 (Halal Trav­el 2.0) Source: GMTI Report 2019

Anoth­er crit­i­cal step is to edu­cate the pub­lic about the con­cept of Halal Tourism. If seen, so far, edu­ca­tion has not been so inten­sive­ly car­ried out except through sev­er­al activ­i­ties such as con­fer­ences and sem­i­nars in big cities. Mean­while, seg­men­ta­tion hap­pens not only in big cities but also in areas out­side the cities. The offi­cial Halal Tourism Indone­sia web­site also does not pro­vide com­plete infor­ma­tion about the con­cept of Halal Tourism. The web­site only con­tains infor­ma­tion about des­ti­na­tions that have been imple­ment­ed in the con­cept of Halal Tourism and in Eng­lish. The site is the pri­ma­ry ref­er­ence of the com­mu­ni­ty at this time in gath­er­ing infor­ma­tion [32,43] in the era of the Indus­tri­al Rev­o­lu­tion 4.0. There­fore, efforts to inform the gen­er­al pub­lic through the web­site must be con­sid­ered, as can be seen in Fig. 3.

Fig­ure 3. Home­page of the Indone­sia Halal Tourism Offi­cial Site (halal​tourism​.id) Source: Web­site halal​tourism​.id

On large social media plat­forms such as YouTube and Insta­gram that are cur­rent­ly much loved by the pub­lic, the Indone­sia Halal Tourism relat­ed con­tent is not wide­ly avail­able. The cur­rent influ­encers have not had a trend to inform the con­cept of Halal Tourism in Indone­sia so that peo­ple do not under­stand what exists in this con­cept. In accor­dance with the 2019–2024 Halal Tourism Devel­op­ment Strat­e­gy Plan, the imple­men­ta­tion of the pro­mo­tion will be car­ried out inten­sive­ly, but until now, the appli­ca­tion has not been very vis­i­ble. While inform­ing the pub­lic is urgent so that Indone­sia does not miss the momen­tum of gain­ing huge eco­nom­ic prof­its through the trend of Halal Tourism.


Many coun­tries are fight­ing for the eager­ness of Mus­lim tourists from around the world and non-Mus­lim tourists who have an inter­est in the hos­pi­tal­i­ty of the con­cept of Halal Tourism. Indone­sia, as a coun­try with a major­i­ty Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion with a mil­lion nat­ur­al and cul­tur­al beau­ty, joins the com­pe­ti­tion by prepar­ing a series of strate­gies to devel­op Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tions in sev­er­al regions. This is very rea­son­able con­sid­er­ing that Halal Tourism has proven to open up eco­nom­ic rev­enue for many coun­tries, even Halal Tourism is also a place to pro­mote the country’s nat­ur­al and cul­tur­al wealth and to open job vacan­cies for many unem­ployed peo­ple. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the efforts made by the Indone­sian gov­ern­ment did not go smooth­ly. The com­mu­ni­ty around the Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tions rejects the project due to dis­crim­i­na­tion and incom­pat­i­bil­i­ty with the native cul­ture of the region. This rejec­tion by the com­mu­ni­ty is one of the chal­lenges for the Gov­ern­ment of Indone­sia in devel­op­ing Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tions giv­en the many eco­nom­ic ben­e­fits to be gained. The analy­sis dis­cov­ers the actu­al rejec­tion comes from a mis­un­der­stand­ing between the com­mu­ni­ty, the gov­ern­ment, and the lack of a Halal Tourism edu­ca­tion strat­e­gy to the pub­lic. Many promi­nent fig­ures from the local envi­ron­ment, such as Lake Toba, North Suma­tra, and Bali, do not under­stand the con­cept of Halal Tourism holis­ti­cal­ly. In addi­tion, peo­ple who tend to be rash in com­ment­ing on the devel­op­ment of Halal Tourism des­ti­na­tions project have made the sit­u­a­tion worse. The gov­ern­ment is also con­sid­ered lack­ing in pro­mot­ing Halal Tourism, which brings a lot of eco­nom­ic benefits.


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Corresponding author biography

Madziat­ul Churiyah obtained his S.Pd. in 1999 from Insti­tut Kegu­ru­an dan Ilmu Pen­didikan (IKIP) Malang and M.M. degree in from Uni­ver­si­tas Braw­i­jaya (UB). She received his Dr. degree from Uni­ver­si­tas Negeri Malang (UM) in 2015. Her exper­tise is in the field of busi­ness man­age­ment education.

© 2020 by the authors. This is an open access arti­cle dis­trib­uted under the Cre­ative Com­mons Attri­bu­tion License, which per­mits unre­strict­ed use, dis­tri­b­u­tion, and repro­duc­tion in any medi­um, pro­vid­ed the orig­i­nal work is prop­er­ly cited.