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     The Muslim Destinations


    The work is a collective endeavour of scholars 
    related to religious tourism
    The Muslim Destinations


    SARTAJ AHMAD SOFI

    Sartaja01@gmail.com

    Tourism is one of the dynamic industries of today’s world. New forms of tourism have come into existence. 

    One among them is religious tourism, and Islamic tourism falls under it. Islamic tourism is the least studied areas in the whole phenomenon of religious tour-ism. 

    Regarding the phenomenon of Islamic tourism, some scholars have taken serious interests in comprehending the role of religion of Islam with tourism industry and the interconnectedness between them. 

    The scholarly works came out under the titles of Islamic tour-ism or Halal tourism mainly by Henderson, Jafari, Al-Hamerneh, Shakiry, Din, Battour, Kessler, and Ismail etc. 


    Islamic tourism defined so far refers to the sector of the tourism industry that confirms Shari‘ah adherence. The under review study is a serious effort, in this regard, that encapsulates the newly emerging concept in a broader perspective. 

    Indeed, this can be considered as a kind of serious initiative. This work is the first that exhibits the name Islamic Tourism after the Magazine produced by Abdul Sahib Shakiry in 2001. However, the work is a collective endeavor of scholars related to religious and tourism studies ranging from Busi-ness Administration, Economics, Management studies and other disciplines as well. 

    The study is based on 18 chap-ters which are divided into three parts. Part-1 entitled as Theologi-cal Framework and Development of Islamic Tourism. 

    This part is based on four chapters. Chapter first entitled Introduction by Jamal, Raj & Griffin, introduces the book with respect to its contents. It pro-vides a glimpse of the chapters of the book as per their themes. Chap-ter 2nd entitled Islamic Tourism: the Role of Culture and Religiosity by a jmal & El-Bassiouny evaluates the complex interferences and interactional exchanges of socio-cultural institution in Islamic tourism industry. It also accounts the managerial considerations of cultural dimensions and motiva-tions of Muslim tourists originat-ing from diverse countries. 

    This endeavors for future research on the interaction between Islamic tourists’ motivations, cultural orientations and religious com-mitment levels. Chapter three titled Religion and Islamic Tour-ism Destinations by Suleman & Qayum reflects on the intricacies of Islamic tourism, its manage-ment, the ongoing debate about it and awareness programme with respect to its prospects. It focuses on theological contextualization to frame religious tourism, beyond economic perspective. Muslim destinations need a nuanced and specific site of management con-siderations. 

    The fourth chapter entitled Marketing Approaches and Problems of Islamic Destinations by Bilim, Biskin & Kaynak. It aims to evaluate marketing approaches of Islamic destinations with a view to highlighting the problems and identify potential solutions. Part-II Management and Devel-opment of Destinations is based on five chapters ranging from 5-9. Chapter-5 titled as The impact of Hajj satisfaction on Islamic religious com-mitment: A Theoretical Framework compiled by Utomo, Scott & Jin proposes a theoretical framework for assessing the impact of hajjsatisfaction on levels of religious commitment experienced after the pilgrimage of Hajj. Chapter-6 

    Islamic Tourism and Use of Social Media by Rashid & Adwik refers to the diverse channels of social media; their use and the notion of Muslim scholarship. 

    It depicts the need of further research to make adequate of use of social media for Islamic tourism. Chapter-7, Islam-ic Customer Relationship Market-ing (ICRM) and Inspirations for Religious Tourism by Kawsar & 

    Rashid considers customer rela-tionship as one of the key goals of any marketer. Muslims are directed, in this regard, to enhance relationships both in personal as well as in business, keeping in view the pleasure of Allah and the welfare of the whole society. Chapter-8 entitled as The Impact of Umrah Quality Attributes on Religious Tourist Loyalty in Saudi Arabia by Alsini, Ekiz & Hussain have taken a sample of 650 Umrahpilgrims and tests a conceptual model. 

    The result suggests that Islamic beliefs act as the most sig-nificant driver of tourists’ loyalty, followed by Islamic performance and tour guide services. Chap-ter-9, Sufi Tourism: The Impact of Sufi Heritage on Islamic Religious Tourism authored by Elhadary dis-cusses the Sufi teachings of love, beauty and knowledge as virtues and their impact on tourism as an industry and on religious tourists undergoing this amazing spiritual experience. 

    Part-III Challenges and Issues: 

    Global Case Studies is based on 

    nine chapters, ranging from 10-18. 

    Chapter-10 entitled as Religious 

    Tourism in the Sultanate of Oman: 

    The Potential for Mosque Tourism 

    Thrive by Kessler & Raj considering 

    the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque 

    as a religious tourism destination 

    permitting tourists to explore the 

    understanding and spread of Islam. 

    Chapter-11 labeled as An Opportu-

    nity Unexploited: A Pilgrim’s Obser-

    vations on the Potential of Muslim 

    Pilgrimage (Hajj) by Acar demon-

    strates some key problems, pilgrims 

    encounter with, and proposes devel-

    opments viz. better crowd manage-

    ment, introduction of a metro and 

    turning the Hajj into an intellectual 

    festival. Chapter-12 entitled Halal 

    Tourism: Insights from Experts 

    in the Field by Vargas-Sanchez & 

    Moral-Moral describes the potential 

    of Halal Tourism especially in Spain 

    by undertaking a sample of 78 tour-

    ism related academics and industry 

    experts including the analysis of 

    existing literature of Halal Tourism. 

    Chapter-13 namely Battlefield Tour-

    ism: The Potential of Badr, Uhud, 

    and the Trench (Khandaq) Battles 

    for Islamic Tourism by Akbulut & 

    Ekin literature is relevant to Dark 

    Tourism. The authors elaborate 

    how and in what sense battles can 

    become tourist attractions. By quot-

    ing the Cu Chi Tunnels of Vietnam 

    War and the Western Front of the 

    First World War as examples of 

    battlefields turning into tourist 

    attractions, the relevance of historic 

    battles of Islam is relevant. Chap-

    ter-14 titled as Holy Foods and Reli-

    gious Tourism: Konya and Mevlevi 

    Cuisine by Yilmiz, Guines & Sormaz 

    discusses the relevance of holy food 

    for Islamic tourism with respect to 

    Konya and Mevlevi cuisine. Chap-

    ter-15 entitled as The Halal Tour-

    ism: A Business Model Opportunity 

    by Biancone & Secinaro explores 

    issues and concepts associated 

    with ethical tourism identified as 

    Halal tourism based on sustainabil-

    ity. Moreover, the authors demon-

    strate the ways to promote Halal

    Tourism in non-Muslim countries. 

    Chapter-16, Religious Practices 

    and Performance in Syrian Shi‘ite 

    Religious Tourism by Yasuda con-

    sidering literature along with own field research in Sayyedah Zeinab and other Shi’ite religious places in 

    Syria from 2007 to 2011, the author describes the religious practices 

    and performance in Syrian Shi’ite Religious tourism. Chapter-17 namely Constructs of Foot Pilgrim-age in Islam: 

    The Case of Arbaeen Ziyara by Mujtaba highlights the status of foot pilgrimage in Islam with special reference to Arbaeen Ziyara in Iraq. Chapter-18, Tab-lighi Jamaat: A Multidimensional Movement of Religious Travellers by Abbasi highlights the histori-cal context of Tablighi Jamaatwith respect to the religious travels (Dawah) and six points programme in context of religious tourism. 

    The work deals exclusively with the managerial aspect of Islamic tourism which indeed confirms a significant aspect of it. It focuses more on management of tourism as an industry and with respect to destinations and less in terms of definition and other necessary nuances of Islamic tourism. The contents of the book are significant to develop Islamic tourism as an industry at the global level. It also motivates relevant scholars and practitioners to delve deep and work for the enhancement and better management of the Islamic tourism industry. Moreover, it acknowledges the significance of further research in this field. Author is a Research Scholar at Shaha-

    i-Hamadan Institute of Islamic Studies, 

    University of Kashmir, Sringar. 

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