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Study on Shariah Compliant Hotel as a Sustainable Tourism Product: Parameter of workability and possibility.

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Nowadays the numbers of tourists are booming and it is expected to increase in the future. Apart of that, according to Malaysia Tourism, most tourist influx into Malaysia is coming from the Middle East and they are Muslim. Therefore, when they are
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  Study on Shariah Compliant Hotel as a Sustainable Tourism Product: Parameter of workability and possibility. Fauziah Hanum Abdullah 51015960 AAR4292 Ecologically Sustainable Design Department of Architecture, Kulliyah of Architecture and Environmental Design International Islamic University Malaysia,IIUM. Abstract  Nowadays the numbers of tourists are booming and it is expected to increase in the future. Apart of that, according to Malaysia Tourism, most tourist influx into Malaysia is coming from Middle East and they are Muslim. Therefore, when they are travel, the halal product will be their priority. This situation, inspires researches to introduce a new tourism industry; Shariah Compliant Hotel (SCH). It is a hotel providing accommodation, meals, and other services for tourists, by following Islamic principles. This concept of hotel is new in Malaysia and lots of ascertain thing were debated and suggested. However, it is not impossible to realize this Muslim product of hotel in so called multi-religion country-Malaysia. The objective of the study is to explain the compatibility of Shariah Compliant Hotel as part of Sustainable Tourism Product (STP) and analyze it in Malaysia context. Despite of the Shariah compliant hotel is already globalized, the scope of study is only in Malaysia environment. The finding of this research is vital in contributing towards achieving a hotel which is respecting the environment, improving the Muslim economic and as well as educate people the Islamic teaching. Keyword: Shariah Compliant Hotel, Sustainable Tourism Product 1.   INTRODUCTION Malaysia is a Muslim country with multi-religious people. They live harmony with different  beliefs. Despite of these multi-religious beliefs, tourists still come and stay for a while in Malaysia. According to UNWTO, Malaysia is one of the top destination choose by the tourist. Most tourist come to Malaysia are from Indonesia and Singapore. Apart of that, It shows that Malaysia is leading towards as a tourism destination among outbound Middle East tourists(Zakiah and Fadilah, 2013) . It is likely to increase in the future.. Unlike Western tourist, Halal product is most concern among Muslim tourists when travelled. Therefore, Malaysia is chosen because of the Halal services is easily provided and found in Malaysia to cater their stay and needs. Despite of Halal concerns in tourism, Shariah Compliant Hotel is one of tourism product that already embarked in the Middle East country yet not popular in Malaysia. Only 5 hotels claimed themselves practices Shariah Compliant Hotel (Hotel Grand Bluewave Shah Alam, Hotel De Palma Ampang, Ansar City Islamic Hotel, Mesra Inn Kuala Lumpur and Al-Tawa Islamic Hotel Langkawi)( Nur  ’  Hidayah et.al.,2012). Nevertheless, this tourism product grasps researchers ’  attentions to do some researches on Shariah Compliant Hotel to be able  applied in tourism infrastructure and hospitality services-Hotels, resorts, homestays, lodgings and etc. It is expected to give market value due to high demand from facts shown on the influx of Middle East tourist towards searching Halal product. Concerning on Halal product demands in tourism, sustainable tourism is also part of worldwide concerns. It is vital to ensure that the tourist attraction are managed and executed in a proper manner (Jayaraman et.al., 2010). There is increasing concern on sustainability of tourism industry. However, there is no study done to identify or to prove that Shariah Complaint Hotel is part of Sustainable Tourism. Therefore, this study is done to find out  parameter of workability and possibility of Shariah Compliant Hotel as a Sustainable Tourism Product and to propose some approach regarding this issue. Objectives of the study This paper attempts to understand Shariah Compliant Hotel and Sustainable Tourism product and identifies the indicators of Shariah Complaint Hotel as Sustainable Tourism product. The impact and policy recommendation for this Muslim friendly hotel product towards sustainable tourism are suggested to the industry players as well as the policy makers to be able applied in the industry. Hence, it helps to improve Islamic products in the eyes of consumer which nowadays havoc with Islamic phobia. 2.   THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK The paper framework of this study is divided into two (2) categories, which are as follows: • Understanding Shariah Compliant Hotel (SCH)  and Sustainable Tourism Product (STP) • Parameter of workability and possibility of Shariah Compliant Hotel as Sustainable Tourism Product 3.0   CONTENTC REVIEW 3.1   SHARIAH COMPLIANT HOTEL (SCH) AND SUSTAINABLE TOURISM PRODUCT (STP) 1.   Shariah Complaint Hotel (SCH) Shariah Compliant Hotel defines as a hotel where the services offered and financial transactions are based on Syariah principles. The compliance are not only limited to serving halal food and beverages, but all parameters that have been designed for health, safety, environment, and the benefits on economics of all mankind, regardless of race, faith or cultures(Muhammad, 2009). He also states SCH as a hotel that is governed by Shariah standard which is go beyond the concept of the Dry Islamic Hotel and follows the Islamic perspective in all aspects from cleaning to accounting practices. SCH also an operation hotel based on the tree sources which are Qur’an , hadith , and ijtihad in every aspect not just in operational but also in financial matters (Nisar and Khatkhatay, 2006). In conclusion, SCH is not only a hotel providing services of accommodation, meals, and other services for tourists without opposing the Shariah law, it is beyond that and compromises every sectors. Hence, as long as it is following the Islamic guideline, the hotel will claim as Shariah Complaint Hotel.    2.   Sustainable Tourism Product (STP) Sustainable tourism is the “development that meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future. It is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes,  biological diversity, and life support systems”  (UNWTO and UNEP, 2005). While sustainable tourism is the only way forward, putting it in practice is a challenge as it requires strong commitment and participation of all relevant stakeholders. Further, sustainable tourism calls for maintaining a high level of tourist satisfaction. Keeping tourists satisfied, however, is challenging, as they are heterogeneous in nature and seek different tourism products/experiences. Nevertheless, tourism product is a cluster of facilities, attractions and services that travellers experience during their travel circle which includes hospitality (Badarudin, 2012). This product differs with different needs of tourists ’  interest and preference. While interest and preference of tourists towards sustainable tourism is on the rise, the  proportion of those who would participate in sustainable tourism practices is however very much lower (Normala and Sofiah, 2011). According to Normala and Sofuah (2011), 38 percent said that environmentally-friendly tourism is a consideration when travelling, 38 percent had stayed at an environmentally friendly hotel, 9 percent specifically sought out such hotels, 34 percent were willing to pay more to stay in environmentally-friendly hotels, 37 percent are willing to pay a premium of at least 5-10 percent, and 24 percent  believed air travel should be avoided. This study shows the concerns of tourist nowadays on the sustainability factors on hotel developments. Therefore, this finding gives an opportunity to study on challenges on practising Shariah Compliant Hotel towards sustainable tourism. 3.2   PARAMETER OF WORKABILTY AND POSSIBILITY OF SHARIAH COMPLAINT HOTEL AS SUSTAINABLE TOURISM PRODUCT:. Compatibility and challenges of Shariah Compliant Hotel towards approaching as one of Sustainable tourism product will focus on the 12 aims or principles of sustainable tourism listed by UNWTO as guideline in this paper: 1.   ECONOMIC VIABILITY : To ensure the viability and competitiveness of tourism destinations and enterprises, so that they are able to continue to prosper and deliver benefits in the long term. For this principle, it encourages to understand first the market value of SCH by studies on the tourist satisfaction when stay in the SCH. Apart of that, it is stakeholders responsibilities to maintain good trading of SCH to be able survive among hotels competitions. SCH totally leading a healthy lifestyle, so there is not issue of lack of attraction from non muslim because Grand Bluewave Hotel in Shah Alam, proved that they can do it when they operates as SCH and competes with others 5 stars hotel.  2.   LOCAL PROSPERITY : To maximize the contribution of tourism to the prosperity of the host destination, including the proportion of visitor spending that is retained locally. If SCH diversify its products to be a Halal hub, it will extend length of visitors’  stay. This is part of influencing tricks to make tourists spend their money. Halal is not only compromises for Muslim, but for western, it means clean or hygiene. Besides, Malaysia knows as one of country provided halal products, this is one of opportunity to market SCH to the tourist. 3. EMPLOYMENT QUALITY : To strengthen the number and quality of local jobs created and supported by tourism, including the level of pay, conditions of service and availability to all without discrimination by gender, race, disability or in other ways. In SCH, segregation services are emphasised. This creates an opportunity for employment rate and proportion for jobs in hospitality services for Muslim people. Despites of that, the hotel management can provide skills training programmes and career advancement on hotelier focusing more on Islamic hospitality. Nevertheless, SCH concerns on well-being of workers or staffs who promote the services by providing enough facilities for them because the staffs is the main player in promoting SCH. 4. SOCIAL EQUITY : To seek a widespread distribution of economic and social benefits from tourism throughout the recipient community, including improving opportunities, income and services available to the poor. SCH can also associate with CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) which is emphasised on helping society while marketing their hotels. Basically, conversational hotel will call out a few rooms for social event or programmes to stay. Utilization the income earning from tourism is part of hotel responsibility to help the society. However, for SCH, it is same applied through the zakat implementation in the financial hospitality system. 5. VISITOR FULFILMENT : To provide a safe, satisfying and fulfilling experience for visitors, available to all without discrimination by gender, race, disability or in other ways.  SCH can monitor quality of tourist services by providing services for different genders. For example, female guest can enjoy their recreation in the hotel because SCH emphasizes on segregation to cater privacy and safety mostly for female guest. This segregation facility applies through different time consuming of swimming pool or separate swimming pools, gym facilities and spas. Apart of that, there is also SCH who segregate the guestroom planning by floor level to enhance the guest privacy.  Nevertheless, Man staff will entertain family-oriented guest and male guest while female staffs for female guest and satisfy their needs and quality of experience in the SCH. 6. LOCAL CONTROL : To engage and empower local communities in planning and decision making about the management and future development of tourism in their area, in consultation with other stakeholders. When built up a hotel, SCH must consider the neighbourhood communities concerns ’  and respect the others need. It must be discuss first among the stakeholder and  communities in order to get understanding and approval from any point of view.  Nevertheless, SCH should address the specific position of indigenous and traditional communities with respect to local control and ensuring appropriate engagement. 7. COMMUNITY WELLBEING : To maintain and strengthen the quality of life in local communities, including social structures and access to resources, amenities and life support systems, avoiding any form of social degradation or exploitation. In this context, SCH should get the balance right in the volume, timing and location of visits in order to avoid congestion. This can be done by careful planning, strategies and management of hotel design. SCH can promote mutual use of facilities and services by residents and guest (tourist) such as an open access of main restaurant for local and tourist and specialty restaurant privately for guest only. 8 . CULTURAL RICHNESS : T o respect and enhance the historic heritage, authentic culture, traditions and distinctiveness of host communities . Malaysia is rich with its own culture. This diversity attracts tourist to learn more on Malaysia. Therefore, one of suggestion for hotel is by promoting the cultural value or essence directly in the hotel design. It should not only focus on physical form as exposed  by hotel Royal Chulan Kuala Lumpur, but more than that. This cultural richness may adapt in SCH through whole hospitality services. For example, staffs cloth and etc in advance of promoting the culture and traditions of local. 9 . PHYSICAL INTEGRITY : To maintain and enhance the quality of landscapes, both urban and rural, and avoid the physical and visual degradation of the environment.  SCH not encourages on wastage and degrade the environment. When constructing a SCH, the developers must minimise physical impact from the construction and operation. Thus, ensures that SCH is appropriate to built with local environment conditions. 10. BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY : To support the conservation of natural areas, habitats and wildlife, and minimize damage to them.  SCH may work together with National Parks and other protected areas including private  parks and reserves parks by introduced it in the hotel brochure to attract more tourist to appreciate nature and at the same time promoting education tourism. This is part of support SCH can done for conservation of nature. 11. RESOURCE EFFICIENCY : To minimize the use of scarce and non-renewable resources in the development and operation of tourism facilities and services.  12. ENVIRONMENTAL PURITY : To minimize the pollution of air, water and land and the generation of waste by tourism enterprises and visitors For 11 and 12 indicators, SCH may follow guideline from GBI on criteria’s  of efficient energy, indoor environment quality, sustainable site planning and management, material and resource, water efficiency and innovation for hotel design. This tool can be indicator
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