Tourism is one of the leading sectors for the Indonesian government to increase foreign exchange. Indonesia has many tourist destinations that attract domestic and foreign tourists. In line with the development of Halal tourism trends, the Indonesian government has begun to develop several enclaves such as Lombok and Aceh as Halal destinations. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population of all countries in the world, and it is estimated that around 13 percent of the global Muslims live in the country. As a Muslim-majority country, it should be easier to implement Halal tourism than in other non-Muslim countries, but this is still a relatively new concept for Indonesians. In this vein, the main purpose of this research is to examine and contribute to understanding the Indonesian population's perception of Halal tourism. A structured questionnaire was employed to elicit responses from local people linked to tourism (namely tourism professionals, academics and students), concluding that extra training efforts are needed. The collective mental constructs about Halal tourism has been characterised (built around four axes: benefits, barriers, religiosity and attractiveness) and the main factors to be emphasised in order to gain people’ support have been identified (benefits and attractiveness, together with awareness about the spiritual dimensions of Halal tourism). Currently, support is clear, but moderate for the development of this type of tourism in Indonesia. With regard to appreciation of its spiritual dimension (that is, its focus on people’s inner wellbeing) compared with other dimensions (healthy and ecological), the spiritual imprint can be considered as the most necessary condition in gaining support for the positioning of Indonesia as a Halal tourism destination, while the others appear as optional. In addition to the above-mentioned conclusions, some recommendations have arisen, for instance, those related to the need for extra effort for the socialisation and promotion of Halalness in tourism. Finally, limitations of this research are recognised and some future research avenues are proposed.
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Vargas-Sanchez, Alfonso; Hariani, Dina; and Wijayanti, Ani
"Perceptions of Halal Tourism in Indonesia: Mental Constructs and Level of Support,"
International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage:
4, Article 5.
Available at: https://arrow.tudublin.ie/ijrtp/vol8/iss4/5