The holy Quran describes human life as a journey, human knowledge as light and human ignorance as darkness and presents the entire universe as an important source of spiritual inspiration, contemplation and reflection about our past and future. Tourism in such a context becomes a means for apprehending the reality of human existence encouraging new insights into the ways in which we conceptualize, explore and investigate travel related phenomena and associated experiences.
Islamic tourism is an emerging field focusing on a range of activities undertaken by Muslims spanning from hajj and pilgrimage to leisure and business travel. Islam is the second largest religion in the world after Christianity and there are an estimated 1.8 billion Muslims around the world.
The principle aim behind this new journal is a timely reassessment of the increasing demand of Islamic Tourism Destinations on a global stage, and the need to explore key learning points from a range of contemporary case studies of religious and pilgrimage activities, related to ancient, sacred and emerging tourist destinations and new forms of pilgrimage within an Islamic context.
Islamic tourism generally describes tourism primarily undertaken by Muslims and within this broad notion of Islamic tourism, motivations are not always or entirely religious. Muslim travellers can pursue leisure experiences that are same as in the case of non-Muslim travellers, albeit within parameters set by Islam, and destinations are not necessarily locations where Shari'a or full Islamic law is enacted. The concept for Islamic tourism includes visions and ideas that outline the inclusion of Islamic religious-cultural sites such as shrines, tombs, old battle sites, ancient pilgrim routes. Demand for leisure travel by Muslims is mounting in parallel with the expanding Muslim population worldwide. The World Travel and Tourism Council calculates that Muslim travellers generated US$140 billion (S$192 billion) for the global tourism and it was forecast that the market was worth US$238 billion by 2019.