Exploring Challenges in Providing Muslim Friendly Tourism Services in Northern Japan: A Case Study in Akita Prefecture
Nor Zafir Md Salleh, Roshazlizawati Md Nor, Nurul Azhani Mohd Azmin
Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Management, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
Zakiah Samori, Norazmi Anas
Academy of Contemporary Islamic Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA
This study attempts to explore the challenges and hurdles in providing Muslim friendly facilities in a non-Muslim tourist destination with special attention given to Akita Prefecture, Japan. Every challenge is identified and carefully examined. This study adopts a qualitative approach where the conceptual authoritative literature in the related field is utilized based on content analysis. Also, it employs semi-structured expert interviews to gather views from the supply side of tourism activities at Akita Prefecture using purposive sampling technique. This study further reveals that, several difficulties including the language barrier, missing link between tour companies in destination and origin countries and lack of information on Muslim tourist needs are amongst the major obstacles to develop Akita Prefecture as Muslim friendly tourist destination and thus recommends further viable reforms and action plan could be taken to overcome this hindrance.
Keywords: Islamic tourism, Muslim tourists needs, Muslim friendly services, Akita Prefecture, non-Muslim tourists destination