The Business Potential of Religious-Based Tourism in Indonesia

November, 2021.

“This post is written by Ardyanti Nila,, Market Research & Business Development at PT Indonesia Research Institute Japan Jakarta, a global management consulting firm on business strategy.”


Tourism is one of the main economic drivers in a country. The important role of the tourism sector is to become a source of foreign exchange earnings for the country and encourage national economic growth, especially in reducing the number of unemployed and increasing the productivity of a country. The contribution of the tourism sector in Indonesia currently accounts for 4.3% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and will be targeted to reach 10 until 12 percent within the next 5 to 10 years. With this target, the Indonesian government is strongly committed to economic recovery through the tourism sector.

Indonesia has huge tourism potential. In addition to the potential of wealth and beauty of the nature, the composition of the population as the largest moslem country in the world can also be an attractive potential to develop the religious tourism business in Indonesia. 86.88% of the population in Indonesia is moslem. Even, based on data from the World Population Review, Indonesia is the country with the largest moslem population in 2021, which is there are 231 million people. In second place, Pakistan with a moslem population of 212.3 million people and in third place is India with a moslem population of 200 million people. This potential can provide a great opportunity for the tourism sector in Indonesia to start to rise after the covid period.

The development of the religious tourism business in Indonesia will be very prospective in the future because it has excellent support from the Government of Indonesia. The Indonesian Government is committed to developing halal tourism which is currently predicted to increase globally. In 2019, the Mastercard Crescentrating Global Travel Index (GMTI) predicts that there will be 230 million moslem tourists globally by 2026. In line with this prediction, the Global Islamic Economy Report states, the velocity of money from world halal tourism is predicted to increase, from 177 billion dollars. US (2017) to 274 billion dollars by 2023.

Similar to global developments, the potential for religious-based tourism in Indonesia will develop very well in the future because the growth of moslem tourists from both domestic and international tourism is predicted to increase significantly until 2024. Domestic moslem tourist travel in Indonesia has the potential to grow 5.8 percent or increase to 352.8 million in 2024. Meanwhile, international moslem tourist arrivals into the country could reach 24 million or grow 7.5 percent.

The prospect of Indonesia to develop religion-based tourism through halal tourism has been recognized worldwide. Indonesia has received many international awards in terms of organizing halal tourism, one of which is as the best halal tourism in the world according to the Global Moslem Travel Index (GMTI) outperforming 130 other participating countries. Not only that, Indonesia also managed to get 12 out of 16 awards at the 2016 World Halal Tourism Award in Abu Dhabi. Through this good track record of achievements, the Indonesian government is very optimistic that the development of the halal tourism sector in Indonesia will be successful. The total potential for halal tourism in Indonesia is recorded at more than USD 1.6 trillion or around Rp. 22.9 quadrillion (an exchange rate of Rp. 14,334 per US dollar) and this potential opens opportunities for the global tourism industry for quality tourism needs for moslem tourists.

The great commitment of the Indonesian government to the success of the religious-based tourism sector needs to be supported by various parties, especially domestic investors and foreign investors through direct foreign investment (PMA). This commitment is also pursued through various ways, start from infrastructure development to improving licensing facilities to make it easier. So that, it is hoped that more foreign business players will invest in Indonesia. The development of religious tourism will focus on the development of public infrastructure, the provision of public facilities, and the development of tourism facilities with halal or religious standards.


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Reference :

Kemenparekraf/Baparekraf RI (2021). Potensi Pengembangan Wisata Halal di Indonesia. Retrieved from

Kata Data Publication Team (2021). Menparekraf: Kontribusi Pariwisata Ditargetkan 12 Persen dari PDB. Retrieved from

Wulandhari, Retno (2020). Potensi Besar Wisata Halal Setelah Pandemi. Retrieved from


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