EVALUATING THE ROLE OF HALAL FOOD IN MALAYSIA AS AN EDU-TOURISM HUB: THE CASE OF MUSLIM INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Eshaby Mustafa

Abstract


Edu-tourism is now an alternative strategy to the mass tourism development effort. Therefore, it is of importance to study the factors that may boost Edu-tourism for Malaysia as a halal hub. This paper focuses on evaluating the food choice experiences for the Muslim international students studying in Malaysia, for the purpose of understanding the issue and offering solution to support their well-being. The area of Muslim international students' acculturation experiences has been documented in extant literature. The process and issues when making halal food choice upon migration however, received little attention compared to other studies concerning international students’ experiences. For the aim to explore the Muslim international students’ halal food choice experiences, two methods of qualitative approaches were applied; using accompanied food shopping observation, followed by an in-depth interview with new international students. The findings identified the halal food perception, the factors that influence the halal food choice and the food adjustment strategy as the themes emerged from the observation and interviews. The study further extends the knowledge on the halal food choice experience and elucidates the importance of halal food management in Edu-tourism. Future studies related to food choice could be extended to a wider international group to provide a significantly valuable lens towards the literature on acculturation experiences and managing halal food choice for Edu-tourism practitioners.


Keywords


Edu-tourism, halal food choice, acculturation, Muslim international students.

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