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The significance of partnership as a marketing strategy for Islamic spiritual tourism

Farooq Muhammad Haq (School of Business Administration, Canadian University of Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Journal of Islamic Marketing

ISSN: 1759-0833

Article publication date: 3 June 2014




This paper aims to highlight the significance of partnership among stakeholders as a marketing strategy for Islamic spiritual tourism. Partnership as a marketing strategy is studied by interviewing stakeholders on the supply side of Islamic tourism. Only recently, Islamic spiritual tourism has been identified, not recognised yet, as a growing segment of Islamic tourism that needs to be effectively marketed.


Convenient sampling was used in this exploratory research to select and interview tourism operators selling in-bound and out-bound Islamic spiritual tourism in Australia and Pakistan. Cross-case content analysis was used to identify critical themes related to marketing Islamic spiritual tourism.


Three issues emerged from the content analysis in this study: political, commercial and religious. The management of these three issues is found necessary to effectively build and implement horizontal partnerships among stakeholders on the supply side in Islamic spiritual tourism.

Research limitations/implications

The selected sample is not the representation of the population based in the two countries. Only few potential participants agreed to be interviewed due to the perceived threat of manipulation of their views. Findings of this research contribute to the theory of marketing Islamic tourism specifically, and tourism in general.

Practical implications

The three issues found in this study provide a guideline for crafting strategies to market Islamic spiritual tourism based on local and global partnerships.

Social implications

The three issues found in this study provide a platform for cultural understanding and coherence.


This original study advocates partnerships among tourism operators, government bodies, destination managers and religious organisations involved in Islamic spiritual tourism. The structure and implementation of partnerships should critically consider the political, commercial and religious issues.



It is to acknowledge that this paper has gone through the peer review process organised and conducted by Dr T.C. Melewar and Dr Sharifah Alwi. Their critical feedback made a significant contribution towards the final shape of this research paper. The author is grateful to both of them for their time and dedication to see this paper through.

The author is also thankful to the editor of the Journal of Islamic Marketing, Dr Jonathon Wilson, for his guidance towards the final publication of this paper.


Muhammad Haq, F. (2014), "The significance of partnership as a marketing strategy for Islamic spiritual tourism", Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 258-272.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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