Indonesian halal tourism founder receives title of honorary professor from Uzbekistan university

Chairman of Indonesia Halal Lifestyle Center Dr. H. Sapta Nirwandar (right) received the Honorary Professor title from Silk Road International University of Tourism and Cultural Heritage Uzbekistan in early December 2021. (Photo: By courtesy)

Sapta Nirwandar who has been well-known as the father of Indonesian halal tourism recently received a title of Honorary Professor from Silk Road International University of Tourism and Cultural Heritage, Uzbekistan.

The award ceremony for the former Deputy Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia for the 2011-2014 period was held on December 1, 2021 in Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan.


The award was handed over directly by Prof. J. Hoffmann, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Silk Road International University of Tourism and Cultural Heritage.

The highest academic award was given to Dr. Sapta Nirwandar, who currently serves as Chairman of the Indonesia Halal Lifestyle Center, as a tribute to his great contributions in the development of the global halal tourism industry, which is also a special concern of the University in Tashkent.

At the end of his quarantine period after returning from Uzbekistan, Sapta Nirwandar explained three reasons making him to receive the title.


First, he was raised by parents who both worked as teachers.

“When I got my doctorate degree from Sorbonne University, Paris, my late mother encouraged me to continue studying until I got a professorship,” the former Chair of the Alumni Association of Padjadjaran University recalled.

Second, his passion is in education. Since getting his doctorate degree in france, Sapta Nirwandar has been actively teaching at various universities in Indonesia, including Gadjah Mada University, Padjadjaran University, Sahid University, and University of Indonesia. He never stops sharing his knowledge and experiences in various scientific fields.


Third, his struggling to create halal tourism in Indonesia has been highlighted by Silk Road International University of Tourism and Cultural Heritage, which happens to have several academic collaborations with Sahid University, where he teaches.

“I am honored to be awarded the Honorary Professor because the award is based on what I have built and strived for so far,” said Sapta, who has been involved in building the halal tourism industry in Indonesia since serving as Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism in 2001.

After officially assuming the title of professor, Sapta Nirwandar expressed his commitment to more vibrantly deliver messages of civilization, especially regarding the Indonesian halal tourism industry which he believes would have a tremendous economic and social impacts on Indonesia.


“This is a public communication problem that we want to achieve. Maybe now I am a standalone or single fighter struggling for it, but I will never stop. For me this is a worship. There are still many people who do not understand the concept of halal tourism itself. Even when the president launched halal tourism as a priority, there are still many policy makers who do not understand how to make it happen,” he said.

Prior to receiving his professor, on November 29, 2021, Sapta Nirwandar was asked to fill a lecture at Tashkent University of Economics which was part of the series of events of The Tashkent University of Economics Celebrated 90th Anniversary.

On that occasion the originator of the Sharia Tourism campaign program explained the ‘Halal Lifestyle Global Trend and Business Opportunity’ which discussed 10 sectors of halal lifestyle, namely, halal food, Islamic finance, halal cosmetic, modest fashion, halal pharmaceutical, medical care, media recreation, Islamic creative economy and art culture, as well as education and halal tourism.


He emphasized that the ten halal lifestyle sectors should be worked on in parallel because they have huge market potentials in promoting the halal industry to the global economy.

In this regard, the Global Islamic Economy report states that the circulation of money from world halal tourism is predicted to reach 274 billion dollars in 2023, and that means the Indonesian halal tourism industry should work hard in order to capture this golden opportunity.

It is fortunate that Indonesia has Sapta Nirwandar who has tirelessly fought for the advancement of Indonesia’s halal tourism for many years.


Author: Dr. (Cand.) Tria Patrianti, M.I.Kom [a lecturer of Communication Studies Program at Muhammadiyah University Jakarta (UMJ) who is also a researcher of Halal Industry Communication]

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