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Maia Estianty and Mandatory Certification of Umrah / Hajj Travel Organizers

Rabu, 16 Januari 2019 | 18:01

Jakarta – Maia Estianty looks very grateful and happy. This can be seen from her post on the @maiaestiantyreal Instagram account, this week (1/8). Maia and her two sons, Ahmad Al Ghazali (Al) and Abdul Qodir Jaelani (Dul) were doing Umrah in the Holy Land of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. 

Maia shared the moments of togetherness with her two sons while doing Umrah on her Instagram account. One of them, Maia uploaded a moment after performing a tawaf in front of the Masjidil Haram, Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Maia, wearing the black hijab, was accompanied by Al and Dul. They posed in front of the Ka'bah and thanked Allah SWT and prayed that their worship would be smooth and bring blessings. "Capture the moment after tawaf. Unceasingly grateful for the goodness of God, where I was met with the best partner of Allah @irwanmussry. Thank God." Maia wrote in her account and received comments for more than ten thousand comments. 

Maia Estianty is one of millions of Muslims in Indonesia who perform Umrah to the Holy Land. For Muslims, worshiping before the Ka'aba makes them feel closer to Allah SWT and grateful to be able to pray close to Allah SWT. Since the pilgrimage (Hajj) has a long waiting period or a long line of quota (around five or seven years), some Muslim communities in Indonesia choose Umrah, while waiting for the Hajj quota.

Commonly, Maia and other Indonesian Muslims use the services of the Hajj and Umrah travel agents to be able to go comfortably to the Holy Land. Even so, there are many problems that arise among the Umrah pilgrims or travellers. Many pilgrims failed to go to the Holy Land, even though cash payments had been paid to the travel agent. It turns out that the management in travel agent is not transparent and dishonest, so that it inflicts a financial loss to the pilgrims. 

For solemn worship, pilgrims should check the legality of the required Hajj and Umrah travel agents to obtain permits (issued by the Ministry of Religion). If the agent does not have this permit, it is likely that the travel agent does not have the competence as the Umrah Travel Service Provider (PPIU). This is a very important thing to be considered by prospective pilgrims to avoid a handful of fraudulent Hajj and Umrah travel agents.

In addition to the above problems, in the future, Umrah organizers are required to pass certification tests as mandated by Minister of Religion Regulation Number 8 of 2018 concerning the Implementation of Umrah and Decree of Director General of Hajj and Umrah (PHU) Number 337 of 2018. This obligation is applied no later than March 2019, as one of the main requirements for Umrah organizers to continue to operate.

This certification requirement is made due to the rampant cases of fraud by recalcitrant agents (with a value of up to trillions of rupiah), which raises concerns and big financial losses in the wider community. The Ministry of Religion also believes that the Umrah administration system needs to be improved so that the people will be safer and get guarantees in choosing Umrah packages.  

For this reason, Regulation of the Minister of Religion Number 8 of 2018 in Article 37, mandates the PPIU assessment process to be carried out by the certification body. PT Sucofindo (Persero), an integrated state-owned enterprise (BUMN) for inspection service, currently provides tour travel agency certification services (BPW), including providing certification services for PPIU. 

Herliana Dewi, as the Head of the Marketing and Sales Division (PPK) of Sucofindo, emphasized that PPIU's accreditation was an effort of all stakeholders to control the quality of the Umrah travel agency and instruments in controlling PPIU's permits.

In December 2018, Sucofindo handed over certificates to companies that had passed the BPW Certification assessment to 14 BPWs in East Java and provided socialization of preparations regarding the PPIU accreditation. The company, in this activity, collaborated with the Ministry of Religion of East Java Province, East Java Culture and Tourism Office, and Amphuri (Association of Muslim Hajj and Umrah Organizers of the Republic of Indonesia).

The BPW Umrah in East Java, which cooperates with Sucofindo as a partner in carrying out certification, includes Agung El Badr Wisata in Malang, Al Falah Wisata Iman and Elaf Indonesia in Lamongan. Then Em Abror, Al Refada Nusantara, Persada Duta Beliton, Qiswah Indonesia, Pilgrimage Conscience and Aminah in Surabaya, then Arwinda Putra Mandiri, Mabruro, Sa'yan Masykuro, and Sjava Barokah Makmur in Sidoarjo and Oky Raisa Nusantara in Gresik. The Umrah travel agents has passed the assessment from Sucofindo which is in accordance with Ministry of Religion regulations. 

Echwan Siswadi, Deputy Chairperson of Amphuri, said that the certification to agents in East Java is expected to foster public trust and be able to provide optimal services to prospective pilgrims of Hajj and Umrah. In the future, Amphuri will conduct collective certification for its members. "We are ready and willing to follow every rule issued by the government in the hope of a real improvement, especially for Amphuri members," said Echwan.

The Hajj and Umrah travel agents which are listed as Amphuri members are as many as 300 companies. The number of Amphuri members reached 38% of the total number of Hajj and Umrah travel agents in Indonesia, which amounted to 800 companies.

In the end, we wish you to have a pleasant Umrah and Hajj pilgrimage to the Holy Land with trusted travel ag