The Halal Fair in the Philippines aims to promote Muslim-friendly tourism

The event is organized by the Philippine Department of Tourism to promote Halal-certified and Muslim-friendly tourism products and services.

Tourism is a major sector in the Philippines, and its government has recently been trying to attract more Muslim visitors by ensuring they have access to halal goods and services.

The three-day event, launched in Quezon City, is the first expo hosted entirely by the tourism industry and aims to expand the Philippines’ “halal tourism offerings, ensuring it maintains its reputation for hospitality, inclusiveness and cultural sensitivity. ” said Tourism Secretary Cristina Frasco during the introduction.

“In conjunction with our National Tourism Development Plan, we have prioritized Halal tourism to strengthen our Halal tourism sector, raise awareness among tourism stakeholders about the values ​​and practices important to Muslim travelers, and ensure our competitiveness in the global tourism market. .”

According to the National Commission for Muslim Filipinos, Muslims make up about 12 million of the Philippines’ majority Catholic population of nearly 120 million.

They live mostly on the island of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago in the south of the country, forming the third largest Muslim community in Southeast Asia after Indonesia and Malaysia.

„Islamic influence in the Philippines is deeply rooted in our history and culture, especially in the southern part of Mindanao. This region, rich in natural beauty and cultural diversity, is a testament to the harmonious coexistence of different cultures and traditions. Mindanao, with its lush landscapes, beautiful beaches and vibrant communities, is a symbol of our nation. Integral,” Frasco said.

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“Our efforts to become a more Muslim-friendly destination are not only an invitation to Muslim travelers to come to the Philippines, but also a recognition of the significant contribution of our Muslim communities across the country. These Islamic influences enrich our heritage as a nation and add to the vibrant tapestry of Philippine culture.

Last month, the Philippines was recognized as an emerging Muslim-friendly non-Islamic cooperation destination by the Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index.

The Index is an annual report that ranks destinations in the Muslim travel market.

In 2023, the Philippines won the award and stepped up efforts to attract visitors from the Middle East.

The country has welcomed more than 2 million international travelers since the beginning of 2024 and marked a 10 percent increase in visitors from the Persian Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, one of the Philippine government’s key emerging market targets.

The tourism sector expects to welcome 10,000 visitors to the SALAAM exhibition, especially foreign tourists, halal business owners and entrepreneurs.

The event features exhibitions, workshops, networking sessions and cooking demonstrations by renowned chefs.

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„The theme of this year’s expo, 'Celebrating Excellence in Philippine Halal Tourism, Innovation and Culture,’ perfectly embodies our rich heritage, innovative spirit and commitment to creating an inclusive environment,” said Quezon City Mayor Josefina Belmont. said during the opening ceremony of the program.

„As we move forward, we will recognize the value of collaboration between government agencies, the private sector, local communities and international partners. Together, we can create a thriving halal ecosystem that benefits everyone.

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Source: Arabic News

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