Taiwan was recognized as the “Inclusive Destination of the Year” among nations that are not members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at the Halal in Travel Awards this year.
The awards were held on Wednesday last week by Singapore-based CrescentRating, which annually collaborates with Mastercard on the Global Muslim Travel Index. The awards were held for the first time to recognize travel destinations, organizations, companies and individuals with a profound impact on Halal tourism.
For a second year, the index also ranked Taiwan as the second-most attractive destination among nations that are not part of the OIC. Last year, Taiwan and the UK tied for second place.
Photo: Reuters
The Tourism Bureau said Taiwan received the “Inclusive Destination of the Year” honor mainly because of its index rating this year.
“The award not only showed that Taiwan has successfully integrated travel resources for Muslim travelers, but also that the international community has recognized Taiwan for being a country that is safe to visit and respects religious freedom,” the bureau said.
Receiving the award on behalf of Taiwan in an online ceremony, Tourism Bureau Deputy Director-General Trust Lin (林信任) thanked the award organizer for recognizing Taiwan’s efforts to create a Muslim-friendly travel environment.
A pavilion is to be set up at the Taiwan Culinary Exhibition in August to showcase Muslim cuisine and culture, Lin told the ceremony, adding that Taiwan welcomes Muslim visitors to visit in the post-COVID-19 era.
In this year’s index, Singapore maintained its No. 1 status among nations that are not part of the OIC, while Thailand and the UK tied for third.
The index continued to rate Taiwan among the top nations in terms of transportation, travel safety and religious freedom, the bureau said, adding that Taiwan and Malaysia shared the top spot in the category of marketing to Muslims.
In marketing, Taiwan scored higher this year than last year, it said.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted global travel, Taiwan never stopped marketing itself to Muslim tourists, it said.
Since last year, the bureau has published two manuals on hosting Muslim travelers.
Four 10-minute films on traveling to Taiwan are to be released this month to target Muslims in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, the bureau said.
“We will continue to subsidize the hotel industry to build Muslim-friendly facilities, provide guidance for halal food and travel certification, and provide training on dealing with Muslim tourists,” the bureau said, adding that more Muslim tourists are expected once cross-border tourism resumes.
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