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PH is designated as a Muslim-friendly location.

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said on Friday night that the Philippines had been selected as the year’s Emerging Muslim-friendly Destination at the esteemed Halal in Travel Global Summit 2023.

The Halal in Travel Global Summit 2023 honors places, groups, businesses, and people who have significantly influenced the travel market for Muslims.

On June 1, the Philippines received the award for Emerging Muslim-friendly Destination of the Year (non-Organisation of Islamic Cooperation member), granted to places that cater to Muslim tourists’ special requirements and preferences.

“This award is a testament to our collective efforts to establish the Philippines as a top tourist destination for Muslims and to expand our portfolio of halal tourism across our regions strategically. The opportunity to promote our nation’s rich and diversified cultural history, which is particularly obvious in our Muslim communities, as well as our breathtakingly beautiful travel locations, like Mindanao, is greatly increased by this global recognition, according to Frasco.

With arrivals of Muslim travelers anticipated to reach 140 million by the end of 2023 and around 230 million in succeeding years, with predicted expenditures of USD225 billion by 2028, the Muslim travel market is considered to considerably boost the expansion of the global tourism industry.

The National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2023–2028 in the Philippines, developed by the Department of Tourism, has prioritized halal tourism.

The DOT has also provided a comprehensive range of amenities and services for Muslim tourists.

These include creating a comprehensive list of Halal-certified restaurants, working to increase the number of tourism businesses that have received this certification, conducting Halal awareness training for industry participants, and disseminating information on the traveler’s values, beliefs, and customs of Muslims.

Recognizing global trends and Muslim travelers’ preferences, the DOT is pursuing sustainable tourism development initiatives. Most recently, it signed a significant agreement with the world’s largest health and wellness travel company, Agora, to position the Philippines as a high-quality medical and wellness travel service provider, particularly to the Middle Eastern market.

Along with leading the Mindanao Tourism Convergence in Zamboanga City in cooperation with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of National Defense, it also successfully staged the MICECON in Davao early this year and arranged the first Mindanao Tourism Expo.

DOT Undersecretary Myra Paz Valderrosa-Abubakar presented the award on behalf of CrescentRating, HalalTrip, and the DOT in honor of the work done by the Philippine government and tourism stakeholders.

According to her, “We hope to continue the great strides on tourism promotion and economic boost in our country for our Muslim brothers and sisters who are arriving in the Philippines and who are undoubtedly welcome to visit and explore our more than 7,000 islands with majestic white sand beaches and warm people.”

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