Philippines hopes to serve their Muslim tourists better

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DUBAI – Participating for another year at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the Philippines hopes to serve their Muslim tourists better, an official from the Department of Tourism (DOT) said.

Stalingrad F. Samson from the Market Development Group, Tourism Development Sector, in the DOT admitted that although the Philippines is not fully one hundred percent Halal ready for their Muslim travelers, private sectors such as hotels and restaurants have stepped up their capacities to cater to those needs.

The DOT official shared that there are already some hotels that have Halal kitchens or are already Halal certified.

“Majority of our Middle Eastern tourists come from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Next is the United Arab Emirates (UAE),” he mentioned.

Speaking to Kabayan Weekly, Norsan Almeda, Director of Sales from Chroma Hospitality, said that they currently have hotel establishments in the Philippines that have Halal kitchens and have been Halal certified.

Chroma Hospitality handles Crimson Hotels, Quest Hotels, Canvas Hotels, and the Azure Beach Club. She stated that their Crimson Hotel in Cebu has been Halal certified since 2010.

“Muslim travelers usually come in big numbers as they love to travel as a family,” the director of sales said.

Crimson Hotels do not just have a Halal kitchen but also have prayer rooms, a Quran, a Qibla, and prayer mats in its rooms.

Almeda mentioned that their Muslim tourists were just as important as their other guests as they usually stay at least a week or a month in one location.

“What we have noticed is that they like to stay in one location and explore the place at their own pace,” she added.

The director of sales said that she hopes that other hotel establishments follow by adding services such as a prayer mats with a Qibla in the room or a Halal menu.

She mentioned that the smallest things matter in hospitality. Allowing their guests to have a wider option during their stay would mean a lot and leave a positive impact.

Giving the audiences a glimpse of what the Philippines has to offer, a fashion show showcasing intricate Philippine designs from a Philippine-based designer and an entertaining performance by human beatboxer Neil Rey Garcia Llanes from “Asia’s Got Talent” entertained the crowd.

Held at the Dubai World Trade Center from April 24 to April 27, the ATM had numerous countries participating from all over the world such as South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, and India.

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