Nantou pushes halal program to draw Muslim visitors
Nantou County in central Taiwan is encouraging local hotels and restaurants to become certified Muslim-friendly establishments. The push is part of a bid to attract more Muslim tourists from Southeast Asia.
The county is home to eight of the hundred-plus establishments across Taiwan that are already halal-certified.
The county’s secretary-general, Hung Jui-chi, says that the county government has been working to tap into the Southeast Asian travel market after Chinese tourist numbers dropped off two years ago. The certification program allows local businesses to accommodate the large number of Muslim travelers from Southeast Asia.
Hung says that in addition to starting to prepare halal food, hotels must also make other adjustments in order to be certified. These include pointers in hotel rooms showing the direction of Mecca for prayer purposes.
Hung says the county government is working with the International Muslim Tourism Industry Development Association to make Nantou a more welcoming place for Muslim visitors.