PH wins ‘Emerging Muslim-friendly Destination’ award

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 3) — The Philippines was named the 2023 "Emerging Muslim-friendly Destination of the Year" at the Halal in Travel Global Summit, which recognizes places that “cater to the unique needs and preferences of Muslim travelers."

“This award is an affirmation of our collaborative efforts towards positioning the Philippines as a preferred destination for Muslim travelers, and strategically developing our Halal Tourism portfolio across our regions,” Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said Saturday in a statement.

“This global recognition also opens up enormous opportunities for our country to introduce our rich and diverse culture and heritage evident in our Muslim communities, and our immensely beautiful destinations, including Mindanao,” she added.

The Philippines received the award on Thursday in Singapore. It is granted to a country that is a non-member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, an intergovernmental organization of Muslim-majority countries.

To further cater to Muslim travelers, the agency said it conducted a comprehensive inventory of Halal-certified dining options, as well as increased Halal accreditations for tourism enterprises nationwide.

It added that Halal Awareness Orientations were also conducted and information on Muslim travelers' values, beliefs, and practices was also disseminated.

This year, the Halal in Travel Global Summit gathered stakeholders to discuss the “latest trends in halal travel, strategies for catering to Muslim travelers, the impact of COVID-19 on the halal travel market, and the future of halal travel.”

According to the Department of Tourism, Muslim travelers are expected to reach 140 million in 2023 and 230 million in the succeeding years with estimated expenditures of $225 billion by 2028.