In order to attract Muslim tourists who are reluctant to travel to Korea due to food problems, a major domestic halal restaurant publicity event is held.
The Korea Tourism Organization (KOTRA) announced Monday that it will hold a ‘Halal Restaurant Week’ event, offering discounts to foreign tourists at 107 Muslim-friendly restaurants nationwide from September 1 to October 31.
About 980,000 Muslim tourists visited Korea last year, and about 490,000 Muslims visited this year by the end of last month. Many Malaysian and Indonesian tourists, especially Muslim tourists from Southeast Asia, are pandering pork for religious reasons.
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However, as many restaurants in Korea use pork and its by-products, many Southeast Asian tourists are having trouble with their meals during sightseeing in Korea. Last year, 68% of Muslim tourists who visited the Ministry of Tourism’s ‘Survey on Muslim Tourism’ found that the biggest disadvantage was food in Korea.
For Muslim tourists who are experiencing discomfort with their meals, the event will provide information on restaurants that offer halal food to help them tour Korea with confidence through the ‘Muslim Friendly Restaurant Classification System’ operated by the Korea Tourism Organization last year.
The ‘Muslim Friendly Restaurant Classification System’ is a certification system that makes it possible to classify restaurants suitable for Muslims according to individual beliefs and preferences by classifying them into four types: Halal official certification, self-certification, Muslim-friendly and fork-free.
Kim Sung-hoon, head of the Asian Middle East Tourism Team, said, “We will further explore participating companies in order to connect with various experiences in Korea such as Korean food, Hanbok experience, department store shopping, museum.”
During the ceremony, the Korea Tourism Organization will cooperate with local travel agencies and airlines in Asia and the Middle East to distribute coupon books and provide 107 discount restaurants, free drinks and additional side menus to foreigners. Halal food demonstrations and tasting events will also be held at the The Plaza Hotel on the 7th of the following month, at 11 am, inviting famous Muslim chefs.