ILOILO CITY, July 13 (PIA6) – The Department of Tourism (DOT)-6 is looking into ways and means to attract more tourists from Muslim countries to visit Western Visayas.
In a media release, DOT-6 Regional Director Helen Catalbas said her office will soon conduct consultation dialogues with tourism stakeholders in the region on improving and putting up more Muslim-friendly destinations.
“For the past years, there has been a steady increase in tourist arrivals coming from predominantly-Muslim countries,” she said.
In 2017, some 26,478 tourists from Middle Eastern countries visited Western Visayas.
“Obviously there is still a large market waiting to be tapped,” she said.
Meanwhile, DOT aims to gear the Philippines towards being globally competitive for the Muslim tourist market by encouraging tourism stakeholders to ensure the suitability of their services for Muslim guests.
Factors to be considered are the suitability of the country as a holiday destination, family friendliness and safety, availability of Muslim-friendly services and facilities at tourism destinations, and Halal awareness.
DOT Undersecretary Arturo P. Boncato Jr. explained that this small act can go beyond sending a welcome signal to our Muslim visitors.
“It will help foster respect, unity and peace, as well. For instance, property owners and managers can install ‘qiblah’ (Muslim prayer directions) sign in hotel rooms and provide a common ‘Musalla’ (prayer area) for our Muslim guests,” he said.
On one hand, Catalbas said this objective can be achieved if and only if the entire government and private sector communities will cooperate.
“That is why every opinion regarding this matter counts,” she added. (JBG/DOT/LTP/PIA-Iloilo)
Source: PIA Feed