On Nov. 2, the Tourism Ministry hosted a sarasehan (forum) event that talked about halal tourism, also known as family-friendly tourism, at Sofyan Menteng Hotel in Jakarta.
A total of 50 people from cities such as Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang and Yogyakarta came to the event as well as representatives of several hotels, travel agents, spa places and communities that work in the family-friendly tourism business.
“Halal tourism will be a big contributor to the national income by 2020. In 2016 Indonesia was ranked the third in the Global Moslem Travel Index [GMTI] after Malaysia and United Arab Emirates [UAE]. We are aiming to take the first spot in 2019,” told ministry's deputy assistant for cultural tourism destination development, Lokot Ahmad Enda.
Lokot added that the meeting was to discuss the development of halal tourism together with halal tourism industry players.
According to the ministry’s head of family friendly tourism acceleration team Riyanto Sofyan, up to 10 programs are currently being prepared by the ministry to develop halal tourism in Indonesia with three of them are in the top priorities.
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“We promote these programs by taking part in tourism exhibitions abroad such as ITB Berlin and ITB Asia. This month, there will be a familiarization trip by Al Jazeera that wants to do a reporting on halal tourism in Indonesia,” said Riyanto.
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya wanted to follow the global standard that has been made by the GMTI.
“Through the global standard we can see where we stand in the global market scene and understand our strengths and weaknesses,” told Arief.
Halal tourism in Indonesia has earned numerous international awards, including three awards at the World Halal Tourism Award 2015 in Abu Dhabi and 12 awards at the same event last year.
Indonesia is targeting to attract around three million Muslim tourists this year and five million tourists in 2019. In 2016 up to 2.7 million Muslim tourists reportedly visited Indonesia. (kes)