Cebu tourism stakeholders urged to bolster halal-friendly amenities

SunStar Local News
SunStar Local News

MALAYSIA’S top envoy to the Philippines has urged local tourism players to boost their halal-friendly amenities to capture a share in the industry that is expected to reach a value of US$7.7 trillion by 2025.

“We see this industry as one of the components that could develop the economy and livelihoods,” said Malaysian Ambassador Dato Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino bin Anthony during his visit to Cebu on Nov. 16, 2023.

Anthony urged tourism stakeholders to establish halal-friendly facilities to attract a share of the 1.8 billion Muslims who travel around the world, visiting tourism hotspots.

Collaborating with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), led by Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual and the DTI Halal Task Force team, the Malaysian Embassy aims to spearhead the Halal industry’s advancement in tourism.

Non-Muslim halal lovers

Anthony said the necessity for halal-certified amenities goes beyond the preferences of Muslim travelers, as there is a growing trend where non-Muslim travelers also favor halal-certified accommodations and dining options.

Halal is an Arabic term signifying “permissible” or “lawful” in English. It refers to actions, behaviors and food aligned with Islamic teachings. For many Muslims, consuming halal food is a practice in accordance with Islam’s teachings, signifying reverence for God. They believe halal food is healthier and more nutritious than non-halal alternatives.

Malaysia is also pushing for more direct flights from Cebu to Malaysia to boost tourism of both sides.

“We talked to Air Asia Airlines to see more direct connections, especially between Malaysia-Kuala Lumpur and Cebu,” Anthony said.

Anthony was in Cebu to host a seminar aimed at travel operators in the region.

Yazlina Azlin Yahya, the tourism director at the Malaysian Embassy in Manila, accompanied the diplomat.

The ambassador met with Acting Cebu City Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, Cebu Vice Gov. Hilario Davide III and represenatives from the Department of Tourism in Central Visayas.

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