Indonesia has huge potential to develop halal tourism, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, said at the 2021 Virtual Halal Science Conference (VIHASC) on Tuesday.
“Aside from having the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia also has diverse tourism destinations that can contribute to the development of halal tourism,” Uno highlighted at the launch of the event.
Halal tourism is a segment of tourism that targets Muslim travelers. In order to be categorized as a halal tourism destination, a destination needs to meet a number of requirements. These include serving halal food, providing facilities for prayers, and offering services that cater to Muslim travelers, the minister said.
This potential has been elevated for Indonesia as it has been included in the list of five countries with halal tourism spending of US$11.2 billion in 2019 by the State of Global Islamic Economy Report 2020-2021, he added.
“For that reason, we are striving to prepare Indonesia to become a renowned tourism destination on the global scale, especially in South East Asia,” he remarked.
At present, the ministry is continuing to make the necessary preparations to develop the halal tourism potential of Indonesia. These include improvements in regulations, human resources, attractions, and supporting facilities, he informed.
The ministry is innovating and adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic by taking advantage of digital and technological advancement to further develop halal tourism in Indonesia, he said.
“One of the innovations that we are carrying out amid the COVID-19 pandemic is presenting virtual tours of Indonesian tourism destinations. We are also analyzing big data to map out potential markets to develop halal tourism,” he added.
Health protocols, known as the CHSE (Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environmental Sustainability), also continue to be the guiding principles for tourism and creative economy players in developing the nation’s halal tourism potential amid COVID-19, the minister stated.
“The health protocols also aim to create destinations and facilities that are clean, safe, and sustainable. Once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, Indonesia can become a renowned halal tourism destination in South East Asia,” Uno said.