Pattaya, Thailand:- Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration in Thailand aims to promote Pattaya as a Halal food destination to attract more Muslim tourists from ASEAN and other Muslim countries.
DASTA’s Office of Designated Area 3 (Pattaya City and Vicinity) acting managing director, Thiti Chantaengphol, said DASTA will cooperate with the Nern Plub Wan community in Nong Prue municipality to develop the community into a centre of halal food suppliers for the Pattaya area.
“We aim to tap visitors from ASEAN and the Middle East, especially Indonesians,” he said.
According to Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ Department of Tourism data, 658,129 travellers from the Middle East visited Thailand, last year, a 2.20% of overall market share, while 469,226 Indonesian tourists traveled to the kingdom, a 1.57% market share.
“Pattaya has been a popular destination for Muslim travelers and we will focus on expanding the Nong Prue community to lead in the supply of ingredients and the training in Islamic cooking methods including the food procurement process, transportation and food packaging,” the DASTA executive said.
The organisation will work with Chonburi’s Islamic Committee of Thailand to be considered for certification of Halal food, he added.
In addition, DASTA will work with the Thai Hotel Association, Eastern Chapter, to encourage 40 hotels in Pattaya to learn the correct processing and cooking methods for Halal food.
Thailand ranked second place in the top 10 non-OIC destinations of the MasterCard–Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) conducted in 2016.
The index also cited that Malaysia and Singapore retained their positions as top destinations for the Muslim travel market, in OIC and non-OIC categories. (There are 57 member nations of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.) The overall study covered 130 destinations a mix of OIC and non-OIC nations.
In 2015, Muslim travel represented 117 million trips, close to 10% of the entire travel market. This is forecasted to grow to 168 million visitors by 2020, equal to 11% of the market segment with a market value projected to exceed USD200 billion.
Asia and Europe are the two top regions in the world attracting Muslim visitors accounting for 87% of the entire market, it said.