THE Philippines hopes to court more Muslim travellers by having at least 50 establishments in Manila, Cebu, Boracay and Davao to become halal-compliant by April 2016.
Assistant tourism secretary Art Boncato said that the Philippines Department of Tourism (DoT) will incentivise companies by paying for the basic cost of halal certification, while also using its resources for promotions via trade missions, advertising and publicity campaigns.
The DoT is currently working with a halal certifier accredited by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos. It is also liaising with Singapore-based CrescentRating, which ranks countries according to how Muslim-friendly they are. The DoT hopes to improve the Philippines’ current ranking on the 47th position from a list of 100 nations.
As well, Boncato wants the country’s Muslim-friendly establishments to be included in a Muslim travel guide being produced by CrescentRating.
Muslim travellers from the Middle East and ASEAN are fast increasing in number, yet there are only a handful of halal-certified venues in the Philippines, added Boncato.