The government’s efforts to foster a Muslim-friendly environment, including the promotion of Halal certification, has turned Taiwan into a top-three destination for Muslim travelers, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, citing this year’s Global Muslim Travel Index.
This has been the greatest accomplishment of the New Southbound Policy since its implementation in 2016 and the government would continue its efforts to attract Muslim tourists, she said.
Tsai yesterday hosted a delegation from the Taipei-based Chinese Muslim Association at the Presidential Office Building, where she greeted the association members in Arabic and offered well-wishes for their annual hajj to Mecca.
Islam is one of the world’s most influential religions and has made great contributions to the care of poor and disadvantaged people, she said.
The Muslim community has been a very important partner in the deepening of tourism, trade and cultural ties with countries that are the focus of the New Southbound Policy, Tsai said, adding that the government has placed great emphasis on improving its understanding of Muslim culture and the lifestyles of Muslims.
One of the government’s efforts has been to provide prayer rooms for Muslim visitors, which have been installed at the nation’s major airports, larger train stations and major scenic areas, including Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), Alishan (阿里山) and the National Palace Museum, she said.
More than 200 restaurants have begun offering Halal fare and the government is continuing to work with restaurants to help them understand how to become Halal certified, Tsai said.
This month, Halal vending machines were introduced at some public locations to provide Halal-certified snacks, she said.
The government’s efforts were reflected in the international evaluation, helping Taiwan become a better Muslim travel destination, she added.
“This demonstrates that our careful attention toward our Muslim friends is being recognized,” Tsai said.
Originally published on http://www.taipeitimes.com