The Department of Tourism-Region VI (DOT-6) is currently working on making the region globally competitive for Muslim tourists.
DOT Undersecretary Arturo Boncato, Jr. discussed matters such as Muslim-friendly services and facilities, along with the availability of halal food, or food permissible for consumption by followers of Islam.
“This small act can go beyond sending a welcome signal to our Muslim visitors,” he explained. “It will help foster respect, unity, and peace, as well.”
The DOT official also suggested the installation of a musalla, or prayer area for Muslims, along with signs indicating qibla, which points towards Mecca. Muslims pray several times a day, which must be done facing Mecca, the location of the Kaaba, the most sacred site in Islam.
DOT-6 director, Atty. Helen J. Catalbas, said the region has seen an increase in visitors from Islamic countries, pointing out, 26,478 tourists from Middle Eastern countries visited the Western Visayas in 2017.
“There is still a large market waiting to be tapped,” she added./WDJ