SEOUL – Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) has launched its annual two-month tourism promotion event to promote halal restaurants across the country from Sept 1 to Oct 31.
It has embarked on its annual Halal Restaurant Week Korea event that will spotlight KTO-designated Muslim-friendly restaurants and major tourist sites.
The annual number of Muslim visitors to South Korea is expected to exceed the one million mark for the first time in 2019, according to a KTO official.
“We are making an effort to develop quality tour programs for Muslim tourists to meet varied demands from them.”
The fourth edition features a bigger list of participating Muslim-friendly restaurants, which has grown from 95 in 2016 to 152 this year. It will also include 40 major tourist sites and activities. The list of participating organisations and discounts available can be found here.
Visitors can access a coupon booklet through KTO offices in major Muslim-tourist destinations such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bangkok, New Delhi, Dubai, Istanbul, and Almaty.
The booklet includes discounts for Muslim-friendly restaurants ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 won (US$2.50 to US$8), as well as key attractions and activities. There will also be special set menus at 54 Muslim-friendly restaurants.
KTO has implemented a Muslim-friendly restaurant guide that categorises restaurants into four categories – Halal-certified, Self-certified, Muslim-friendly, and Pork-free – based on detailed criteria such as their usage of Halal ingredients and pork.
By the end of 2018, it certified 250 restaurants as Muslim-friendly, nearly double the number in 2016, when the number stood at 135.
South Korea has in recent years stepped up efforts to promote the destination as Muslim-friendly, including a slew of efforts to provide Muslim tourists with information on halal offerings and prayer facilities in key tourist regions.
The country was ranked 8th among non-Islamic destinations in the 2019 Global Muslim Travel Index report.