The Tourism Bureau yesterday said it last month established a tourism information center in Jakarta as part of a campaign to boost the number of Muslim travelers from Indonesia.
It views the Southeast Asian nation as a benchmark market for Muslim tourists, as it is the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, home to more than 200 million Muslims, the bureau said.
Its booming economy has enabled more Indonesians to travel overseas, showing that it is a market with great tourism business potential, the bureau added.
Photo courtesy of the Tourism Bureau
The Taiwan Tourism Information Center in Jakarta would provide Indonesian travel agencies, airlines, media as well as tourists with information on Taiwan and help them plan their tours, the bureau said.
The center would recruit Indonesian photographers and travel bloggers to help produce campaign materials highlighting Taiwan as a Muslim-friendly nation, it added.
The center would also work with airlines to promote package tours to Taiwan and try to attract tourists from Indonesia’s major cities, the bureau said.
The center would be managed by the Taiwan Visitors’ Association, a nonprofit established in 1956 by the now-defunct Taiwan provincial consultative council, it said.
“Hopefully the center will operate with the same model as the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, focusing on reinforcing Taiwan’s tourism brand in Indonesia and attracting more tourists from the country. It would help build up the momentum of the tourism market in New Southbound Policy countries,” the bureau said.
Taiwan is ready to accommodate more Muslim tourists, the bureau said, adding that the number of halal-certified restaurants has grown from 19 in 2013 to more than 200.
This year, Mastercard’s Global Muslim Travel Index has rated Taiwan as the third most attractive destination, it said.
The bureau said it has also stepped up tourism campaigns targeting Muslim visitors from Malaysia.
Last year, Muslim actress Mira Filzah became Taiwan’s tourism ambassador in Malaysia at the invitation of the bureau, it said, adding that she filmed a tourism advertisement for Taiwan.
Filzah has more than 4.3 million Instagram followers and last week helped attract 100 Muslim visitors to Taiwan by holding a fan convention in Taipei, the bureau said.
Filzah’s fans visited tourist attractions in Taipei and New Taipei City, including Yehliu Geopark, Yangmingshan National Park and Shilin Night Market, it said.
The tour organizer also arranged meals at halal-certified restaurants and Muslim-friendly hotels, it said, adding that the group prayed at the Taipei Grand Mosque.
Bureau statistics showed that about 530,000 Malaysians visited Taiwan last year, about 10 percent of whom were Muslims.
The bureau said it expects 100,000 Muslim tourists from Malaysia to visit Taiwan by next year.
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