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Push underway to develop ‘Muslim tourism’

Push underway to develop ‘Muslim tourism’

PHUKET: The Department of Tourism is working on a strategy to welcome more tourists from the MIddle East by focussing on their needs as Muslim visitors to the country.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 16 March 2023, 09:35AM

Athuek Prasenmun, Director of the Department of Tourism’s Tourism Development Division, led a brainstorming session at the Pago hotel in Phuket Town yesterday (Mar 15) to hear feedback on the concept from local officials and business operators.

The event yesterday was one of four feedback sessions to be held in key tourism areas in the country, Mr Athuek explained.

The other sessions will be held in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Chonburi, Mr Athuek said.

“The aim is to develop a plan for the development of tourist attractions to support high-quality tourism through a case study of Middle Eastern tourists under a project to develop a plan to develop tourist attractions in the area to support the new normal tourism to be used as a guideline for revitalizing the Muslim way of tourism in Thailand,” Mr Athuek explained.

“The development plan is to create a model to welcome Middle Eastern tourists through a Muslim way of tourism, a new way of tourism,” he said.

“According to the master plan under the 20-year national strategic framework [2018-2037], the country is focused on building competitiveness in the third issue, creating diversity in tourism, by maintaining the role of an important global tourism destination that attracts tourists of all levels and increases the proportion of high-quality tourists,” Mr Athuek continued.

“Thailand is recognised by tourists worldwide as a tourist destination due to the availability of tourism resources as well as the availability of access to tourist attractions and [by Thailand] providing good services to tourists. This shows the identity of Thailand in the development of tourist attractions, travel services and various products in line with tourist behavior in the new normal situation.

“To achieve greater efficiency, it is necessary to take into account the target customer group in order to effectively meet the needs of each group of tourists,” he added.

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Mr Athuek pointed to how Thailand ranks in the ‘Global Muslim Travel Index 2022’ released by ‘Mastercard - CrescentRating’, a leading global tourism indicator for halal travel.

The most popular tourist destinations for Muslim tourists in the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) countries were Malaysia followed by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

The top 4 non-OIC destinations were Singapore, Taiwan, United Kingdom and Thailand, Mr Athuek said.

“The Muslim travel market, both Thai and foreign, is a fast-growing potential market with a high spending potential. It has become a target market that many countries around the world are interested in due to high spending,” Mr Athuek said.

“This makes the importance of the Muslim market even more interesting. With the potential of Thailand that is ready in all aspects, whether in agriculture tourism, technology and being a hub for communications and transportation in Southeast Asia, Thailand should have a strategy to develop tourism to attract Middle Eastern tourists,” he said.

“For this reason, the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has a mission to develop tourism in the field of tourism services, attractions, tourism personnel, travel businesses and tour guides, resulting in economic benefits and which benefit local culture, society and environment,” he continued.

The Department of Tourism’s goal is to help to open business opportunities for entrepreneurs, executives and personnel in the line of operations, Mr Athuek said.

“The Department of Tourism is prepared to take steps to accommodate Muslim tourists and to proactively promote Muslim tourism in a manner suitable for the new normal situation, creating an advantage in attracting Muslim tourists,” he said.

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DeKaaskopp | 18 March 2023 - 12:06:25

@Maurice   Ever heard of "anti muslim racism"? Racism is not only about a race !

Maurice | 17 March 2023 - 18:20:14

@ DeKaaskopp. Not a problem of racism. religion is not a race. But the respect of women and all core values is the most important. Not a problem in Phuket but thousands of dead people in the deep south...

DeKaaskopp | 17 March 2023 - 15:35:15

@Maurice    There are many black covered woman in public spaces already ! And they are not tourists but locals. Do you have a problem with them too ? Open minded tourists won't care, only some racists like ... !

Kurt | 17 March 2023 - 14:38:40

Thailand should not overplay the 'tourist hand' by involving religions in tourism thinking. Leave religions out of the thai tourism money making thinking. So far it was not done with the many Middle East tourists during their hot time of the year, being cool rainy time here they like.

Kamala Pete | 17 March 2023 - 14:18:16

Will this mean "Halal" cock fighting and bull baiting?

Maurice | 17 March 2023 - 09:40:41

Thailand must understand that most "farang" come here because it is not a muslim country.  I am not sure they will keep coming if there are black covered women in public spaces...


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