Taiwan ranked second best non-OIC destination for Muslim travelers

07/16/2021 10:11 PM
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A Halal certified night market vendor in Kaohsiung. CNA file photo
A Halal certified night market vendor in Kaohsiung. CNA file photo

Taipei, July 16 (CNA) Taiwan has been ranked as the second most attractive non-OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) destination for Muslim travelers in the latest edition of the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI).

According to the GMTI 2021, released on Wednesday, Taiwan and the United Kingdom were tied in second place among top non-OIC destinations for Muslims with a score of 57, trailing only Singapore's 69.

Thailand (55), Hong Kong (54), South Africa (51) and Japan (48) were ranked fourth to seven in the index, while France, Germany, the Philippines and the United States shared the eighth spot with a score of 46.

Overall, Taiwan was ranked 25th among 140 destinations evaluated in the index, which was topped by Malaysia with a score of 80, followed by Turkey (77) and Saudi Arabia (76).

"In some destinations such as Taiwan, the number of halal-certified restaurants has tripled during the last 5 to 6 years," the report said.

The overall score of a destination is arrived at based on 13 criteria, among which Taiwan received 100 points in Faith Restrictions and 99 points in Safety, according to the report.

Taiwan also received a score of 71 for Destination Marketing, sharing the top spot with Malaysia, and 50 points for Prayer Places, an increase of 26 points from the previous rating, the Tourism Bureau said in a statement.

Overall, Taiwan's ranking this year was the highest since the index was launched in 2015 by MasterCard and CrescentRating, according to the Tourism Bureau.

The bureau said Taiwan's government has been trying to create a Muslim-friendly environment in Taiwan to tap into the 1.9 billion-strong Muslim travel market, including by installing Muslim-friendly facilities and encouraging the hotel and food industries to apply for halal certificates.

Such efforts have also provided convenience to the 280,000 Muslims living in Taiwan, most of them migrant workers from Southeast Asia.

(By Yu Hsiao-han and Emerson Lim)

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