Monday, 4 September 2023, 14:43
Andalucía is being promoted to potential toruists from southeast Asia in a new guide launched by Spain's national tourist board, Turespaña.
Through its department in Singapore, the tourism organisation launched the campaign, which includes six videos, via publications on southeast Asian English-language and Indonesian platforms, as well as through social media. It comes as more people from the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam are visiting Spain. Southeast Asian visitor numbers increased in the first six months of 2023 by 50% compared to the same period in 2019, according to figures.
The guide, entitled 'Andalusia for Muslim Travelers', and available in English and soon in Arabic and French, provides practical information on hotels, restaurants, attractions, places of prayer, handicrafts and itineraries in Andalucía. Spanish tourism boss in Singapore, Mónica Sánchez, said: "This is a promotional tool that we needed, especially considering the history and rich Islamic heritage of Andalucía. This region is a very popular destination for Muslim tourists from southeast Asia, but is still largely unknown."
Andalusia for Muslim Travelers takes a look at the tourist attractions in each of the Andalusian provinces and all the practical elements that help make a destination more appealing for travellers who wish to have a halal travel experience. Sánchez said that the content was prepared by Let's go Halal, a Spanish Muslim company, and that "the strategy goes beyond offering halal food or places of prayer".
In the case of Malaga, it also includes the Malaga mosque and hotel establishments and restaurants aimed at Muslim travellers, as well as a whole range of museums in the city which promote the area's Islamic heritage.
Tourism on the rise
According to data from CrescentRating, the number of international visitors is expected to reach 160 million by 2024. Muslim tourists tend to travel with their families, be loyal to brands and look for destinations where they can connect with the local culture, traditions and people. They are also willing to spend more on their trips, looking for products and services consistent with their religious beliefs.
Spanish destinations are very well positioned to accommodate this. According to the Global Muslim Travel Index 2023, prepared by CrescentRating and MasterCard, Spain is seventh in the rankings of countries that are not members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Last year, Spain was recognised as the best emerging Muslim-friendly destination of the year.
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