October 25, 2020, 09.42 PM

KOMPAS.com – The number of Indonesian Muslim tourists in South Korea has risen and the East Asian nation is ready to facilitate Muslim travelers.

Akhmed Faezal Alhamdi, MICE Manager of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) in Jakarta, said that South Korea has provided several Muslim-friendly facilities that will appeal to Indonesian Muslim tourists.

Improvements to facilities for Muslim travelers have been done at airports and tourist attractions that now have prayer rooms.

Read also: Potential Value of Indonesia’s Halal Industry Estimated at $202 Million

“Muslim-friendly toilets with a special area for ablutions are also available,” said Akhmed.

To show the significance of Indonesian Muslim tourists to South Korea, the KTO held a virtual event entitled ‘Muslim Friend Korea Festival (MFKF)' on October 16-18.

Akhmed shared his optimism that MFKF was the answer to Indonesia’s Muslim travelers who are uncertain about whether South Korea is the right travel destination for them.

Muslim-friendly infrastructure development

Director of KTP Andrew Jonghoon Kim said back on August 28, 2018 that South Korea had already identified Indonesia’s Muslim travelers for some years.

As such, the South Korean government moved swiftly in developing more Muslim-friendly infrastructure to accommodate the group’s needs.

“The past two years we have added new infrastructures such as a place of worship,” Andrew said in 2018.

Read also: Indonesia Ties Up with Partners in South Korea, Norway on Covid-19 Vaccines

Two years ago, Indonesian Muslim tourists already had access to places of worship in notable cities such as Seoul, Gwangzhou, Jeju, Incheon, and more.

Several restaurants in South Korea also had obtained Halal certification, according to KTO’s Media and Tourism Information Manager Irma Maulida.

“Within the span of two years, we have 123 Halal-certified restaurants. Going forward, the goal is to further grow the numbers,” Irma said in 2018.

Read also: Korean Food Chain Indonesia Lotteria Closes After Nine Years

Muslim travelers visiting South Korea

Kompas.com sought to find the total number of Indonesian Muslim tourists visiting South Korea but was unsuccessful.

Based on figures from Yonhap News Agency, there were 511,017 Muslim travelers from all over the world who set foot in South Korea during the first half of 2019.

The data indicated the gradual increase in the number of Muslim travelers received in the East Asian country. In 2018, it had 970,000 Muslim tourists and 870,000 in 2017.

Read also: Indonesia Waives Airport Tax to Make Way for Cheaper Air Travel

The total number of tourists that traveled to South Korea in 2019 totaled 17,502,756 people, according to Visit Korea.

The previous year saw 15,346,879 tourists and 13,335,758 tourists were in South Korea in 2017.

(Writer: Nabilla Ramadhian | Editor: Anggara Wikan Prasetya)

Source: https://travel.kompas.com/read/2020/10/24/101000427/kto--wisatawan-muslim-indonesia-di-korea-selatan-meningkat?page=all#page2 

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