Sellers from Europe, South Korea, UAE and Turkey were out in force at the recent TTC Travel Mart in Jakarta, to promote their latest halal trips and offerings to outbound travel partners in Indonesia.
For instance, Sirait Tours and Travel is currently offering halal tours for Indonesians interested in longhaul trips to Madrid, Spain and Portugal.
Lindung Sirait, Sirait Tours and Travel’s representative for Indonesia, said: “While Spain and Portugal are not Muslim-dominated countries, they have Muslim histories, which travellers can still witness.”
Happy Tours, a DMC with offices in major European countries, was also present at the B2B tradeshow to highlight its ability to cater for Indonesian Muslim travellers.
Travis Wong, Happy Tours’ regional sales manager, shared: “We offer a Driver Guide Service and private tour that can provide a halal tour for Muslim visitors from Indonesia.”
Halal tours by Happy Tours include basic requirements for Muslim travellers, which include halal food and prayer stops either at a mosque or Muslim community house, added Wong.
Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) was also present at the TTC Travel Mart to highlight why Korea is a safe and comfortable destination – thanks to Muslim-friendly tourist facilities at resorts, and the availability of mosques for Muslim travellers.
Akhmad Faezal Alhamdi, MICE & GA manager of KTO told TTG Asia: “Korea Muslim Friendly is one of the government’s campaigns to attract Muslim tourists around the world, including Indonesia.”
KTO Jakarta’s spokesperson, Irma Maulida, added that South Korea has about 328 halal-certified restaurants for Indian, Asian, Chinese, Korean, Western and Russian cuisine.
However, the package prices of a halal tour are usually more expensive than a regular tour package. While a six-day regular tour costs around US$1,300 to US$1,600, a halal tour could cost around US$1,700 to US$1,800.
“Halal or Muslim-friendly ingredients are usually difficult to find and the cooking method must involve certain people, for example, a Muslim chef. This affects the price of the package,” Irma explained.
However, tour operators need to take into consideration that halal compliance levels also depends on individuals.
Riyanto Sofyan, chairman of Indonesia Halal Tourism Association, pointed out that some Muslim travellers “are okay with the basics as long as their needs as Muslims are fulfilled, while some are more stringent with halal certifications , even for drinking water”. There are also some travellers who accept “no pork, and no lard” labels.