More halal restaurants, prayer rooms will be set up in Seoul for Muslim tourists

By Park Sae-jin Posted : May 16, 2024, 15:23 Updated : May 16, 2024, 16:33
Getty Images Bank
[Getty Images Bank]
SEOUL, May 16 (AJU PRESS) - Seoul is taking its first step toward creating better tourism infrastructure for Muslim visitors. As part of its efforts to attract more Muslim travelers, the city plans to increase the number of halal restaurants and set up more prayer rooms, the Seoul Metropolitan Government said Thursday.

The Seoul Tourism Organization will commission a research project this month to come up with measures to vitalize Muslim tourism in the capital. It is the city's first project solely dedicated to improving the travel experiences of Muslim visitors, a city official said.

Among over 1 million foreign travelers who visited Korea in 2023, 273,000 were from Middle Eastern countries and 218,000 were from Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia and Indonesia, where Islam is the predominant religion.

While Muslim travelers perceive Korea as a clean and safe country with vibrant cultures, many of them have complained about the lack of halal restaurants here. Currently, private organizations and travel agencies offer travel maps with information about halal restaurants and prayer rooms, but many of them are outdated.

Through this project, Seoul aims to streamline restaurant information to provide assistance to Muslim travelers in choosing dining places. The STO will also develop strategies to increase the number of prayer rooms throughout the city. Currently, only a few facilities, such as the World Trade Center in the southern district of Gangnam, offer prayer rooms for Muslim visitors, leading some travelers to wander around in search of quiet areas like parks for prayer.

"Once finalized, we will be able to offer a restaurant guidebook tailored for Muslim travelers," the official added.
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