The worldwide Muslim travel market has reached whooping $126 billion dollars now. The Japanese government has also started taking tangible steps to increase the number of Muslim travellers to the country. For this purpose, it abolished the visa requirements for Malaysian and Indonesian visitors last year. However, the hospitality industry as well as the government sector still has to take lots of concrete steps to make the country a truly Muslim-friendly travel destination. We have listed up the steps the travel industry related organizations and the government have to take to see the surge in the number of Muslim visitors to Japan.
Widespread availability of halal food in the country
Once this issue is taken care of properly, all the other issues may become secondary. Up until recently, Halal restaurants in Japan were pretty scarce in Tokyo, Osaka, and other important destinations. However, thanks to the surge in the awareness about Halal food in the country. now, you could see not only ethnic Indian, Pakistani, Turkish and Malaysian restaurants serving halal foods, but also traditional Japanese restaurants in some areas of the country serving some halal Japanese dishes to their local and foreign Muslim guests.
Another equally important issues is that, generally speaking, Muslim visitors coming from majority-Muslim countries do not feel comfortable dining while alcohol is being served on the nearby tables. So, the restaurants have to make sitting arrangments in such a way that Muslim can sit easily without having to smell wine and looking at pork dishes etc.
Acceptability of Muslim women In Traditional Dresses and Hijab
Muslim women do not feel comfortable if strangers stare at them with disdainful eyes or pass bad remarks due to their conservative clothes. Being equal members of the Muslim community, they also need to have separate plaes for praying.
Availability of Masaajids and prayer rooms
Most of the Muslims do not feel comfortable if they are not able to find suitable places for prayer. So, the hotels have to provide prayer rooms for their Muslim guests in order to attract more and more visitors from Muslim visitors. Even the shopping malls and other tourist attractions have to make some arrangements to accomodate their Muslims visitors.
Availability of family-friendly entertainment options
As Muslims like to travel with their families and in large groups. They should be provided the activities which are attracted to the whole families, to people of all ages so they could enjoy their trip to the fullest.
Availability of Important Information at Hotels, Other Destination Spots
Just to start with, hotels and restaurants have to become halal-certified, at least, they have to be able to offer halal food to their Muslim guests at short notice. They also need to provide prayer rooms for daily prayers etc. They should also know the Qibla directions in their area so that they could guide their Muslim guests. Provision of prayer mats is also important. They should also have few copies of the Quran so they could lend the copies whenever demanded by their guests. They also need to provide Suhur and Iftar during the month of Ramadan. Qibla directions should be marked in all the rooms as well.
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