Will Taiwan Seek To Attract Middle Eastern Tourists Next?|陸客來台緊縮 北市建議中東國家也免簽

Taiwan's tourism industry has been devastated by the ban on Chinese tourists. To save the tourism industry, Taipei City Deputy Mayor proposed expanding visa-exempt entry to Middle East countries during an Executive Yuan meeting. However, Tourism Bureau statistics show that last year, less than 20 thousand travelers from the Middle East region have visited Taiwan. Moreover, there are very few halal restaurants on the island.

This is a halal restaurant in Taipei that has been in business for 26 years. It advertises itself as offering Taipei's most authentic Islamic cuisine. There are certificates inside showing the restaurant is halal, and all dishes are prepared in accordance with Islamic dietary laws.

Mr. Ma
Halal Restaurant Owner
The chicken, beef, and mutton need to be blessed with the name of Allah during slaughter. You have to recite two lines of scripture starting with praising the name of Allah. We can't ask sellers at traditional markets who aren't Muslim to slaughter a chicken for us. We can't eat that meat.

The owner of the restaurant is a devout Muslim. He says there are few halal restaurants in Taiwan, and some are not very orthodox. Many Muslim tourists have complained that it's not easy to find a halal meal in Taiwan. Under Islamic law, Muslims may not consume pork, and the ingredients used to prepare food cannot come into contact with pork.

Lin Chia-ching
Travel Agency General Manager
Pork cannot be seen in places where food is prepared or among ingredients. If they are mixed together, Muslims won't be able to eat the food.

The number of tourists from ASEAN countries visiting Taiwan has grown in recent years. There has been an upsurge in visitors from Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world. Last year, the number exceeded 210,000. However, tourists only accounted for a small proportion. Taipei City Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-chi recently proposed during an Executive Yuan meeting to expand visa-exempt entry to nationals of Middle East countries to attract their high-end travelers. Tourism Bureau statistics show that in 2018, the Middle Eastern country with the highest number of visitors to Taiwan was Israel, with 9,800. In second place was the United Arab Emirates, with under 2,000. Meanwhile, Taiwan only received 114 visitors from Qatar, and the majority were business travelers.

Indonesian Tourist
It would be great if the Middle Eastern (tourism market) could be opened up. If they come during their vacations, they can spend up to one week or even up to one month at a hotel, because they don't like moving around.

Travel agents say it's not enough to offer visa-exempt entry if Taiwan really wants to attract tourists from the Middle East. It will need to create "Islam-friendly spaces" and department store food courts will need to set up halal food sections. Muslim-friendly hotels can be set up as well. However, the early rate of return is not high, and perhaps investment or cooperation between the government and domestic Islamic groups is needed to construct an Islam-friendly environment that will attract visitors from the Middle East.



穆斯林餐廳老闆 馬先生
這個雞肉 牛肉 羊肉 也是要經過讚頌我們真主之名 來宰殺的 念兩句經文
讚頌真主之名開始 還不是說菜市場老闆 不是(回教徒)老闆你幫我殺一隻雞


印尼穆斯林觀光客 Netta=
穆斯林料理食物區 食材中不能看到豬肉 如果混雜在一起 穆斯林就不能食用


旅行社總經理 林家慶
所以如果中東(旅遊市場) 其實能開啟 其實蠻不錯的 譬如他們像是類似暑假 他們的假期出來玩 一個飯店 他們不喜歡搬來搬去 一個飯店可能一住就是一個禮拜 甚至一個月的也有