Many Hurdles to Overcome to Increase Muslim Tourist Numbers|陸客衰退 觀光局推"穆斯林遊客倍增"計畫


Chinese travelers are no longer coming to Taiwan, forcing the Tourism Bureau to find other sources of tourists. It has set its sights on Muslim travelers from New Southbound Policy countries and rolled out plans to double the number of Muslim travelers. However, travel agents point out many restaurants are not halal-certified and many tourist attractions do not have prayer rooms. Moreover, Taiwan's famous night markets also lack halal sections.


This Muslim shop and restaurant is located on Xinsheng South Road in Taipei. It is halal certified, and the food items it sells bears halal certification issued by the Indonesian government. The proprietor says he has been told many times that Taiwan's restaurants are not friendly to those who don't eat pork, such as Muslim tourists. Many of them come here to stock up on instant noodles.

Some travelers from Singapore said they went to Alishan on their own and did not eat proper meals for four days. They only ate instant noodles because there weren't any halal-certified restaurants. There needs to be more of these restaurants.

In 2015, the number of Muslim tourists to Taiwan surpassed 200,000. In recent years, the number has fallen to 170,000. The Tourism Bureau has set an objective of doubling the number of Muslim tourists next year and will progressively roll out measures to create Muslim-friendly environments. For example, Taoyuan International Airport now has prayer rooms and halal-certified restaurants.

The culinary offerings are more international, so it's more special and makes you want to try them out.

However, travel agents say very few hotels and restaurants in Taiwan can properly accommodate Muslim travelers. For example, the majority of halal-certified restaurants are located in the north and the majority of the hotels are five-star hotels with high rates. This means that it would be more expensive for Muslim tourists from Malaysia to travel to Taiwan than ethnic Chinese tourists.

Halal-certified restaurants are generally more expensive than other restaurants. This means that if we have a group of Muslim travelers, the quoted price will be higher than that for a group of ethnic Chinese tourists. If we calculate prices using the Malaysian ringgit, it will be 1,000 more. That's about NT$7,000 to NT$8,000 more per person.

Travel agents add Muslim tourists prefer to travel to places with better facilities, such as Japan. Taiwan is not the first choice. If Taiwan wants to succeed in attracting Muslim tourists, washing facilities will have to be set up inside scenic spot restrooms, as well as prayer rooms with prayer rugs. Taiwan's famous night markets will have to establish halal sections and begin labeling ingredients to allow Muslim tourists to properly enjoy these popular attractions.



位在台北市新生南路的這家穆斯林商店兼餐廳,是老字號的穆斯林認證餐廳,販售的食品,都有印尼官方穆斯林認證標章,業者說,聽過不少客人反映,台灣的用餐環境,對不吃豬肉的穆斯林旅客來說不太便利,有人會來買泡麵備用。

業者 王先生表示:「有新加坡的,他們說去阿里山自由行,四天沒有吃飯,他們只吃泡麵,因為(沒有)認證的餐廳,認證的餐廳要多一點就這樣子。」

來台穆斯林遊客2015年衝上20萬人次,現在只剩17萬人次,觀光局規畫,在明年推出"穆斯林遊客倍增計畫",逐步打造建置"穆斯林友善環境",以桃園機場為例,不只有祈禱室,也有經過認證的餐廳。

機場旅客表示:「比較國際化的料理,就覺得滿特別,就想試試看這樣。」

但旅遊業者直言,台灣能接待穆斯林的飯店和餐飲環境還不多,以認證餐廳來說幾乎集中在北部,飯店多是五星級,報價也高,以馬來西亞為例,"穆斯林團"來台旅遊比一般"華人團"貴。

台北市旅行公會觀光入境新馬線召集人 林家慶表示:「穆斯林餐都比一般的餐來得貴,所以我們整個如果說以團來講,報價上,它是肯定比一般華人來台灣的價錢還要貴個,如果以馬幣來算,貴個一千塊,一千多塊的馬幣,大概貴七、八千(台幣)一個人。」

業者直言,穆斯林旅客,通常會選擇旅遊硬體設備較好的日本,台灣不會是首選,台灣要吸引他們,觀光景點洗手間要有沖洗設備,也要設置祈禱室或是祈禱"毯",而台灣的觀光亮點夜市,要設置"穆斯林專區",標示清楚食材,穆斯林旅客才可能放心品嚐台灣小吃。

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