Home Culture Manila Hosts Salaam 2024: Travel and Trade Expo to Boost Halal Tourism

Manila Hosts Salaam 2024: Travel and Trade Expo to Boost Halal Tourism

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco (2nd from left) and Mayor Joy Belmonte (2nd from right) lead the opening of the Salaam 2024

MANILA – The Department of Tourism (DOT) kicked off the three-day Salaam 2024: Travel and Trade Expo on Friday in Quezon City, marking a significant step towards enhancing the visibility of Filipino Halal and Muslim-friendly offerings across the nation. The event showcases products and destinations that cater to both local and foreign Muslim travelers.

The DOT emphasized the importance of this event in highlighting Halal-certified and Muslim-friendly services, reflecting its commitment to this growing market segment.

“The global market for Halal tourism is expanding, rapidly presenting vast opportunities for our nation’s economic growth, creating more markets for tourism stakeholders and generating more livelihood for our fellow Filipinos,” Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said during the expo’s opening ceremony.

Secretary Frasco underscored that under the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the government is actively promoting and enhancing Halal and Muslim-friendly tourism. “This initiative is high on the DOT’s agenda,” she added.

In a brief interview, Frasco noted that Quezon City is an ideal venue for Salaam 2024, given its status as one of the most Muslim-friendly local government units in Metro Manila.

The expo, held at the Gateway Mall 2 Activity Center in Cubao, features over 30 booths offering discounted travel packages, accommodations, and a variety of local delicacies and crafts. Highlights include the renowned Sultan Kudarat Robusta coffee and Zamboanga’s vibrant Yakan clothing.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte expressed the city’s commitment to promoting Halal and Muslim tourism, acknowledging the significant Muslim population within the city. “Their presence underscores our commitment to inclusivity and multiculturalism, making our city a dynamic and welcoming place for all,” she said.

Mayor Belmonte highlighted the role of the Bangsamoro Affairs Office in prioritizing the needs of the Muslim community, aiming to integrate Halal principles into tourism and trade. “We aim to forge strong connections with every community member and anchor our progress where no one is left behind,” she stated.

Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines Dato’ Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino lauded the initiative as a crucial step in positioning the Philippines within the global Halal market. “I must say, since I’ve been here for a year, I’ve seen tremendous growth under the leadership of Secretary Frasco in ensuring that the Philippines remains and continues to grow as a hub for the Halal tourism industry,” he told reporters.

Salaam 2024 will run until June 16, offering a unique opportunity to explore and support the burgeoning Halal tourism sector in the Philippines.