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In order to reach out to more Muslim tourists, the Government of South Korea is planning to publish Arabic versions of its official Halal restaurant guidebook. The guidebook is an excellent source of information on South Korea's local Halal restaurants and was first published in January earlier this year.

The Arabic version of the guidebook is expected to be published by May and will be distributed to the travel agencies and offices under the Korea Tourism Organization.

In a bid to reach out to Muslim travellers, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is set to invite over a hundred tour agents and industry experts to Thailand for the Thailand Travel Mart 2015 - scheduled to be held from the 3rd to the 5th of June. Attracting more Muslim tourists is also in line with the Thailand government policy to promote Halal food. 

The Tourism Authority of Thailand stated that its main Muslim tourist markets were Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE, Indonesia, Kuwait, Turkey, Malaysia and Oman. Thailand has seen a surge in Muslim tourist arrivals since 2007, with a growth rate of 7.6% to receive over 2 million arrivals in 2013 alone.

Tourist arrivals from Malaysia have increased by 41% in Japan over the course of last year. Japan received 249,500 tourists from Malaysia in 2014, in comparison to only 176,712 Malaysian tourist arrivals in 2013. The number of Malaysian tourist arrivals is the highest ever received by Japan since 2006.

The Head of Consular Office of Japan - Hirofumi Morikawa - stated that most of these tourists were Muslim travellers. The rise in numbers is believed to a result of the many Muslim-friendly facilities - such as prayer rooms and halal restaurants - that were recently set up in Japan in a bid to reach out to the Muslim travel market.

The Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism has stated that over a million tourists from Muslim countries visited Spain during 2014. The largest number of tourist arrivals were from Algeria - around 220,000 visitors, followed by Turkey - 215,000 travellers, Morocco - 200,000 travellers and Egypt - 86,000 travellers.

Spain was ranked the ninth best destination for Muslim travellers in the non-OIC category of MasterCard and CresentRating’s 2015 Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI). It is showing an  increasing interest in the Muslim travel market and is also set to host the very first international Halal Congress in March.

The growing importance of Europe to the Muslim travel market

Europe is a key region in global travel and tourism market and for the Muslim traveller it is also very important. Both the inbound and outbound European Muslim tourist market is worth billions of dollars annually to the travel economy and a key strategic location which provides a plethora of opportunities stakeholders in the market.

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