In conjunction with World Tourism Day, the South African National Halal Authority (Sanha) is trying to promote the country as a halal tourist destination. South Africa is one of the top tourist destinations in Africa, receiving over 9 million visitors in 2012, second only to Morocco. Sanha want South Africa to focus more on attracting Muslim tourists to the country, by offering halal facilities.
“It’s basically catering for the needs of the Muslim ummah, in terms of requirements of halal hotels, supplying of the direction of the qiblah, halal food outlets and ablution facilities, to name a few,” Sanha’s marketing manager Ismail Rawat told VOC Breakfast Beat. South Africa was voted the third friendliest destination for Muslims in a non-Muslim country by Crescentrating, a Singapore-based market research company.
Rawat said the environment in the country was conducive to Muslim travellers. But, the South African government needed to realise that halal tourism was a niche market and could add value to the countries tourism sector. He noted that the Taiwanese government had taken advantage of halal tourism and had increased the number of visitors to the country.
“If South African tourism authorities take that route it will make a big difference to attracting tourists to South Africa. With the weaker rand, South Africa will offer more value to the travelling dollar and yen for example. The price of a cup of coffee in Europe can get you a decent meal in South Africa.” He said that government was looking at the traditional markets of Europe, but had not seen the potential there because Europe had about 5-7 million Muslims. They were bringing visitors from Europe, but they weren’t targeting the Muslim traveller.
Rawoot said the halal body was doing an array of things to promote this. “We are the agents for Crescentrating in South Africa. We are trying to get hotel and bed and breakfast establishments to be ‘Crescent rated’, in terms of having halal facilities in the hotel. This might attract Muslim travellers to South Africa.” VOC (Mubeen Banderker)
Source: The Voice of the Cape