The Manila Marriott has become the first premium hotel chain to be rated for its Halal friendly services to help accelerate the vision of Philippines to become one of the world’s preferred destinations for Muslim tourists. The five star Manila Marriott Hotel has been recognised by CrescentRating, the leading authority in Halal travel, with a rating of five for its halal friendly services and facilities. Among other Muslim friendly services, the Hotel has a Halal food section in the Marriott Café.
Crescent Rating of the Hotels and Resorts in the Philippines is part of a series of initiatives recently unveiled by The Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) to create a long-term infrastructure across the country to diversify its visitor arrivals by attracting Muslim visitors- especially from the neighbouring ASEAN region and the Middle East. Travel experts predict these initiatives could be worth millions of dollars to the tourism industry in the country. The Muslim travel market is now widely recognised as a key growth tourism sector projected to be worth more than $200 billion by 2020, according to the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index 2016 report.
“Marriott Hotel Manila is excited to be a leader in promoting Halal Friendly services and offerings to the region and beyond. We look forward to extending not only our world class Filipino Hospitality to our local, regional and global customers, but also an environment of awareness, sensitivity and exemplary service expected from a multitude of discerning customers. We are thrilled to partner with The Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) in this important initiative”. Bruce Winton, General Manager for Marriott Manila said.
Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating, said “We are delighted to welcome a prestigious brand such as Marriott as a member of Crescent Rated Hotels. “Marriott are leading the drive from the front and more Hotels will be granted a Crescent Rating in the Philippines soon.” “We predict that this commitment by Marriott will be worth millions of dollars to the local economy over the next few years and will drive visitor arrivals to the country.”
The Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) recently partnered with CrescentRating on a series of activities to increase awareness of the availability of Halal food, mosques and other Muslim-friendly holiday experiences and facilities in the Philippines.
Philippines close proximity to the large Muslim populations of Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore coupled with its rich diverse culture make the country an attractive destination for family tourists keen to explore one of the most unique places in Asia. The Philippines receives approximately 566,000 visitors from the Middle East, parts of ASEAN, as well as India and Israel annually.
Tourism Philippines said this new drive to attract inbound Muslim tourists formed a key strand on its long-term strategy to maximize its economic growth in the halal tourism industry. Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. of the Philippine Department of Tourism (PDoT), said:
“Our Philippine Halal Tourism project has been successful in generating awareness and creating a Halal consciousness among the Filipino people. We have finally broken real ground and set very realistic targets to begin the important work of making Halal a real industry in the Philippines.
“It is important because it is a given in the Filipino culture that our best and most important welcome to any visitor is with food. And if we are not Halal, there is a very important segment of society in the world that we are not extending a proper welcome to.
“We commend Manila Marriott Hotel for being the first premium hotel chain to be rated for its Halal friendly services and for joining us in making our brand of welcome special, through food that is proper and acceptable to our countrymen and friends around the world.”
The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country comprising more than 7,000 islands and offering a unique travel experience from its beautiful coastlines, lush mountain ranges and bustling city centers.
The MasterCard-Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2016, the most comprehensive research that has been released on the sector, revealed that in 2015, there were 117 million Muslim travellers representing 10% of the entire travel economy. Philippines was ranked 46th on the list with a GMTI 2016.