Creation of Davao halal council seen to attract tourists from BIMP-EAGA

DAVAO CITY, April 22 (PNA)–The City Tourism Office here expects an increase in tourist arrivals from neighboring Muslim countries following the creation of the Davao City Halal Industry Development Council.

City Tourism Officer Gene Rose Tecson on Thursday said the halal industry can attract more tourists to the city, especially those coming from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio signed Wednesday an Executive Order creating the halal council aimed at ensuring the marketability of locally-produced halal products in the domestic markets and in the member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“We are part of the ASEAN and BIMP-EAGA. These neighboring countries have Muslim citizens, so if we have a halal council, and establishments that are halal certified, it will be easier for us to cater to their needs,” Tecson said.

Tecson said they are expecting more visitors to come to the city once they realize that the locality is halal-ready. The creation of the council is also expected to push the city’s bid to become a Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) destination.

However, Tecson said there is a need to educate the people about halal because many still think it just pertains to Muslims,

Tecson said there are many opportunities in the halal market, but only eight establishments in the city are halal-certified.

“Only one of these eight halal-certified establishments is in the catering business and it got most of the customers during the ASEAN event in the city,” she said.

Duterte-Carpio chairs the halal council and is co-chaired by the President of the Mindanao Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI).

The council’s membership also includes the Davao City Office of Muslim Affairs for Halal Shariah Concerns, the Davao City Investment and Promotion Center for Investment Concerns, and Tourism Congress of the Philippines Halal Committee for Halal Tourism, among others. (PNA)

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