“Best Muslim-Friendly Emerging Destination” by the Global Halal in Travel Awards 2022 is Spain. The Halal Tourism Award recognizes the efforts of actors in the tourism sector that have had a profound impact on Muslim lifestyles and tourism segments. The ceremony praised the Spanish authorities' efforts to raise awareness and comfort for Muslim travel, leading to a surge in halal-friendly services, the Quran International News Agency reported.
The award was presented to the Spanish Ambassador to Singapore, Santiago Miralles, as well as the director of the Spanish Council for Tourism in Southeast Asia, New Zealand and Australia, Monica Sanchez. During his speech, the Ambassador stressed that thanks to close cooperation between the public and private sectors, the number of services provided to Muslims in Spain continues to grow. Miralles said that a large number of hotels, restaurants and establishments in the European country are adapted to meet the needs of Muslim tourists.
Some products and services are also Halal certified by the Halal Institute, which guarantees that they meet the required requirements under Islamic law. The list of such places in Spain is extensive: in addition to food, the country is also known for its mosques, as well as its rich Islamic heritage.
According to the report, cities such as Cordoba and Granada are chosen by a large number of Muslim travelers for Ramadan. At the same time, it is emphasized that during the holy month, some institutions, such as Casa Árabe, the city council of Córdoba, as well as the Halal Institute, organize events such as Noches de Ramadan (Ramadan Nights) in Córdoba, a special program that includes several activities such as films, workshops, talks, concerts and exhibitions.
However, despite the fact that the European country in the Pyrenees received the Halal in Travel award, the Spanish economic sector has been hit hard by the spread of COVID-19 and its new strains. The Spanish authorities are trying to “pull” the tourism and travel sector out of distress by attracting tourists from different countries. Thus, it was recently reported that Spain restored 85.4% of the tourist flow in April, opening the borders for 6.1 million foreign travelers who spent a total of 6.901 million euros on their trips. According to a report by Spain's National Statistical Institute (INE), these figures are close to pre-pandemic figures.
According to Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, María Reyes Maroto, the demand for travel to the country in the first week of April and the easing of requirements to the entrance helped to revitalize the tourism sector, exceeding all expectations. “In addition, we accept tourists who stay longer in our country and, as a result, spend more during their trip, which indicates that we are moving towards a better and more profitable tourism model,” said the minister.
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