SEOUL, April 7 (Korea Bizwire) – A South Korean state-run tourism promotion agency is pushing to introduce a “Muslim-friendly certificate” for local restaurants where visitors could be served well-prepared halal food, industry sources said Thursday.
According to the sources, the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) plans to launch the Muslim-friendly certificate system around August, which will be granted to restaurants based on how well halal food and other dishes are prepared and served.
Halal food refers to food products that are prepared in a specific way according to Islamic Sharia law, which covers not only meat but also fruits and vegetables.
Under the five-tier certificate system, the highest rating will be granted to restaurants that provide halal food officially guaranteed by the Korea Muslim Federation. Those without halal food on their menus could also get a lower-rated certificate if they do not offer pork.
The tourism agency is aiming to choose 200 restaurants nationwide for the Muslim-friendly certificate, the sources said.
The new certificate system is apparently intended to meet the growing demand for halal food as the number of Muslim visitors is steadily increasing.
Last year, around 740,000 Muslims traveled South Korea. The tourism industry projects that the number could go up to 800,000 this year.’