Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The development of the COVID-19 vaccines, and the increasing number of vaccinated people, have risen optimism that the pandemic would end any time soon, or at least the coronavirus would no longer be a scourge.
It means that social activities would return to what they used to be with a new normal lifestyle, including traveling.
Taiwan, which has been successful in dealing with the pandemic, with an average of 42 cases per one million people, could become a main choice of tourist destination, including for Muslims.
Even though it only has around 60,000 Muslims, or 0.3 percent of the total population of 23.57 million people, the Taiwanese government and most of the people understand the needs of Muslims to fulfill halal status, or what is allowed in this religion (Islam).
In the 2019 Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI), Taiwan ranked 3rd in the world as a Muslim-friendly tourist destination.
Every corner of Taiwan is such a beautiful picture that it is impossible to complete a visit in a year.
To help travelers plan trips on the Formosa Island, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau and major travel agencies’ websites can be references.
Travelers can also download Taiwan Halal application developed by Indonesian students in Taiwan, to obtain information about tourist attractions, mosques or prayer rooms, restaurants, shops, hotels, important telephone numbers, and others.
Nowadays it is no longer difficult for Muslim tourists to find prayer rooms at airports, train stations, and even at tourist attractions such as Sun Moon Lake, Alishan, and the National Palace Museum.
Major cities in the north, central, south and east have a number of tourist sites suitable for Muslims because almost all public facilities and shopping centers in these areas have prayer rooms.
In addition, there is the Taipei Grand Mosque, located in the best area of Taiwan’s capital city of Taipei, which was designed by a famous Taiwanese architect.
The two worship minarets on the outside of the mosque are more than 20 meters high. The building is magnificent and is an important place for Muslims to perform worship in Taiwan.
Tour bus operators can also arrange separate spaces for men and women, making travel in Taiwan more comfortable and enjoyable.
Since 2012, Taiwan Tourism Bureau has collaborated with certification authorities to hold seminars on Muslim tourism, as well as issues on Halal Food Certification and Muslim Friendly Restaurant Certification for Taiwanese businesses.
According to statistics from the bureau, as of March 2021, there have been 276 restaurants and hotels, including the five-star class, with halal certifications.
Many of the restaurants found on recreational farms and street snacks are also halal-certified. One of which is the famous Taiwan popcorn chicken, as it uses halal-certified fresh chicken.
A number of restaurants serving Taiwanese beef noodles have also received halal certificates from the authorities of the Formosa Island.
In Taiwan, halal certification is also given for medical services.
The Taipei City Health Service has promoted a Muslim Friendly Environment policy, making accredited hospitals provide separate medical services for male and female patients. With this system, Muslim female patients will only be treated by female health workers.
Many hospitals have also provided various halal food options, even setting up halal-certified food vending machines.
Hospital managements in Taiwan also conduct educations and trainings to provide health workers with understanding of Muslim cultures, so as to improve services for Muslims.
After the pandemic, let’s enjoy a halal vacation to Taiwan!
Reporting by Indonesia Window