Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Tourism industry players, including hotels and restaurants, in European countries are providing special services tailored to Islamic rules, such as halal food and mosques or comfortable prayer rooms, for Muslim travelers.

"Tourism businesses in Europe are increasingly aware of the needs of Muslim tourists, such as halal-certified food from authorized institutions and mosques or comfortable prayer rooms," Muslim Product Ambassador of the world tourism company Kuoni Global Travel Services Maulana Gunawan Surbakti stated here on Tuesday night (June 5).

Surbakti pointed out that the number of Muslim tourists visiting Europe is increasing. In addition, the number of Muslims in European countries is also growing rapidly. Currently, the Great Britain is a country in Europe, with the highest growth in the number of Muslims.

Surbakti noted that as a result of the two conditions, Muslim tour service providers found it easier to provide halal food and mosques or comfortable prayer places.

Halal food is one that adheres to the Islamic law, as defined in the Quran. The Islamic form of slaughtering animals or poultry involves killing through a cut to the jugular vein, carotid artery, and windpipe in the name of Allah. Moreover, halal food, including beverages, must be free from alcohol and other harmful substances.

Surbakti stated that before taking Muslim travelers to European countries, Kuoni Muslim Ambassador had conducted a survey of the restaurants and cafes providing halal food.

"We do not just want to receive verbal recognition from the restaurant owners or chefs that the food they sell is halal, but they must present a halal certificate from the authorities," Surbakti explained.

In addition, they are on the lookout for mosques located along the route trip, so that Muslim tourists will not be late in performing prayers.

"We set the travel time in line with the prayer schedule for three times, such as dawn prayers, zuhur, and ashar for one time in the noon and magrib and isya for one time in the night. Thus, we will not miss offering prayers five times a day," Surbakti noted, adding that tours managed by Kuoni are led by Muslim tour guides, who understand the Islamic rules of worship and travel.

Reporter: Libertina W. Ambari
Editor: Bambang Purwanto
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