Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is expected to rank first in terms of global halal tourism and as a Muslim tourist-friendly destination, according to the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) in 2019.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said on Thursday that Indonesia targeted to take the lead in the world`s halal tourist destinations this year, owing to its halal tourism growth.

"Our halal tourism growth is projected to reach an all-time high of around 42 percent this year," he stated.

For its part, the Tourism Ministry has set the target of halal tourist arrivals in the country for this year at 5 million, up 42 percent from 3.5 million a year earlier, he noted.

"The target of 5 million halal tourist arrivals makes up 25 percent of the target of overall tourist arrivals for this year at 20 million," he added.

To achieve the target, the ministry will use Indonesia Muslim Travel Index (IMTI) as a work standard to develop the country`s halal tourism in pursuit of first place in GMTI 2019 to be announced in April 2019, he remarked.

"We have IMTI 2019, which adopts GMTI standards to emerge as the best halal tourist destination in GMTI 2019," he explained.

Yahya noted that the development of halal tourism in the country has so far referred to GMTI 2019, which applies 14 components in the criteria of ACES (Access, Communications, Environment, and Services) with different scores.

Access has a score of 10 percent, Communications 15 percent, Environment 30 percent, and Services 45 percent.

"In total, nearly 90 percent is service components and 10 percent is halal component. We strive to increase all the components through IMTI," he revealed.

He expressed hope that Indonesia will be the best after the country and United Arab Emirates finished second last year, with a score of 72.8 out of 100.

Malaysia remains atop as the best halal tourist destination in the world, according to GMTI.

Reporting by Hanni Sofia, Suharto
Editing by Eliswan Azly

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Suharto
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