Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Taiwan for Muslim travellers

On a trip to Kaohsiung a few days before the Meinong Earthquake shook southern Taiwan, I noticed a Muslim Prayer Room near the back entrance to Kaohsiung TRA Station. This facility is part of the government's efforts to attract tourists from Muslim countries. Another important aspect of the campaign is encouraging restaurants at major tourist attractions to obtain halal certifications. Unlike the prayer room recently established at Taipei Main Railway Station, the prayer room in Kaohsiung TRA Station is very near washrooms where Muslims can carry out their traditional pre-prayer ablutions.

Very few Taiwanese follow Islam (no more than 0.3% of the population) but the progress Taiwan has made in transforming itself into a Muslim-friendly destination has got some recognition in target markets, such as Malaysia. Still, having been to Sun Moon Lake, Alishan and Taroko Gorge in recent weeks, it seems many of the Muslim visitors to these places aren't tourists from afar, but citizens of Indonesia and other countries already working or studying in Taiwan.

Information for Muslim travelers heading to Taiwan can be found here.

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