BANGKOK: Predominately Buddhist Thailand has opened its initially halal lodge as hopes to draw in extra Muslim guests and boost a single of the several vivid spots in its financial state.
Approximately 30 million foreign vacationers came to Thailand final calendar year but only about 658,000 ended up from the Middle East, in accordance to business details.
The 4-star Al Meroz lodge in Bangkok, which opened in November 2015, hopes to perform its element in altering that, and to cash in.
“There are one.6 billion Muslims in the earth. It’s a big current market,” mentioned the hotel’s common manager, Sanya Saengboon.
“Just a single p.c of that current market is more than enough for us to prosper.”
The Al Meroz, which features mosque-like architecture, has two prayer rooms and three halal eating halls.
A prayer place is observed at the Al Meroz lodge in Bangkok. (Photograph: Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom)
A Muslim employee cleans himself just before prayers at the Al Meroz lodge. (Photograph: Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom)
Rooms cost from 4,000 baht all the way up to 50,000 baht (US$116 to US$one,445) a evening, mentioned Sanya.
A guest at the lodge, Aamir Fazal, 28, a stability officer from Australia, mentioned accessibility to a halal lodge was a consolation to Muslim vacationers in Thailand wherever halal food stuff can be tough to obtain.
A Muslim spouse and children has their breakfast at the Al Meroz lodge. (Photograph: Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom)
“It’s a really good expertise. It’s the initially halal lodge listed here and I obtain that astounding,” mentioned Fazal.
Keen to faucet into a escalating Muslim vacationer current market, Thailand launched a cellular software final calendar year which aids vacationers research for halal eateries and Muslim-friendly points of interest.
Parts of Thailand’s south, near the border with Muslim Malaysia, are greater part Muslim.
Numerous Malaysians pop in excess of the border for limited visits but a minimal-stage separatist insurgency in the considerably south, that has integrated bomb attacks in border towns frequented by Malaysian vacationers, has dented small business there.
A series of bomb attacks in extra mainstream vacationer towns south of Bangkok this month, in which 4 men and women ended up killed and dozens wounded, has led to fears the insurgency is spreading.
Thailand saw a 10 p.c boost in arrivals from the Middle East in 2015 in contrast with 2014, details from the Division of Tourism showed.
(Reporting by Patpicha Tanakasempipat and Prapan Chankaew Producing by Patpicha Tanakasempipat Enhancing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Robert Birsel)