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Jakarta Post

Ban on swimming? Myths hinder Indonesia’s development in halal tourism

  • Panca Nugraha and Eisya A. Eloksari

    The Jakarta Post

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Mataram and Jakarta   /   Mon, October 21, 2019   /  07:08 pm
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Visitors crowd Halal Park at the Bung Karno Sports Stadium complex in Senayan, Central Jakarta.(Courtesy of/Tirta Utama Umbas)

Halal tourism has struggled to thrive in parts of the country, with some concerned about the consequences “Islamization” might have on the local cultures that embrace the halal tourist industry. Myths surrounding the concept, such as a prohibition on swimming at halal tourist destinations, have worsened the situation, making Islam looks like a foe instead of a friend of tourism. At the same time, Indonesia’s Asian peers have capitalized on the halal market, promoting restaurants and prayer houses to attract Muslim travelers. Indonesia Halal Lifestyle Center (IHLC) chairman Sapta Nirwanda said in Jakarta Thursday that the concept of halal tourism should be adopted to unlock the growing potential of halal tourism in the country. He pointed to South Korea as a country where there was a growing number of Muslim tourists, partly due to its success in promotin...