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Islamic Lifestyle

Philippines, Qatar ink agreement to strengthen tourism ties

Philippines and Qatar signed a preliminary agreement on Monday to bolster bilateral growth in tourism and business events. 

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) is one of the agreements inked during Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani’s state visit to the Southeast Asian country. 

"We are reintroducing the Philippines to the world on the strength of our Filipino culture, heritage, and identity, and we view our partnership with Qatar as being an important part of this movement," the Philippine News Agency reported, quoting the country’s tourism secretary Christina Frasco. 

The agreement is expected to solidify the countries’ aim to encourage tourism investments, promote familiarization visits for media and tourism experts, and upskill operators, employees, and specialists. 

Philippines received 10,438 visitors from Qatar in 2023, according to data released by the Department of Tourism. 

Philippine’s tourism department has worked towards strengthening Muslim-friendly and halal tourism offerings to cater to the need of its Muslim visitors.

The country announced its plan to launch a national halal strategy last September, aiming to generate 230 billion pesos in investment and help create 120,000 jobs in five years. Besdies food and food-related products, the plan also includes verticals such as Islamic finance, and halal-friendly travel and tourism. 

Philippine was named the emerging Muslim-friendly destination at the Halal in Travel Global Summit 2023.