Predominantly Buddhist Thailand opened its first halal hotel, ie conforming to the Islamic Sharia law, hoping to attract more Muslim tourists and boost one of the few positive emerging sectors of the economy, reported Reuters.
Nearly 30 million foreign tourists visited Thailand last year, but only about 658 thousand were from the Middle East, according to data from the sector.
The four-star hotel Al Meroz in Bangkok, which opened in November, hopes to change that fact in its favor.
“There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. It’s a huge market,” said the general manager of the hotel Sanya Saengboon.
“Just one percent of that market is enough for us to thrive,” she added.
Al Meroz, the architecture of which reminds a mosque has two prayer rooms and three halal dining rooms.
Rooms cost from 4 thousand бaht to 50 thousand бaht (116 to 1445 dollars) a night, said Sanya.
Wishing to attract Muslim tourists Thailand last year released a mobile application that helps visitors find where it offers halal food and attractions that meet the Sharia.
Thailand reported last year, an increase of 10% over the previous year of visits from the Middle East, according to the Office of Tourism.