The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has launched an app for the growing number of Muslim visitors to the countryto help them find their way around Thailand.
The app, available on both iOS and Android platforms, will work both an online and offline guidebook. It will offer directions to mosques, halal restaurants and hotels, shopping centres with prayer rooms, and other facilities of cultural importance to Muslim travellers. For the same, it has a search and navigation feature to help locate specific places and estimate the time it will take to get there from any location. as per a press release.
The app is being seen as a critical component of the strategy to position Thailand as a Muslim-friendly destination. It is available in English and Thai languages for now but will be expanded to include Arabic and Bahasa Indonesia later.
Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Acting Governor, TAT, said, “We are especially happy to launch this app in the holy month of Ramadan. We hope it will be useful to the many Muslim visitors from Indonesia and Malaysia who may choose to visit Thailand during the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr (Hari Raya) holidays at the end of the month.”
The app has been developed with the support of the Halal Science Centre of Chulalongkorn University, the Foundation of the Islamic Centre of Thailand, Halal Standards Institute of Thailand, and the Tourism Council of Thailand.
Rerngronasa went on to add, “The Muslim population worldwide is about 1.6 billion, representing 23% of the total global population.” She noted that Thailand is already the top destination for Middle East travellers in Asia. Among the non-Muslim countries, Thailand is ranked second in the world by the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015, she informed.
“We believe this is because we have the required range of products and services for Muslim travellers. We are already seeing many of our shopping complexes providing facilities for Muslim prayers. Halal food is also becoming commonplace. We are also seeing increasing investor interest in developing halal-tourism hotels.
Musafir Namah Bureau