▲ Malaysian tourists in Korean dress. Photo courtesy Muslim Tour in Korea
The following interviews accompany a guide to Jeju for Muslim visitors which can be found here. For an interview with the founder of Jeju's only Islamic Cultural Center click here.
What do the locals think?
The Jeju Weekly spoke to some Muslim Jeju residents about the state of resident and tourist services on the island for their co-religionists. According to their responses, to increase Muslim visitor satisfaction the province still needs to:
Officially certify halal restaurants;
Provide halal Korean foods (rather than international cuisine);
Provide cultural awareness training for hoteliers, restaurateurs, etc;
Provide prayer rooms;
Increase flights to Southeast Asia;
Hold friendship events on holy days.
Shahid Aziz, Pakistan, PhD student at Jeju National University
Image courtesy Shahid Aziz
On halal food
“Halal food availability will encourage a number of Muslim tourists to visit Jeju, because ... the first thing [a Muslim] enquires about is halal food.”
“At tourists sites, there should be vegetable sandwiches, egg sandwiches, vegetable or seafood noodles, French fries, shrimp burgers, etc.”
“Separate cutlery is definitely needed.”
On prayer facilities and holy days
“[I]f there is no mosque or praying place for Muslims [on holy days], then any Muslim will avoid visiting Jeju on those days.”
Kaiser A. Hoja, China, quantity surveyor, Jeju City.
Image courtesy Kaiser A. Hoja
On halal food
“Try to think about it. You go somewhere to have a good time. but you can't eat, and you can't do what you have to do; how you can have a good time? So, it is very important.”
On Muslim-specific services
“I think if guesthouse can provide halal food and a place for prayer, that will be enough. Muslims are same as other visitors; we are all human.”
Nehal Osman, Egypt, PhD student at Jeju National University
Photo courtesy Nehal Osman
On halal food
“Even the restaurants that contain seafood or vegetables also contain pork and sometimes they cook these together such is their lack of knowledge about our food habits.”
“Language is very important when you want to attract people ... so workers must know at least some good english and it is very difficult to communicate with taxi and bus drivers.”
Ahmed Kamel, Egypt, MA student at Jeju National University
Photo by Eric Hevesy
“As all Muslims are not allowed to use anything that contains pork, including meat, fat, etc, I think separate kitchen utensils for Muslims and even vegetarians would be attractive.”
“[As people like to pray outside during Eid] I think providing a nice open area for praying in Jeju’s wonderful nature would be great.”
This article accompanies a guide to Jeju for Muslim visitors which can be found here. For an interview with the founder of Jeju's only Islamic Cultural Center click here.
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