ITALIA BAYTI: The Italian program for Muslim friendly tourism.
WHAD (Halal World Development), the Italian halal certification body, presented during Abrabian Travel Mart, the first Italian project for bringing in Muslim tourists to Italy.
The Muslim Travel Index 2014 shows Italy as the second tourist destination in the wish list for Saudi tourists, the third for Malaysians and the fifth for the UAE. The potential for Italian tourism is evaluated by the same index in several billion euros.
Despite the very high interest for our country, potential visitors have often complained about the lack of facilities for them, especially (but not limited to) the ability to eat according to their worship, HALAL.
For this reason Italy is often considered not very Muslim friendly and not very family friendly.
A perception likely to change also because of the commitment shown from day of opening of EXPO 2015, and with initiatives like ITALIAN BAYTI, which testify to the natural propensity of Italians for hospitality.
ANNAMARIA AISHA TIOZZO, president of WHAD, Italian halal certification body, and experienced international marketing Islamic consultant, adds :”we propose a Muslim friendly approach, , in which the Middle East tourists can find the services that can make him feel ‘at home’, without being forced to accept them or feeling ‘targeted’. We developed the project Italia Bayti – Muslim friendly hospitality, that includes training and accreditation of restaurants, hotels, coffee shop, spa and wellness centers, and the promotion of these businesses online (both specialized and traditional), and the creation of Halal friendly tourist packages for Middle East tour operators.
With the certification or accreditation provided by WHAD, the facilities also enter the circuit of Crescentrating locations, the most renowned rating in the world for the dedicated segment.
The famous rating of Singapore, which WHAD is the exclusive partner for Italy provides facilities a rating from 1 to 7 depending on the ability to welcome Muslim tourists. Through HALAL TRIP web site and app, also allows the booking and reservation of halal friendly hotels and restaurants.
Mohamed Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of Crescentrating, said, “We heavily focused on Italy, because the Country is a worldwide dream destination . With the promotion of dedicated services, the Attraction power of Italy as a Muslim tourist destination will grow exponentially.”
At the Arabian travel mart, WHAD, Crescentrating and Confimprese turismo Roma (association of hoteliers in Rome) presented the first ITALIA BAYTI accredited facilities including hotels, restaurants and spas. “The tourism toward our country is also facilitated by the agreement in force since May 7 between UAE and Italy that allows visitors and families from UAE to enter Italy without a visa,” adds Giorgio Starace , the Italian ambassador in the UAE.