Korea: Muslim restaurants guidebook published

By Kim Rahn – Korea Times

280865_1_3The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) has issued a guidebook on halal restaurants and other restaurants for Muslim tourists visiting here.

Written in English, the book titled “Muslim Friendly Restaurants in Korea” introduces 118 restaurants across the country. Those highlighted sell not only Islamic food, but also Korean food that is acceptable to their religion.

It categorized the restaurants into five groups ? Halal Certified, which are certified by the Korea Muslim Federation; Self-Certified, which use halal ingredients and are self-certified by Muslim owners; Muslim Friendly, which are run by Muslims and offer some halal menus while selling liquor; Muslim Welcome, which are Korean restaurants that offer vegetarian menus or pork-free menus such as seafood or temple cuisine; and Pork-Free, which do not offer pork but have other non-halal meat.

The book also grouped 36 famous Korean menus into four categories ? vegetables only; seafood-based food; vegetables or seafood-based food; and meat-based food but no pork ? to provide Muslim visitors with more chance to try Korean cuisine.

“Halal food is the most important factor when Muslims decide on travel destinations,” a KTO official said. “We believe the categorization, the first of its kind here, will play a big role in attracting Muslim tourists to Korea.”

Last year, 624,000 people from Islamic countries visited Korea, accounting for 5.1 percent of total visitors.