The Islamic Culture Foundation (FUNCI) participated in the 2020 International Trade Fair (FITUR) through the workshop “Mayrit is Madrid. Challenges for a tourism Muslim Friendly”. Last Friday January 24th, FUNCI, in collaboration with Madrid City Council, organized a conference to address the many challenges that Madrid is facing in order to become a Muslim Friendly destination.
Through the participation of different experts on the touristic field, the workshop highlighted the touristic deficits that the city of Madrid presents today (as it happens with its neighbor cities as well, such as Toledo or Avila) in order to become a halal touristic destination. Through their on-the-ground experience, these experts offer many answers to this challenges.
The need for a halal tourism
The workshop counted with the participation of José María de Juan, managing partner of the touristic consultancy specialized on sustainable tourism Koan Consulting; Rafael Martínez, journalist and specialist on the Islamic Madrid, in addition to a collaborator of the Center for the Study of Islamic Madrid launched by FUNCI; and Miguel Arrebola, head of the technical department of Safety Horizon.
From different approaches and relying in quantitative and qualitative data, the three speakers reached the same conclusion: we need practical solutions to make Madrid available to Muslim tourists. Our collaborator Rafa Martínez pointed out, for instance, at the lack of information on Halal services for Muslim tourists in the official institutional sources. He noted how limited the offer of guides and products is, always narrowed to food products and ignoring other services that tourists’ might need. As the three participants concluded, this opens many new opportunities to enter the touristic market.
Eco Halal Value
FUNCI understands that the “halal” concept is more than an Islamic precept on food. It is a way of life, a particular ethics, and a notion of economic, environmental, and cultural sustainability. This approach is reflected, of course, in all the actions we develop, and it’s at the core of the Center for the Study of Islamic Madrid we launched in 2017.
FUNCI understands that the “halal” concept is more than an Islamic precept on food. It is a way of life, a particular ethics, and a notion of economic, environmental, and cultural sustainability.
As Encarna Gutiérrez, FUNCI’s Secretary General, pointed out in the opening to the workshop, since the Foundation launched the concept “Eco Halal Value” three years ago, we haven’t stopped working on its implementation, nor have we stopped insisting in the importance of the Halal certificate as an “international quality seal”, especially in the touristic field. With this aim, we work to expand and define the evaluation mechanisms for the certification of halal products and services, as well as for the training of businessmen, professionals, and workers of the touristic, hotel, and trade fields. Through this efforts, we hope to make of Madrid a Muslim Friendly reality soon.