To support the realization of halal tourism areas in various regions in Indonesia, LPPOM MUI through its network in all provinces mapped various programs. The goal, so that halal food and beverage products in tourist destinations guaranteed.
The arrangement of several leading tourist destinations in Indonesia continues to be carried out by the government together with stakeholders. In fact, to further improve the quality and participation of various parties, the government through the Ministry of Tourism has designed the Indonesia Moslem Travelers Index (IMTI) standard.
Head of the Halal Tourism Acceleration Team, Ministry of Tourism, Anang Sutono explained that the application of IMTI standards to halal tourism destinations in Indonesia aims to ignite the spirit of regions in Indonesia to continue to consistently develop halal tourism. “Because halal tourism is a necessity and Indonesia has great potential in this field,” Anang said.
At this meeting, as many as 16 regional leaders included in the leading tourist destinations and Deputy Minister for Industrial and Institutional Development of the Ministry of Tourism and Tourism Ni Wayan Giri Adnyani signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This step was taken as evidence of the commitment of the regional leaders to develop halal tourism in their respective regions.
Assistant Deputy for Development of Regional Destinations I Kemenpar Lokot Ahmad Enda Siregar explained that the concept of halal tourism is intended so that tourists feel comfortable in meeting their needs while traveling. “We want Lake Toba to become a world-friendly tourist destination for anyone. And it can be enjoyed by anyone,” Lokot said when opening a culinary tourism training in the Lake Toba region, North Tapanuli, some time ago.
Lokot added, Lake Toba must be a world-class tourist destination, and therefore it must be open for foreign tourists from anywhere. Owned facilities must be complete and embrace all. That is one of the requirements to make tourists feel at home,” he said.
According to Lokot, the majority of tourists who come to North Sumatra and Lake Toba come from Malaysia. International flights to Silangit Airport are also connected to KL (Kuala Lumpur). Therefore, Lake Toba must be a Muslim friendly tourist destination. “We also want Lake Toba to be a friendly destination for all tourists. Including for Muslim tourists. So I ask that there is no misunderstanding. Kemenpar wants to develop shopping and culinary tourism on Lake Toba. And we want that to be Muslim friendly too. And that is also important,” Lokot said, cautioning that Muslim tourists in Samosir, for example, must go to Parapat to find food.
As is known, Lake Toba is a super-priority destination, along with Labuan Bajo, Borobudur (Yogyakarta) and Mandalika. Until 2024 the four tourist areas are super-priority tourism areas that must be developed.
LPPOM MUI Involvement
To accelerate the development program, Kemenpar is collaborating with LPPOM MUI as a halal institution that will provide guidance, training as well as conducting halal certification.
Deputy Director of LPPOM MUI Osmena Gunawan said, in developing halal tourism or tourism management that makes Muslim tourists feel comfortable, Indonesia is far behind other countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, and Japan. These countries have worked on the halal tourism sector very well. “They view that halal tourism is very profitable from the business side. Because, in addition to being badly needed by Muslim tourists, halal food and drinks are good for the whole community, including those who are not followers of Islam,” Osmena said.
Even though he admitted that he was late, Osmena appreciated the government’s step in the last few years which was very aggressively working on the tourism sector, including halal tourism. “LPPOM MUI will continue to oversee this program, because the impact is very good both for the community of businesses in the tourism sector and for the country’s foreign exchange income,” he added.
A similar commitment was also conveyed by the leadership of LPPOM MUI in various regions in Indonesia. “Food and beverages are the main components of the tourism business. That is why, it is necessary to carry out continuous education and promotion so that tourism and hotel managers adopt the concept of halal tourism, by providing food and beverages that are guaranteed halal,” said Director of LPPOM MUI DIY Prof. Dr. Ir. H. Trijoko Wisnu Murti, DEA.
As one of the main tourist destination areas in Indonesia, Jogja deserves to be developed as a halal tourism destination. “LPPOM MUI DIY, which handles the halal certification sector for restaurants, food, drinks, and other supporting facilities, has started pioneering steps a few years ago,” Trijoko said.
Osmena Gunawan stated, in supporting the halal tourism program, there were several stages undertaken by LPPOM MUI. The first is the provisioning and socialization of culinary entrepreneurs about the importance of halal products. Second, the availability of accommodation or hotel facilities with sharia concept.
Specifically for culinary, the approach is more in the interests of their business, that by pocketing the MUI halal certificate, the products they sell will be increasingly in demand by consumers. Because, every Muslim tourist needs halal food, drink and supporting facilities. These efforts, Osmena added, must be continually carried out, both in the form of seminars, training, and other means of socialization and education.
The next step is to map the business sector that needs halal certification, which is culinary that has been a flagship in every tourist destination. In Jogja, for example, the most popular culinary is warm and bakpia. Therefore, the target of halal certification conducted by LPPOM MUI is warm and bakpia products.
By carrying out various approaches, Osmena asserted that efforts to further enhance the existence of halal tourism areas in various regions will soon be achieved. “The world already knows the beauty of Indonesia. We only need to process and present it well,” Osmena said. (***)