Miss Universes from Bahrain and Pakistan Promote Halal Travel in the Philippines


Miss Universes representing Bahrain and Pakistan have joined a campaign aimed at promoting halal travel in the Philippines.

Manila is seeking to attract more visitors from the Middle East and Muslim-majority countries to meet its tourism goals this year. The Philippines heavily relies on tourism, which contributed nearly 13 percent of the country’s GDP in 2019, amounting to approximately $50 billion.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the share of tourism in the economy fell to about 5 percent in 2020 and 2021 when global travel came to a halt.

To revive the tourism sector, Manila is positioning itself as a Muslim-friendly destination. The participation of Miss Universes from Bahrain and Pakistan is part of the latest effort to support the promotion of halal tourism in the Philippines.

Tourism Undersecretary Myra Paz Valderrosa-Abubakar stated that the Department of Tourism is leveraging the presence of the Miss Universes to assist in promoting Muslim-friendly and halal tourism in the country.

Abubakar expressed optimism that the visit of the Miss Universes to the Philippines would significantly contribute to the country’s tourism industry.

The hope is that their presence will influence the global Muslim community to consider visiting the archipelago nation, which boasts white sand beaches, renowned diving spots, vibrant entertainment, diverse cultural heritage, and distinctive wildlife.

With the Muslim travel market projected to reach a value of $225 billion by 2028, the Philippines government announced in 2022 that attracting foreign visitors from the Middle East and Muslim-majority nations was among its priority goals.

Official data indicates that the Philippines is on track to achieve its target of welcoming 4.8 million foreign arrivals this year, as it has already received over 4 million visitors.

Earlier this year, the Philippines received the Emerging Muslim-friendly Destination of the Year award at the Halal in Travel Global Summit, recognizing its efforts to attract global Muslim travelers. The country’s commitment to promoting halal and wellness tourism continues through a collaboration between the Department of Tourism, The Farm resort, and Xpedition Middle East magazine.

Miss Universe Bahrain, Lujane Yacoub, and Miss Universe Pakistan, Erica Robin, arrived in Manila on Friday as part of their training for Miss Universe 2023, scheduled to be held in El Salvador in November. During their stay in the Philippines, they will showcase the country’s beauty to the global Muslim community.

Yacoub expressed admiration for the Philippines’ diverse attractions and welcoming nature, encouraging visitors from Bahrain to experience the country’s stunning beaches, diving spots, rich culture, and warm hospitality.

Robin considered it a privilege to contribute to promoting the Philippines and expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to showcase the country’s brighter side to the world. Both Miss Universes expressed enthusiasm for their visit and their eagerness to explore and learn more about the Philippines.

The collaboration between the Miss Universes, the Department of Tourism, The Farm resort, and Xpedition Middle East magazine highlights the ongoing efforts to attract Muslim travelers and promote halal and wellness tourism in the Philippines.

By leveraging the presence and influence of the Miss Universes, the country aims to rejuvenate its tourism sector and position itself as an attractive destination for Muslim travelers worldwide.

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