Title: The current state of Muslim-friendly tourism policies in non-Islamic countries: an exploratory study of Korea's approach

Authors: Ikran Eum

Addresses: The GCC Institute, Dankook University, Korea

Abstract: Since 2010, Korea has seen a gradual increase in the number of inbound Muslim tourists as a result of the hallyu phenomenon. In response, the Korean Government began to promote a welcoming tourism environment to Muslim visitors. The recent crisis caused by the deployment of the terminal high altitude area defence (THAAD) system and China's reprisal boycott has prompted the Korean Government to diversify the local tourism market, shifting its focus from Chinese to Muslim tourists. This study explores the status of Korea's hospitality industry with regard to inbound Muslim tourists. Findings indicate that Korea's domestic tourism industry has responded swiftly to the needs of Muslim tourists by establishing a Muslim-friendly tourism environment. However, Korea's Muslim-friendly policy faces two main challenges: the lack of hospitable infrastructure for Muslim tourists outside of Seoul and a prevailing anti-Islamic sentiment among Koreans who oppose government policy.

Keywords: Islamic tourism; halal tourism; Muslim-friendly tourism; hallyu; Korean wave; anti-Islamic sentiment; Islamophobia; terminal high altitude area defence; THAAD; Islamic consumerism; Muslim tourists; Korean halal policy; Korea.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMB.2018.091665

International Journal of Islamic Marketing and Branding, 2018 Vol.3 No.1, pp.65 - 81

Received: 18 Dec 2017
Accepted: 25 Feb 2018

Published online: 10 May 2018 *

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