As part of the “Phuket Andaman Halal for Tourism 2014” event, the “Phuket Andaman Halal Expo 2014” was opened in Sapan Hin main stage on May 30th by Sheikhul Arsis Pitakkhumpol of the Sheikhul Islam Office. PPAO Chief Executive Advisor – Soratham Jinda, who acted on behalf of Chief Executive Paiboon Upattising, detailed the origin of the meeting while Governor Maitri Inthusut and Chair of Phuket Islamic Commission – Pol Sgt Maj Komol Dumlak gave welcoming speeches. The launch was attended by PPAO Council Members, members of the Thailand Central Islamic Commission, members of the Phuket Islamic Commission, a Halal delegation from 15 countries, religious leaders, consuls, and foreign dignitaries.
Mr Soratham said at the opening that the Phuket Andaman Halal for Tourism 2014 fair was divided into two distinct areas:
1) An international conference on Halal tourism which took place on May 29 at Phuket Graceland Resort and Spa in Patong. The conference was participated by representatives from Halal organizations, consuls and ambassadors in Thailand, government agencies, private companies, and nation-wide tour agents.
2) The Halal Expo, a two-day event which took place on May 30th – 31st and which comprised of exhibitions of Halal food and OTOP products, lectures by Islamic leaders, traditional Muslim musical performances (Anasid), sale of Halal products from Malaysia, among others.
Funded and organized by PPAO, both events have received support from the Sheikhul Islam Office, Thailand Central Islamic Commission, Phuket Islamic Commission, and other sectors both governmental and private.
PPAO said Mr Soratham is committed to promoting Halal tourism to prepare Phuket for increasing numbers of tourists of Muslim origin, both now and during the upcoming AEC. Sheikhul Arsis highlighted the teaching of Allah in relation to food consumption. According to Allah, nutrition must be healthy and hygienic and food cooking must follow strict Islamic rules. One in four people of the 7,000 million world’s population is Muslim. In Asia alone, Muslim counts for 60 per cent of the total population. For this reason, Halal has become an important model of economy for many countries but one that has to be carried out under correct Islamic laws. This is, he said, to observe the teachings of Allah with respect.
Sheikhul Arsis ended by thanking PPAO for its warm welcome towards the delegation. He also thanked the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Agriculture and Cooperation Ministry, Tourism Authority of Thailand for giving support to this event, and the Phuket province for providing venue and manpower.