New Zealand renews halal food guide

WELLINGTON: Tourism New Zealand has released the newest version of its Halal Food Guide. Designed to accommodate Muslim travelers visiting the country, the current guide has 289 new restaurants and cafes added to the earlier version.

First launched in 2016, the Halal Food Guide highlights halal-certified cuisine, as well as supermarkets and take away food outlets with halal certification. Along with general travel information, the guide is equipped with 567 halal-certified listings.

The guide was curated by Tourism New Zealand, Kiwi Muslim Directory and Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ).

Steven Dixon, Tourism New Zealand regional manager for South and Southeast Asia, said the improved guide showed New Zealand’s commitment in accommodating the needs of Muslim travelers as well as establishing the country’s stance as one of the most popular travel destinations in the world.

“We would like to assure that halal-certified food is easily accessible to Muslim travelers in New Zealand. We recognized the importance of partnering with Kiwi Muslim Directory and FIANZ in consistently renewing the Halal Food Guide. With our newest guide, Muslim travelers can choose from a plethora of cuisine in all areas and cities,” said Dixon.

Nawaz Ahmed, project manager of the Kiwi Muslim Directory, added that the institution wished to continue working with Tourism New Zealand in renewing the food guide and finding new ways to make travelers feel content. Its platform consists of websites and print media to bridge Muslim organizations, volunteers and communities.

Several recommended halal food joints in New Zealand include Bawarchi Indian Restaurant in Central Auckland, Garudas Food Truck in Wellington, The Herb Centre Café in Christchurch and KL Aroma Restaurant in Dunedin.
The food guide is available for download from the Tourism New Zealand website.

Lonely Planet reported that Muslim travelers were the third-biggest spenders in global travel. A number of countries have made the effort to make Muslim travelers feel welcome. Japan has started to make halal bento boxes and Russia has opened several halal hotels. (The Jakarta Post)