Positioning Aceh as a Global Halal Tourism Destination
Aceh holds immense potential to become a leading global destination for halal tourism. With its array of attractions, including cultural sites, culinary delights, and natural beauty, Aceh offers a unique and appealing experience for tourists, particularly those seeking halal-friendly options.
Halal tourism aligns with Islamic principles, encompassing aspects such as accommodation, transportation, food, beverages, and activities, while prioritizing cleanliness, safety, comfort, and fairness for both businesses and visitors.
According to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) of Aceh, the province welcomed 10,402 international tourists in 2020, a 56.77% decrease from 2019's 24,062, due largely to the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on travel. However, in 2022, international visitations surged to 1.7 million, indicating Aceh's growing appeal post-pandemic, attracting tourists from Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, the United States, and other countries across Asia, America, and Europe.
Aceh's attraction for international visitors stems from its diverse halal tourism destinations spread across the region, including:
Baiturrahman Grand Mosque: A magnificent architectural marvel and religious hub in Banda Aceh, known for its grand black domes and white walls, rich with Aceh Sultanate history.
Aceh Tsunami Museum: An educational and memorial site recalling the 2004 tsunami, with a unique, wave-like design and a shelter for future disasters.
Laut Tawar Lake: A stunning natural attraction in the Gayo highlands, offering cool breezes, boat rentals, and lakeside dining.
Weh Island: A paradise for marine enthusiasts, with white sandy beaches and clear waters perfect for snorkeling, diving, surfing, or relaxing. The island also provides halal accommodations and worship places.
Ketambe Nature Tourism: A favorite for wildlife enthusiasts, offering a glimpse into the natural habitat of orangutans, along with forest trekking, river rafting, and camping.
Aceh Museum: A cultural haven showcasing Aceh’s history and culture, with collections from the Sultanate era to the Indonesian independence struggle, including weapons, jewelry, traditional clothing, and more.
Solong Ulee Kareng Coffee Shop: A must-visit for coffee connoisseurs, serving distinctive Aceh filtered coffee accompanied by various halal snacks.
Aceh's potential as a world-class halal tourism destination lies not only in its attractions but also in its rich culture, delightful cuisine, and breathtaking natural beauty. With its unique traditions, arts, customs, flavorful and halal culinary offerings, and stunning landscapes of mountains, beaches, lakes, forests, and islands, Aceh is well-positioned for global recognition.
Developing Aceh as a global halal tourism hub can significantly boost its economy and improve local well-being while showcasing its rich heritage and beauty to the world.