Halal tourism

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Halal Chinese restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan.

Halal tourism is a subcategory of tourism which is geared towards Muslim families who abide by rules of Islam. The hotels in such destinations do not serve alcohol and have separate swimming pools and spa facilities for men and women. Malaysia, Turkey and many more countries are trying to attract Muslim tourists from all over the world offering facilities in accordance with the religious beliefs of Muslim tourists. Currently, there exists no internationally recognized standards on Halal tourism.

The Halal tourism industry also provides flights where no alcohol or pork products are served, prayer timings are announced, and religious programs are broadcast as part of entertainment offered on board.

A Euromonitor International report released at World Travel Market in 2007 in London says that there is potential for a boom in halal tourism in the Middle East. The report mentions a market for a halal startup airline, which could provide halal food, prayer calls, Qur'an in seat pockets and provide separate sections for male and female travelers.[1][2]

Many international hotels do serve halal food that is slaughtered in accordance with the teachings of Islamic Sharia and is free of any substances forbidden by Islam such as pork and alcohol. Some hotels have employed people from the Muslim world to provide translation services and other assistance that may be needed by tourists from Muslim countries.[3]

The Economist's article on Halal Business published on May 25, 2013: "It is not just manufactured halal products. Services such as halal holidays are booming, too. Crescent Tours, a London-based online travel specialist, books clients into hotels in Turkey that have separate swimming pools for men and women, no-alcohol policies and halal restaurants, and rents out private holiday villas with high walls."[4]Tripfez, which was featured on Forbes offers Muslim-friendly hotels and advice about halal food options, Quran availability and more.[5]

Based on a report by Thomson Reuters, in 2014 Muslims from around the globe spent $142 billion on travel (excluding Hajj and Umrah). In comparison, travellers from China spent $160 billion on travel in 2014, while US travellers spent $143 billion, placing the Muslim travel sector in third place in global travel spending and accounting for 11 per cent of total global expenditures on travel.[6]

Muslim travel contributed over US$138 billion to global GDP in 2015 and accounts for more than 10 per cent of tourism spend worldwide, according to the inaugural Global Economic Impact of Muslim Tourism Report 2015 by Salam Standard.[7]

Muslim Travel Standard

In 2015, Salam Standard was launched as the world’s first online hotel reference tool dedicated to Muslim travellers.[8] The Salam Standard is divided into Bronze, Silver and Gold categories based on the range of amenities and services each participating property offers Muslim guests, including availability of prayer carpets, qibla direction, alcohol policies and availability of halal-certified food.[9]

UK Halal Tourism

In April 2017, UK ranked 20th in the overall GMTI but amazingly 3rd in the Non-OIC destinations beating Spain despite its past Islamic heritage. Part of the success was due to it Air Connectivity, ease of communication, family friendly destination and ease of prayers spaces which may stem from its domestic population of Muslims.[10]

A key player in Halal tourism within UK is Muslim History Tours who have given speeches about Halal tourism in UK to the National Tourist Office Visit Britain and local authorities and offers consultation to shopping destinations to make services user-friendly to Arab and Muslim tourist. In 2015, they were World's Runners Up in the Best Halal Tour Operator narrowly missing out to Etihad Hala.[11] Their niche market provides Halal friendly hotels, professionally qualified guided tours, Halal meals on River Thames Cruises, a Muslim History sightseeing tour bus of London was launched in April 2017[12] and the most recent introduction appears to have been black taxi tours. They were selected in Sept 2017 to be 1 of 7 of the best halal holidays by The National, UAE.[13]

References

  1. ^ Halal tourism could blossom: AME Info
  2. ^ Untapped Halal Tourism: Islam Online
  3. ^ Halal tourism on the rise worldwide: Al Watan Daily
  4. ^ Halal Business Consuming passions: The Economist
  5. ^ Caroline Howard (2016-02-24). "30 Millennials Under 30 In Asia Who Are Changing E-commerce And Shopping". Forbes. 
  6. ^ Christine Hinz (2015-12-05). "The buzz around halal". Travel Tourism News Middle East. 
  7. ^ 2016, Kuala Lumpur, December 16,. "Global Muslim travel market worth US$138 billion and growing - TTG Asia - Leader in Hotel, Airlines, Tourism and Travel Trade News". ttgasia.com. Retrieved 2016-12-18. 
  8. ^ "Salam standard opens". Khaleej Times. 2015-10-21. 
  9. ^ Salama (2015-09-30). "New Hospitality Standard for Hotels for Muslim travellers". Halal Focus. 
  10. ^ https://www.crescentrating.com/gmti/detail.html?spot=21&s=3
  11. ^ https://www.salaamgateway.com/en/story/muslim_history_tours_pioneering_london_minnow_that_took_on_global_halal_travel_heavyweights-SALAAM10112015125820/
  12. ^ http://britishmuslim-magazine.com/2017/04/23/muslim-heritage-history-bus-tour/
  13. ^ https://www.thenational.ae/lifestyle/travel/7-of-the-best-halal-holidays-1.662007

External links

  • The Guardian - Crescent Tours Halal Holidays
  • CNN Travel - Halal Tourism's Moment In The Sun
  • BBC - Halal Holidays In The Sun
  • The Economist - Crescent Tours Halal Holidays
  • MyRating - FAQ on Halal Tourism
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