Muslim millennial travelers are said to be the key driving force in shaping the overall halal travel industry. Crescent rating, which first started studying the Muslim travelers in 2008, suggests a probable increase up to 156 million Muslim travelers around the globe by 2020. It is only fair to say that the Islamic tourism is on the rise. To cope with this huge number of Islamic tourists, Muslim-friendly facilities and services are to be adopted by countries across the world in order to dominate the traveler’s pocket. Halal tourism can be summarized by any object or action, which is permissible to use or engage in the tourism industry, given that it is in line with Islamic teachings.
Since Muslims worldwide are always seeking new destinations to travel, there is an imminent increase of Muslim-friendly services and facilities not only at the airports but also hotels and other hospitality properties. For example, airports witness an increase in the number of halal-certified restaurants, prayer rooms, and other Muslim-friendly facilities. The facilities do not stop at the airports; countries like South Korea, South Africa, Taiwan and Hong Kong are rolling out red carpets for Islamic tourists. In order to attract the halal travelers, their needs are to be analyzed and entertained.
What is it that a halal traveler takes into consideration before deciding to leave for the opted destination? To start with, a safe and secure environment where his/her beliefs are both equally respected and accepted by the local population. A place where their presence is not seen as a potential threat. Furthermore, the availability of halal food and beverages is mandatory for the destinations that target Muslim travelers. It brings a great deal of discomfort to them if halal eateries are a handful or limited. Muslim tourists now commonly inquire about halal food and beverages when they visit a non-Muslim destination. Islamic law forbids Muslims to consume pork or by-products of pork, animals slaughtered without pronouncing the name of Allah (SWT) and animals that were dead prior to the slaughtering are also considered to be haram for Muslims, which means that Muslims are not allowed to eat them.
Moreover, many non-Muslim countries have started exploring this niche market segment in recent years. Hotel rooms offering Qibla directions, hotels offering prayer rooms, halal-certified restaurants in the hotels and Muslim swimsuits are measures that are being taken by the hotel industries of these countries to attract halal travelers. Countries like Thailand and Indonesia are developing special applications for Muslim tourists, which is to further encourage the incoming Muslim travelers.
Moreover, multiple organizations have grouped together to hold summits and conferences to maximize halal tourism. One such conference was the halal tourism conference held in Netherlands 2017, which was part of the global effort to boost the number of halal-savvy businesses.
Muslims millennial travelers all over the globe are increasingly wanting to explore new horizons, to achieve self-growth, new experiences, and new bonds - all without compromising on their religious and cultural heritage. The world in the near future is predicted to witness an increase in the halal tourism. More and more money is going to be pumped into the hospitality industry to target this new and emerging market segment in the following years. Countries which adopt Muslim-friendly practices and are welcoming towards Muslims will essentially get the largest chunk of the pie. Such changes will also encourage the tech sector of a country, given the fact that digital marketing is the new medium for promoting different products and services and making them accessible.
Given the rising statistics, Asia will be entertaining the largest number of Muslim travelers in the coming years. Hence, the countries within Asia are equipped with great opportunities to attract these Muslim travelers for positive economy indicators and economic benefits.
With time, more and more countries are adopting Muslim friendly facilities and services, which basically opens doors for Muslims and provides them with greater choice in choosing their ultimate vacation destinations.