Non-Muslim countries especially those in the western world, can do more if they want to attract increasing numbers of global Muslim travellers, according to a new halal tourism survey, which was launched in April 2018 at the Arabian Travel Market.
A total of 35,000 Muslim travellers participated in the survey which was arranged by Sociable Earth, an organisation that provides practical travel information to Muslim travellers, has reviews of restaurants, hotels and airlines, which through associate company Hadith of the Day, has access to over 17 million social media followers and sends over 50 million emails a year to their users.
According to the survey, respondents said non-Muslim countries should increase their variety of halal food in the hotel (61.3%), list nearby mosques (61.1%) and halal restaurants (55.2%) and offer private pool villas (14%) to attract more Muslim guests.
The survey also found that with almost 30% of the vote, Dubai was the most aspirational holiday destination, followed by Turkey (16%), Maldives (12%), Malaysia (9%) and Mauritius(6%). Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and the UK each polled 5.6% with the US on 5.5%. Other destinations have a chance to increase their desirability to Muslims through offering amenities that offer convenience such as list of local mosques and prayer facilities, having Halal food options and highlighting if they have segregated pools or family areas.
More than 78% of respondents in the survey selected their holiday destination as a family, with only 1.5% leaving the decision solely to their children.
Omar Ahmed, CEO of Sociable Earth, said that the Muslim traveller and their needs had grown from being an afterthought to a decisive factor if destinations were to attract this increasingly affluent demographic.
“Certainly, the halal travel market has graduated from its niche status to become an industry-shaping force, in its own right. It has become mainstream,” said Ahmed.
“It is also clear that mainstream travel and tourism organisations will now have to become far more proactive, if they want to attract increasing numbers of Halal travelers and tap into the potential of this massive market. Even destinations in western countries can do more.”
Sociable Earth is working with tourist boards, hotels and airlines to help them cater to a global Muslim audience that is increasingly spending more on travel.
Updated November 2019.