Ünal said Turkey is stepping up its efforts to boost halal tourism, which has a share of around 12 percent in the global tourism.
“The number of Muslim tourists visiting our country exceeded 7.6 million in 2015, a 30 percent increase from the previous year. We will increase this figure,” he said, describing halal tourism as tourism that gives the message of “showing respect to Muslim people’s faith, preferences and way of life.”
Ünal noted that some 1.2 billion people traveled globally in 2015, creating a sector worth around $1.5 trillion.
A recent study revealed that the estimated number of Muslim tourists traveling globally in 2015 was 117 million, representing close to 10 percent of the entire tourism sector.
“By 2020, this is forecast to grow to 168 million visitors and 11 percent of the market share, with a market value projected to exceed $200 billion,” stated a press release by the Halal Tourism Conference organizers.
“Turkey wants to host 50 million tourists and earn $50 billion in tourism revenue by 2023, the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic. According to data from the World Tourism Organization, the number of people who travel for cultural, art, historical and religious purposes will increase by 2030,” said Ünal.
The Halal Tourism Conference, the first of which was held in 2014, is being held in Konya from May 3-5.
Delegates from over 30 countries with over 110 buyers attended the conference including the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Iran, Croatia, Singapore, the U.K., the U.S., Malaysia, Indonesia, South Africa, Kuwait and Qatar.