And now it’s time for halal tourism
tourism players will be advised at this month’s World Travel Market
(WTM) to exploit a new category of tourism dubbed Halal Tourism.
According to an excerpt from the WTM
Global Trends Report being unveiled at the WTM and made available in
advance to TTN, there is currently little differentiation between
Middle Eastern tourism products and services for Muslims and
non-Muslims. This represents a huge opportunity for Halal tourism, a
form of religious tourism defined as activities permissible under
Euromonitor International, the world’s leading provider
of global business intelligence and strategic market analysis, has
teamed up with WTM for the second year to produce the report. It will
be presented on the first day of WTM. World Travel Market on the
opening day of the event, on November 12.
As other Middle Eastern
countries turn to tourism as an alternative source of revenue, it is
important that Halal tourism develops alongside domestic tourism
infrastructure, giving rise to organic and adapted products that appeal
to Middle Eastern tourists, the report says.
There is also scope to
attract Halal visitors beyond the boundaries of the Middle East from
the growing Muslim populations around the world.
Hajj and Umrah
packages for pilgrims offer potential for Halal tourism products and
services. This niche market offers strong inelastic demand and
demonstrates high resilience where religious and Halal tourists will
travel for their faith even in times of hostility or insecurity.
several forward-thinking products have sprung up to cater to this
demand, including the world’s first Muslim sky-diving centre in Tehran:
the Shahab Skydiving Centre, which allows Muslim women to experience
the thrill of tandem skydiving.
Further afield, despite being seen
as dangerous by many, Iraq is drawing the devout: some 570,000 people
visited Shiite Muslim shrines last year, according to a Reuters report
quoting Tourism Commission chief Mahmoud Al Yakouki.