And given that 67 per cent of respondents in a survey that polled close to 1,000 Muslims said that the availability of halal foods was the most important consideration when booking their holiday, tour operators and tourism offices may do well to ramp up Muslim-friendly services, suggest the authors of the report.
According to DinarStandard, which specialises in emerging Muslim markets, the travel industry would do well to respond to Muslim travel needs given that by 2020, growth will have reached nearly five percent compared to the global figure of 3.8 per cent.
Half of the respondents polled were from Asia, 22 per cent from the Middle East and Asia, and 15 per cent from the Americas.
After halal food and cooking, the second most important factor for Muslim travellers was price, followed by a ‘Muslim-friendly’ atmosphere.
That could mean everything from prayer rooms to special services for the holy month of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.
The survey also showed that the preferred destinations among Muslim travellers are Malaysia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
The results mirror those released earlier this year by Singapore-based Muslim travel consultancy group Crescentrating, which listed Malaysia, Egypt, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia as the world’s top Muslim-friendly holiday destinations. — AFP/Relaxnews