Crescentrating, the world’s leading authority on halal travel, and the world’s leading group travel provider Kuoni Group Travel Experts, have announced a global partnership that will enable Kuoni Group Travel Experts to market Crescentrated halal friendly group travel arrangements. It will see Muslim families, leisure and MICE groups enjoy better travel experiences around the world thanks to a network of Crescentrating accredited travel agents in Asia.
The partnership launched at the Global Islamic Economy Summit in Dubai (25-26 November). FazalBahardeen, Crescentrating’s CEO, spoke at the event alongside several of Kuoni’s hotel partners, to highlight the value of the global Islamic economy andlatest trends within halal industries such as food, travel and lifestyle.
Reaching 1.6 billion people in 2010, the world’s Muslim population is expected to increase by about 35% in the next 20 years. 72 countries today have a million or more Muslim inhabitants and the majority (about 60%) live in the Asia-Pacific region. Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh have the largest Muslim populations.1
As well as launching their first brochure – aimed at businesses selling travel to Muslim clients – in Asia next month, Kuoni Group Travel Experts and Crescentrating will also work together to develop new group travel products and enhanced travel booking and management services for the Muslim travel market. Crescentrating reports that the new partnership will be of enormous benefit to the travel segment of the world’s Muslim population. Dominating the group travel market and organising around 45,000 leisure tours every year, Kuoni Group Travel Experts create and deliver tailor-made programs for communities of travellers and MICE organisers with similar interests, be they social, cultural, religious or demographic.
Olivier Moeschler, Kuoni Group Travel Expert’s Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing Asia Pacific & the Americas, comments: “We look forward to developing our partnership with Crescentrating as we further expand our range of halal friendly travel destinations, accommodation and experiences. Muslim families and travel groups can be assured of enjoying their travel with accommodation and service providers rated by Crescentrating, whose credibility is beyond question.”
Dany Bolduc, Chief Operating Officer for Crescentrating says: “Crescentrating, together with Kuoni Group Travel Experts, is committed to establishing a leadership position in Muslim group travel, a huge and underserved market worth US $130 billion in 2013. By combining our strengths and knowledge of this market, we can offer unique and curated group travel packages that are tailor-made for Muslim travellers, attentively managed by Crescentrated accredited travel agents.”
Reto Kaufmann, Kuoni Group Travel Expert’s Head of MICE Sales Asia, adds: “Last year, we saw room nights booked by group travellers from these four countries rise: particularly Indonesia and India – enjoying double digit increases– while Bangladesh quadrupled.And it’s not just leisure travel, more and more of Asia’s businesses rely on Kuoni Group Travel Experts to ensure the seamlessproject management of their meetings, incentives, congresses and events from the moment they land to their point of departure. Many of them have large numbers of Muslim delegates with specific halal or religious requirements.”
In Asia, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand also offer significant numbers of potential Muslim travellers. For example China, with a Muslim population numbering 23 million, saw room nights booked with Kuoni Group Travel Experts rise 6% last year.
Crescentrating has a very clear vision: to enable Muslims to explore the world with peace of mind by leading the growth of ‘halal friendly travel’ to benefit travellers, travel service providers and the community as a whole. Crescentrating has devised a set of rating standards that is recognised internationally in the travel industry. It allows hotels and service providers to be rated based on the services and facilities that they provide for the needs of halal-conscious travellers. Their rating system is separated into areas such as halal food andSalaath (prayer) facilities, services during Ramadan and the level of non-halal activities in the hotel. In order for an establishment to be Crescentrated, they must provide at least the minimum level of service in each area.