Opinion: Biggest growth in mid-market Halal tourism


HMH1399460751656Hospitality Management Holdings unveiled plans at the Arabian Travel Market today to grow its halal-friendly, mid-market and budget segment by 30%. Being a pioneer in the halal segment, HMH – Hospitality Management Holdings – is the most credible and leading chain of halal-friendly hotels operating across the MENA region.

HMH CEO Laurent A. Voivenel said: “The biggest growth in the halal tourism is being seen in the mid-market segment. And our strategy is to expand aggressively in this segment with a target of boosting our existing portfolio of hotels by 30% over the next five years. This will include having a hotel in every GCC country while doubling our portfolio in the UAE and KSA. We also have a strong interest in the booming Asian markets such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia and China.”

With 1.6 billion count, Muslims make up over 23% of the world population. The global halal food and lifestyle sectors are expected to be valued at US$2.47 trillion by 2018 according to latest industry reports. A sizeable part of this growth will come from mid-market consumers. And experts point out it is right time to cash in on that market. Laurent stressed: “Mid-market halal tourism is a key growth area for us. Our market intelligence shows, halal-friendly hotels will continue to claim bigger market share given the business opportunity and demand. By 2030, Muslims will make up more than a quarter of the global population rising from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.2 billion by 2030 and 30 per cent of this population will seek halal options – largely in mid-market segment.”

Laurent added: “Given the experience we have, at HMH we are uniquely positioned to capitalize on both halal-friendly and mid-market hotels having been successful in penetrating these segments early. Being a pioneer in creating the first and ‘still the only’ international alcohol-free chain of hotels, HMH is the region’s largest group to operate in the dry segment. Halal-friendly is part of the company’s culture and DNA and not simply a business decision. Unlike other companies whose aim is to have a share of the pie by creating stand-alone dry brands or hotels, all brands under HMH are halal-friendly no matter where we operate. Our primary objective is to offer our customers a safe and healthy environment be it corporate or leisure travelers.”

Highlighting the positives of dry hotel, Laurent said: “Contrary to popular belief, a dry hotel can be as lively and vibrant as any hotel. One of the greatest plus of a dry hotel is a safe and healthy environment that is perfect for families as well as single women travelers. Our hotels tend to focus on clean fun and entertainment. Creativity and passion ensure guests an exceptional experience.”