Halal tourism

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Halal Chinese restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan.

Halal tourism is a subcategory of tourism which is geared towards Muslim families who abide by rules of Islam. The hotels in such destinations do not serve alcohol and have separate swimming pools and spa facilities for men and women. Malaysia, Turkey and many more countries are trying to attract Muslim tourists from all over the world offering facilities in accordance with the religious beliefs of Muslim tourists. Currently, there exists no internationally recognized standards on Halal tourism. However, MyRating from Malaysia provides the world's first government recognized Halal tourism rating standard.[1]

The Halal tourism industry also provides flights where no alcohol or pork products are served, prayer timings are announced, and religious programs are broadcast as part of entertainment offered on board.

A Euromonitor International report released at World Travel Market in 2007 in London says that there is potential for a boom in halal tourism in the Middle East. The report mentions a market for a halal startup airline, which could provide halal food, prayer calls, Qur'an in seat pockets and provide separate sections for male and female travelers.[2][3]

Many international hotels do serve halal food that is slaughtered in accordance with the teachings of Islamic Sharia and is free of any substances forbidden by Islam such as pork and alcohol. Some hotels have employed people from the Muslim world to provide translation services and other assistance that may be needed by tourists from Muslim countries.[4]

The Economist's article on Halal Business published on May 25, 2013: "It is not just manufactured halal products. Services such as halal holidays are booming, too. Crescent Tours, a London-based online travel specialist, books clients into hotels in Turkey that have separate swimming pools for men and women, no-alcohol policies and halal restaurants, and rents out private holiday villas with high walls."[5]Tripfez, which was featured on Forbes offers Muslim-friendly hotels and advice about halal food options, Quran availability and more.[6]

Based on a report by Thomson Reuters, in 2014 Muslims from around the globe spent $142 billion on travel (excluding Hajj and Umrah). In comparison, travellers from China spent $160 billion on travel in 2014, while US travellers spent $143 billion, placing the Muslim travel sector in third place in global travel spending and accounting for 11 per cent of total global expenditures on travel.[7]

Muslim Travel Standard[edit]

In 2015, Salam Standard was launched as the world’s first online hotel reference tool dedicated to Muslim travellers.[8] The Salam Standard is divided into Bronze, Silver and Gold categories based on the range of amenities and services each participating property offers Muslim guests, including availability of prayer carpets, qibla direction, alcohol policies and availability of halal-certified food.[9]

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