Halal, which means “permissible” in Islamic teachings, when applied to tourism, indicates that practicing Muslims can fulfill their religious duties while on holiday. With the growing number of Muslim tourists, halal tourism is becoming an incredibly lucrative industry.
According to the 2017 GMTI (Global Muslim Travel Index), 120 million Muslim travelers participated in global tourism in 2016 alone. By 2020, this number has reached 156 million, accounting for 10% of international tourism.
Given this growth, it is clear that the halal tourism market is set to penetrate major tourist destinations. Based on market value alone, GMTI estimates that Muslim tourists will generate whopping $ 300 billion in revenue by 2026. It is not surprising that many countries are already watching this market and start to take steps to make their travel services halal.
Let's consider the best countries for halal tourism within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
According to research, Malaysia is the most favorable destination for halal tourism in the world. When evaluating suitable countries, first of all, attentiveness to the needs of tourists is taken into account, including the presence in these countries/cities of halal restaurants, prayer rooms (including at airports, shopping centers, hotel complexes).
Next, let's take a look at the top 10 countries and cities for halal tourism outside of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation:
Bosnia and Herzegovina. More than 50% of the inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina are Muslims who have lived in this territory for a long time. This could not but affect the diversity of Islamic infrastructure in the country. That is why Bosnia and Herzegovina is very attractive for halal tourism today.
Singapore. Many Muslim tourists consider this country a real find. Approximately 15% of Singapore's population is Muslim. Thus, Muslims who visit this country for tourist purposes can almost feel at home. There are many restaurants in Singapore with services that are Halal certified. These establishments can operate both internationally and represent small cafes or fast food establishments. Today, there are about 70 mosques in Singapore.
South Africa. This is an amazing country where you can see the third largest canyon and the second largest waterfall in the world. There are also many other fascinating places in South Africa. Muslims have been present in this country for centuries. This simply could not but reflect on the extensive halal infrastructure.
Sri Lanka. There are many halal restaurants in this country that have the appropriate certificates. But that is not all. There are many Muslim-owned roadside cafes in Sri Lanka. The cuisine in these establishments is known throughout the country. Sri Lanka also has beaches of indescribable beauty and clear blue ocean waters.
Australia (Gold Coast). More than 10 million tourists from all over the world come to this place every year. Not surprisingly, many of them are Muslims. All the necessary conditions for comfortable tourism are created for Muslims, from places for prayers to restaurants that have halal certificates. Many events are also held during the month of Ramadan.
Delhi. Islam is the second largest religion in India. Today, the country is home to over 170 million Muslims. The street halal establishments in Delhi are almost as famous as the historical sites.
London. The capital of Great Britain has always been very interesting for tourists from the Persian Gulf countries to visit in the summer. Numerous hotels in London offer a variety of special services for Muslim tourists, ranging from Arabic-speaking staff, halal menus, to prayer rooms and special areas for women to relax. More than 40% of all Muslims in the country live in the capital of the United Kingdom today. In this city, you can easily find a halal cafe or a mosque.
Bangkok. This city has a huge number of local attractions, but Muslims can also visit halal cafes and places to pray.
Munich. Up to 4 million Muslims live in Germany. Muslim tourists can easily find a halal restaurant or mosque in Munich. Here Muslims can feel at home.
Vienna. A city known for playing a vital role in the life of Muslims in Central Europe. It is the European center for Islamic music. The headquarters of many international organizations are also based in Vienna. Today, there are approximately 8.4 million Muslims living in Austria. There are mosques in Vienna, as well as the Islamic Center of Vienna, the Turkish Islamic Cultural Center.
It is easy enough to accept principles that are suitable for halal. The main task is to open several sites, especially in popular tourist destinations.
According to the polls, among Muslims the most common venues are those that do not have alcohol and do not serve pork dishes. These restaurants must have Halal certified food and drinks. While it is not difficult to meet the needs of Muslims in large cities, difficulties arise in small settlements.
Muslim tourists are growing in number, so halal tourism is a destination that goes beyond purely religious needs. As a religion, Islam encourages believers to travel for knowledge. For this reason, it is becoming clear that many Muslim travelers are looking for a type of tourism that matches their religious values.
Tourism and alternative leisure options that meet the requirements of the Islamic religion are called halal tourism. Anyone looking to take a vacation according to Islamic rules can benefit from this business. These establishments do not serve alcoholic beverages that are offered by hotels, resorts, travel agencies, and prohibited products are not included in food. As a rule, trips, excursions and various activities are planned taking into account the times of the prayers. At the same time, attention is paid to various entertainment areas for men and women.
According to a study by an international research company, the proportion of Muslims wishing to take advantage of halal tourism opportunities rose to 51%. The potential of Muslim tourism in the world is 15% of the tourism sector. These figures show that the market share of halal tourism in the tourism sector is around 8%. Halal tourism is nowadays gaining importance.
Separate rooms for male and female guests, mosques, halal restaurants, prayer establishments, restaurants that are absolutely free of alcohol and prohibited food, accommodation in accordance with the concept of an Islamic hotel and tours that are organized from an Islamic perspective. All this cannot but attract Muslim travelers.
In this context, it is possible to offer tourism opportunities with these characteristics in all areas of tourism (sea tourism, cultural tourism, health and thermal tourism, winter tourism, congress tourism, mountain tourism, cave tourism, religious tourism).