One of the world’s largest OTAs for Muslim travellers is possibly in the making with the merger of Malaysia-based Tripfez and Dubai-based Holidayme.
Tripfez CEO and co-founder, Faeez Fadhlillah, said the details of the merger have yet to be finalised but the two companies plan to expand their current offerings of Muslim-dedicated travel services spanning accommodation, holiday and Umrah packages.
Faeez will be responsible for the growth of the brand in South-east Asia while Geet Bhalla, co-founder and CEO of Holidayme, will continue to grow the brand in the Middle East.
“We will leverage each other’s strengths and extend our existing market reach across two of the largest regions with Muslim populations,” said Faeez. “Holidayme will leverage our Salam Standard classification for Muslim-friendly hotels as well as our strength and knowledge in the global Muslim travel space while we will leverage their more advanced travel technology.
“We realised there are a few synergies between the two brands and it was possible that with our combined efforts, we could create one of the world’s largest OTAs for Muslim travellers in terms of market reach by combining our resources and leveraging each other’s strengths and technology.”
Together, the two CEOs approached Malaysian venture capitalist Gobi Partners, which has a keen interest in the Muslim travel market, for funding. Gobi Partners led the investment round with US$10 million, with with another US$6 million contributed by other investors, Faeez told TTG Asia.
He added: “2019 will be an exciting year as we scale our product offerings and reach in both markets. We are looking at placing a stronger focus on Muslim-friendly tours and Umrah packages.”
According to the Global Economic Impact of Muslim Tourism and Future Growth report by Salam Standard, it is projected that the GDP impact of Muslim travel will be US$183 billion by 2020, with 1.2 million jobs in Asia directly supported by Muslim travel.