Grab a bigger slice of growing Islamic travel pie, says expert

INTERNATIONAL tourism industry stakeholders should act now to secure a greater share of the burgeoning Islamic travel market, said Fazal Bahardeen, founder & CEO of Crescentrating, a Singapore-based travel company catering to halal-conscious Muslim consumers.

According to Bahardeen, the Islamic travel segment is expected to churn out US$200 billion in global tourism receipts in 2020, double the US$100 billion generated in 2010.

Based on his extrapolations, Islamic travel will contribute 14 per cent of international tourism revenue in 2020, up from 10 per cent in 2010.

Bahardeen urged tourism stakeholders to increasingly consider Muslim travellers in their market segmentation and product differentiation strategies, such as catering to their need to stay aligned with cultural and religious practices when travelling.

“They look for halal or halal-friendly services when planning their trips. This includes (convenient access to halal) food, prayer (facilities) and washrooms (with conservation features),” he explained.

“Among the destinations (and facilities) reacting well to this demand are the Gold Coast, Munich Airport and Thailand,” he added.

Tourism New Zealand regional manager – South East Asia, Mischa Mannix, said: “We have seen an increase in Muslim travellers to New Zealand, especially from Malaysia. We are keen to find out what more we need to do to meet the expectations of this market segment.

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