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Halal tourism: Unlocking economic potential and cultural respect

Published Dec 11, 2023 10:00 am

The Halal perspective of the tourism industry has emerged as a significant aspect in the global travel and hospitality sector as it caters to the needs and preferences of Muslim travelers.

Halal, derived from Islamic terminology, denotes activities, products, and services that are permissible and adhere to Islamic principles and guidelines. Historically, Islamic tourism primarily referred to religious travel such as the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages. However, with the evolution of the industry, the concept has expanded to include Muslims traveling for business and leisure purposes. This growth has created a need for industry players, including restaurants, airlines, hotels, and tour operators, to adapt their offerings to cater to the needs of Muslim travelers.

Recognizing the economic potential and cultural respect associated with this niche market, the Embassy of Malaysia and Tourism Board Promotion Philippines organized a special event recently to shed light on the importance of Halal tourism practices. This event aims to foster dialogue and understanding among industry players, ultimately leading to the creation of a more inclusive and diverse global tourism environment.

His Excellency Ambassador Dato’ Malik Melvin Castelino, Ambassador of Malaysia to the Philippines

Islamic tourism represents the largest untapped niche market in the global tourism industry, comprising over 50 Muslim countries with a combined population of 1.6 billion Muslims. By catering to the demands of Muslim travelers, destinations and businesses can tap into this lucrative market and reap significant economic benefits. The event explored various strategies and best practices to attract Muslim travelers, including the provision of Halal-certified food, prayer facilities, and accommodation that complies with Islamic principles.

It also provided insights into the necessary steps that businesses and destinations should take to ensure compliance. This commitment will not only enhance the reputation of businesses but also promote trust and loyalty among Muslim travelers, leading to long-term economic gains. The event featured discussions on the development of such a framework, considering the perspectives of industry experts and stakeholders.

The Halal outlook of the tourism industry holds immense potential for growth and development. It is not only about catering to a specific market but also about embracing diversity and inclusivity in the global tourism landscape. The special event, hosted by the Embassy of Malaysia and Tourism Board Promotion Philippines, served as a platform for discussions, sharing best practices, and exploring opportunities in the Halal tourism sector.

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Editor’s Note: This article was provided by Tourism Malaysia.