Europe is switching on to halal tourism market

Halal tourism has shown its strength. And, with Andalucia gearing up to host the world's first conference dedicated to the sector, Europe is getting ready to capitalise

According to recent figures, the halal tourism sector was worth around $130bn in 2013, and accounted for around 13% of global travel expenditures. It is expected to be worth around $192bn dollars by 2020.

And, with an increasing number of tour operators offering holidays and getaways that allow a lucrative group of Muslim travellers luxury options that comply with their religious beliefs, a burgeoning industry has sprung up to meet the demand.

In September this year, the world’s first halal tourism conference will be held in Andalucia, a region which, organisers say, has become more “Muslim friendly” and demonstrated a willingness to engage with the Muslim tourist market.

The two-day event will bring together worldwide delegates, equipping them with the ability to understand how to market successfully to the niche, but lucrative sector.

This, says Tasneem Mahmood, co-founder of conference organisers Creative Minds Media, is increasingly important.

“Our research has shown there are so many countries and travel operators who can benefit from halal tourism but are currently missing out.”

Conference speakers include Elnur Seyidli, the co-founder and chairman of the board of Hotel Bookers, which since its creation in 2009, has grown into the world’s leading provider of halal-friendly holiday packages.

The conference is giving the sector the attention it deserves, says Mahmood. “This is a groundbreaking event for halal tourism which is directly reacting to current market trends and addressing the needs of the industry. It is the first time such a global event is being staged looking at halal tourism in detail.

“Every country and business needs to look at Halal tourism because it is growing so rapidly and the Muslim consumer is increasing spend on leisure holidays. It provides a great opportunity for every part of the travel sector.”

Ellie Clayton

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