Whether you are travelling solo, as a family with children, for a meeting or conference, the demand for halal accommodation and halal travel is growing. As the demand grows so too does the availability of halal products and services on the market.
It may seem like a growing trend, but the halal travel industry is here to stay. With millions of Muslims spread across the globe, and with higher levels of disposable income earmarked for travel, the halal travel industry is booming.
The halal travel industry includes a huge range of offerings and services. These services are designed to cater to the needs of discernible Muslims who want to ensure they are compliant with the requirements of their faith, but still able to travel and see the world.
It may seem to be a niche market, but the fact that the demand currently outstrips the supply in many countries shows that this trend is likely to grow. The demand is driven by a Muslim population that places value on authentic experiences and Sharia compliancy.
WHY DO WE NEED HALAL TRAVEL OPTIONS?
Halal travel is important for many different reasons. For Muslims who want to travel without breaching Islamic rules, halal travel offers the option of travel that aligns with personal beliefs.
However, the importance of halal travel goes beyond religious and personal preferences. It encompasses cultural, economic and social dimensions.
Halal travel helps to diversify the travel industry and create respectful and inclusive tourism experiences for Muslims. Not only that, but halal travel goes a long way in contributing to the cultural understanding, economic development, and ethical sustainability of areas in the world that are under-exposed and underprivileged.
The more we invest in areas that are suitable for halal travel the more inclusive we make the world. There are many issues facing different countries in the world, so opening them up to travel and Muslims travellers can boost the economy in a way that makes them a stakeholder in the economy and travel market.
Many Muslims want their money to be spent in countries that align with their personal values and goals. For example, Muslims would probably not seek to travel to countries with precarious political positions such as Israel.
There is a lot of information online that you can use to research travel options. More Halal Travel and Trade Fair conferences are popping up to help you make more ethical Sharia compliant decisions.
FAMILY FRIENDLY HOLIDAYS
The main aspect of halal holidays is that they should be Sharia compliant. However, halal holidays are also all about having a family friendly holiday. Most halal resorts cater to families and promote family activities.
This creates a welcoming environment for Muslim families looking to enjoy their break. Halal travel encourages diversity when it comes to travel and tourism. Exploring Islamic history and culture is a key part of halal travel and is increasing in popularity as the Muslim population continues to grow globally.
The increased demand for halal travel also contributes to global connectivity. It encourages and fosters relationships between regions, leaders and countries all actively catering to Muslims.
This interconnectedness is important in bringing unity to Muslims and ensuring that their needs are catered to. It is important to mention that halal travel also facilitates sustainable and ethical tourism. For example, Muslims are increasingly conscious of their environmental impact and they are encouraged to prioritise sustainability and ethical living in all aspects of their lives, including travel.
PRINCIPLES OF HALAL TRAVEL
The key components of halal travel include the following:
- Halal package deals: travel agencies who offer halal travel must ensure that the package itself is halal. This starts at examining the way the company operates, so it must avoid any form of interest and ensure that the package is linked to travel that does not contravene any Sharia rules and adhere to the Islamic lifestyle.
- Accommodation: halal hotels are top priority when it comes to halal travel. Hotels and resorts should be able to provide facilities that permit and promote prayer and ablution. In addition, halal hotels offer segregated swimming pools and saunas and fully halal dining options. We would not expect to see any alcohol or pork in halal hotels.
- Itineraries: some halal travel operators go further and offer trips that offer Islamic and spiritual enlightenment.
- Muslim-friendly destination: of course, when looking for a halal holiday you would want to visit somewhere that is either in a Muslim country or is Muslim friendly.
- Islamic travel insurance: takaful, also known as Islamic insurance, is becoming more popular in the halal travel industry sector. It offers customers the option of obtaining insurance coverage that is Sharia compliant.
- Look for destinations that are not based on exploitation or unfair wage labour practices.
- When approaching halal travel companies, look at their leadership, their governance, the service they offer, the kinds of project they are involved in, and their Sharia compliancy.
- Don't be scared to ask questions of any halal travel company such as who do you bank with? What are your principles and morals and how do they align with Islam? Do they trips offer private spaces for women? What is their governance and decision making process and where do they feel success lies? Remember, our due diligence should include information on how the company runs and if it is ethical so feel free to have those conversations with any company marketing halal travel options.
As the halal travel market continues to expand, so too does the list of options.
ISLAMIC FINANCE AND HALAL TRAVEL
Islamic finance is playing a large role in the growth of the halal travel industry. If the Islamic finance market had not seen such growth in recent years, then the halal travel industry would not have been boosted. Islamic finance provides the halal travel industry with access to Sharia compliant business and finance options.
The components of Islamic finance play a key role in shaping and supporting the halal travel industry through funding. This is done not only by influencing the way financial transactions are dealt with, but also by how to manage the economic landscape to remain Sharia compliant.Providing access to Sharia compliant finance means the Islamic finance industry can support halal travel companies.
Providing critical cash and capital ensures the halal travel industry can continue to grow. Not only is this good for international trade and partnerships, but it means Muslims can travel knowing they are not breaching the terms of their faith. Knowledge is important.
The growth in the market also means that there are opportunities for investors to indulge in socially responsible and ethical investments in the tourism and hospitality sectors. The halal travel industry has encouraged those with entrepreneurship to expand their horizons and widen the offerings currently on the market.
Halal travel continues to go through an evolution where the interplay of human beings wanting Sharia compliant travel converges with the travel industry to create the perfect package for Muslims. The halal travel sector relies on building relationships across the globe, and ensuring each product on the halal travel market is compliant and enjoyable. After all, many of us travel to a different area in order to explore and relax.
Halal travel isn't only about travel. It's about ensuring that there is attention to the holistic needs of travellers. This includes spiritual fulfilment, access to prayer, compliance with rules about segregation, assurance of halal certified products, and having some cultural resonance with the area visited.