Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Halal tourism on the rise worldwide

KUWAIT: In recent years, the tourism industry has begun to accommodate the needs of more conservative families in the Gulf region, creating a trend that has become known as "halal tourism." The trend began in Malaysia, which has been marketing itself as the perfect destination for conservative Gulf families that want to enjoy an entertaining holiday in a scenic location without worrying about violating Muslim teachings and traditions. Turkey soon followed suit, opening up more conservative parts of the country such as the Anatolia to tourists, with hotels in such destinations not serving any alcohol and having separate swimming pools and spa facilities for men and women.Many more countries are now trying to attract tourists from Arab countries and have thus become more accommodating to the religious beliefs of Muslim tourists.The halal tourism industry now provides flights where no alcohol or pork products are served, prayer times are announced, and religious programs are broadcast as part of the entertainment offered onboard. A recent study by Euro Monitor had predicted that several airline carriers will soon begin to adopt these policies for a segment of their business in an attempt to attract more tourists from the Gulf. Nowadays, many international hotels also serve halal food that is slaughtered in accordance with Muslim teachings and is free of any pork products. Many assistants of Arab origin are also being employed in these hotels to provide translation services and any other assistance that may be needed.There are also Islamic hotels which first became popular in the UAE and then spread through a chain that was set up by the Gulf state''s investors.The Emirates Investment Group plans to build 150 such hotels around the world by 2013, beginning in Egypt, the UAE and Malaysia, and then moving on to Europe, the U.S. and even China. Ref :ALWATAN.com.kw

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