The Covid-19 pandemic has offered an exceedingly rare window of reflection on the necessity for more sustainable global tourism development. Over-tourism, undervalued package holidays, disruption and damage to local communities and natural environments; are just some of the negative side-effects caused by tourism practices and strategies over the last few decades. Famous destinations such as Venice and Phuket are recognising they can no longer continue with the mass tourism model of before, and tourism boards such as New Zealand have already shifted their digital marketing to focus on sustainability messaging.
As a relatively nascent sub-segment of the global travel market, halal tourism stakeholders are in the unique position of being able to learn from these mistakes and carve out a new way to grow the travel industry that is both sustainable and responsible. While the halal travel market is set to continue growing at an impressive rate, there is still a lack of focus on how and why this should be developed in a responsible, sustainable way.
Halal Travel Guide Director, Soumaya Hamdi, revealed a new model for developing responsible, sustainable tourism products at the 2020 World Halal Summit in Istanbul.
Research conducted by Halal Travel Guide shows that adopting responsible business practices aligns with Muslim traveller preferences. The point at which Islam, digital accessibility, community, and sustainability all intersect is where new tourism products and services are created that give value both to the traveller and the destination.
Should this sustainable model for halal tourism be adopted by destinations in the development of new products and services, this will undoubtedly bring benefits both to local economies and travellers.
In the long term, this could even improve the overall competitiveness of the halal travel market within the wider global travel industry.