The World's Leading Authority on Halal/Muslim Friendly Travel - Connecting you to the Muslim Traveler
Crescentrating, the world’s leading authority on halal travel, and the world's leading group travel provider Kuoni Group Travel Experts, have announced a global partnership that will enable Kuoni Group Travel Experts to market Crescentrated halal friendly group travel arrangements. It will see Muslim families, leisure and MICE groups enjoy better travel experiences around the world thanks to a network of Crescentrating accredited travel agents in Asia.
The partnership launched at the Global Islamic Economy Summit in Dubai (25-26 November). FazalBahardeen, Crescentrating’s CEO, spoke at the event alongside several of Kuoni’s hotel partners, to highlight the value of the global Islamic economy andlatest trends within halal industries such as food, travel and lifestyle.
Reaching 1.6 billion people in 2010, the world’s Muslim population is expected to increase by about 35% in the next 20 years. 72 countries today have a million or more Muslim inhabitants and the majority (about 60%) live in the Asia-Pacific region. Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh have the largest Muslim populations.1
As well as launching their first brochure – aimed at businesses selling travel to Muslim clients – in Asia next month, Kuoni Group Travel Experts and Crescentrating will also work together to develop new group travel products and enhanced travel booking and management services for the Muslim travel market. Crescentrating reports that the new partnership will be of enormous benefit to the travel segment of the world’s Muslim population. Dominating the group travel market and organising around 45,000 leisure tours every year, Kuoni Group Travel Experts create and deliver tailor-made programs for communities of travellers and MICE organisers with similar interests, be they social, cultural, religious or demographic.
Olivier Moeschler, Kuoni Group Travel Expert’s Senior Vice President forSales and Marketing Asia Pacific & the Americas, comments: “We look forward to developing our partnership with Crescentrating as we further expand our range of halal friendly travel destinations, accommodation and experiences. Muslim families and travel groups can be assured of enjoying their travel with accommodation and service providers rated by Crescentrating, whose credibility is beyond question.”
Dany Bolduc, Chief Operating Officer for Crescentrating says: “Crescentrating, together with Kuoni Group Travel Experts, is committed to establishing a leadership position in Muslim group travel, a huge and underserved market worth US $130 billion in 2013. By combining our strengths and knowledge of this market, we can offer unique and curated group travel packages that are tailor-made for Muslim travellers, attentively managed by Crescentrated accredited travel agents.”
Reto Kaufmann, Kuoni Group Travel Expert’s Head of MICE Sales Asia, adds: “Last year, we saw room nights booked by group travellers from these four countries rise: particularly Indonesia and India – enjoying double digit increases– while Bangladesh quadrupled.And it’s not just leisure travel, more and more of Asia’s businesses rely on Kuoni Group Travel Experts to ensure the seamlessproject management of their meetings, incentives, congresses and events from the moment they land to their point of departure. Many of them have large numbers of Muslim delegates with specific halal or religious requirements.”
In Asia, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand also offer significant numbers of potential Muslim travellers. For example China, with a Muslim population numbering 23 million, saw room nights booked with Kuoni Group Travel Experts rise 6% last year.
Crescentrating has a very clear vision: to enable Muslims to explore the world with peace of mind by leading the growth of ‘halal friendly travel’ to benefit travellers, travel service providers and the community as a whole. Crescentrating has devised a set of rating standards that is recognised internationally in the travel industry. It allows hotels and service providers to be rated based on the services and facilities that they provide for the needs of halal-conscious travellers. Their rating system is separated into areas such as halal food andSalaath (prayer) facilities, services during Ramadan and the level of non-halal activities in the hotel. In order for an establishment to be Crescentrated, they must provide at least the minimum level of service in each area.
Notes to Editors
1 source: Pew Research Center’s Forum http://www.pewforum.org/2011/01/27/future-of-the-global-muslim-population-regional-middle-east/, 27 January 2011
Faith based values and needs are increasingly influential in the purchasing decisions of Muslim consumers. This is already reflected in the choices they make regarding food or conducting financial transactions.
“Numbers don’t lie” may be a cliché, but it is still very true!
During 2007/2008, when we started our plans to launch Crescentrating, it was not really driven by numbers, but more out of a passion to help Muslim travellers make educated choices when they travel. However as we started our journey in 2009 by launching crescentrating.com and our rating system to rate travel services, it was obvious that we needed more than enthusiasm and passion to convince the industry to take note of these travelers.
Following on from my first post on why travel will be a key sector in the Halal market (Part 1), here is how the unique characteristics of this segment provides a sustainable growth segment for the travel industry.
When it comes to travel, Muslims as a community are unique. From a very young age, they develop the lifelong desire to perform Hajj, which is to travel to Makkah in Saudi Arabia and perform a set of acts of worship.
Hajj, being one of the 5 basic pillars of Islam, is obligatory upon all Muslims who are able to perform it once in their lifetime. Hajj is performed from the 8th to 12th day in the 12th Month of the Muslim calendar. Umrah is a pilgrimage to Makkah, which can be performed at any time of the year.
Standing at an altitude of 2,850 m Ecuador was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city. The city was the first to be named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Quito is also a wonderful base for exploring the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon. The historic centre of the city is one of the best preserved historic areas in South America.
One of the most significant water ports in Costa Rica, Puntarenas is located in the province of Puntarenas along the Pacific Coast. The city finds location on a long and narrow peninsula jutting out into the Nicoya Gulf. A number of visitors make Puntarenas a stopover from San Jose to the Nicoya Peninsula; however, it is also a popular travel destination among both locals as well as foreigners.
There are no masjids or halal restaurants in Puntarenas. There are some restaurants that serve vegetarian and seafood options.
The main pier is excellent to walk around during the evening time. Visit the pier for viewing stars and lights in the distance. There is a public park at the end of the peninsula. Enjoy a walk along the south beach to reach this park. The park has playgrounds, basketball courts and also benches for people to relax.
The south beach also offers visitors with the opportunities of swimming and enjoying a banana boat ride. Towards the northern end of the peninsula is an estuary that has Mangrove Forests. Explore this forest area and spot crocodiles, herons, and red snappers. From any pier on the northern side of the city you can request fishermen to take you for a boat ride towards the forest area.
Puntarenas also has a marine park that has manta rays and fishes from the Pacific Ocean. There is also a splash pool and a snack stall at the park. Pay a visit to the Museo Historico Marino that tells visitors about the history of the area. If you are interested in art, then visit the La Casa de La Cultura, a wonderful art gallery in the city.
The Paseo de los Turistas is good to walk around. Here you can find a number of vibrant shopping opportunities and cafes.
Travelling around the city is easy with the help of local buses. Taxis are available in the city and can easily be stopped to take a ride. You can also find bike rentals or walk around the city.
Trinidad is a small village in Paraguay known for its Jesuit ruins. These ruins are known as Santisima Trinidad de Parana. The ruins are open every day from 7 am to 7 pm in the summer months and from 7 am to 5.30 pm during the winters.
The city of Pedro Juan Caballero is located along the border of the Brazilian city of Ponta Pora. The city is located about 2201 ft. above sea level and is the highest city in Paraguay. The city is popular for easily availability of inexpensive electronic and consumer goods. The city is about 40Km from the Cerro Cora National Park and preserves the history of the area.
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Located off the coast of French Guiana is the Salvation Island. Known as the Les Iles du Salut, the island is an interesting place to visit. The island was once known to have the infamous French penal colony, one of the most feared prisons. The Salvation Island comprises of three islands namely the Ile Royale, Ile St Joseph, and the Ile du Diable.
The smallest of the three islands is the Ile du Diable or the Devil's Island. This island was used for housing political prisoners. This island has rocky shores and is a bit difficult to access. There is a small hotel on the island and also a museum. Guided tours of the island and the prisons are available.
The Ile Royale is the largest of the three islands and served as the administrative headquarters. There were a number of houses and official buildings on the island that have been converted into hotels and various facilities for visitors. Most of the cruise ships dock at the harbour of the Ile Royale.
The Ile St Joseph was a solitary confinement for prisoners. The prison bars are now covered with vine foliage. This island has white sandy beaches and visitors can also take a refreshing dip in the shallow waters surrounding the island.
Visitors to the Salvation Island can spot a wide variety of wildlife such as macaws, agoutis, capuchins and sea turtles.
There are no masjids or halal facilities available on the island. However, the restaurants serve some good seafood and vegetarian options.
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