The Third Edition of the Halal In Travel Global Summit 2023, hosted by CrescentRating, commenced with an air of optimism and a sense of collective responsibility to shape the future of the travel industry. Amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing environmental crises, the summit emphasized the need for responsible and inclusive growth to empower Muslim travelers and foster sustainable practices within the Halal tourism space. Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating and HalalTrip, took the stage to deliver a thought-provoking session that resonated with the audience.
Looking back on the journey since the inaugural Halal In Travel Global Summit in 2021, Bahardeen acknowledged the unparalleled challenges faced by the travel industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision to hold the inaugural summit amidst distress was fueled by the mission to inspire optimism in an industry seeking a glimmer of hope. As Victor Hugo's poignant quote reminds us, "Even the darkest night will end, and the sun will rise," the summit aimed to instill confidence in a brighter future.
Drawing lessons from the pandemic and ongoing environmental concerns, the importance of resilience and sustainability emerged as the cornerstones for shaping the future of travel. The HalalTrip Responsible Tourism Framework published in the GMTI 2023 report seeks to empower Muslim travelers with knowledge and guidance to make responsible choices while staying true to their faith.
The summit placed responsible and sustainable tourism at the forefront, emphasizing the need to preserve local cultures, empower communities, and foster a mutual relationship of growth and enrichment. Bahardeen highlighted the pivotal role of the travel industry in addressing the evolving demands of discerning Muslim travelers while fostering a responsible tourism perspective rooted in their faith traditions.
Addressing the driving forces shaping the industry, discussions at the summit explored the transformative potential of AI in revolutionizing the travel landscape. The relevance of AI in catering to the unique needs of the Muslim travel market became a key talking point, seeking to bridge the gap between destinations and the increasingly influential Muslim traveler segment.
Acknowledging the experiences and challenges faced by female Muslim travelers, the summit highlighted the importance of empowering this demographic and ensuring their voices are heard. The discussion centered around creating an inclusive travel environment that addresses the unique requirements of female Muslim travelers and honors their journey.
The eagerly anticipated release of the eighth edition of the MasterCard CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) added further excitement to the summit. This comprehensive report serves as a compass for destinations and businesses, providing invaluable insights and data on the preferences and needs of Muslim travelers. The GMTI symbolizes the ongoing commitment to monitor and analyze trends, guiding the industry toward growth and innovation.
Breaking new ground in the realm of culinary experiences, the announcement of the Halal Trip Gastronomy Awards 2024, in collaboration with the Singapore Halal Culinary Federation, promises to celebrate diversity and quality in culinary experiences worldwide. This initiative reflects the industry's dedication to holistically enhancing the Halal travel experience.
Recognizing the exceptional efforts of industry players, the Halal In Travel Awards celebrated organizations, companies, and individuals who have made a remarkable impact on the Muslim lifestyle travel scene. These awards aimed to honor those who have contributed to creating a seamless and inclusive Halal travel experience.
Bahardeen shared promising projections for the Muslim travel market's recovery, reflecting the determination of Muslim travelers to resume international travel post-pandemic. The estimates indicated a trajectory towards reaching 140 million Muslim international arrivals by 2023, representing 87 percent of pre-pandemic levels. By 2024, the industry is projected to experience a full recovery, with total Muslim arrivals reaching 160 million. Beyond that, the future remains bright, with projections indicating that by 2028, the Muslim travel market will reach a staggering 230 million arrivals.
"Together, let us pave the way for a thriving and inclusive travel industry that embraces responsible and sustainable practices, contributes to local communities, and meets the evolving needs of the Muslim travel market."
- Fazal Bahardeen
As the summit concluded, participants were urged to seize the moment, embracing the opportunities that lie ahead. Encouraged to engage in fruitful conversations and meaningful connections, industry leaders left with a renewed commitment to fostering innovation and driving positive change in the travel industry. The Halal In Travel Global Summit 2023 served as a testament to the industry's determination to build a thriving and inclusive travel experience that aligns with responsible and sustainable practices, empowering Muslim travelers and contributing to the growth of the global travel industry.
More information and sessions of Halal In Travel Global Summit 2023 are available through this link!