Muslims have a very unique attribute when it comes to travel: from the time they understand the 5 basic pillars of Islam, they develop the lifelong desire to travel and perform Hajj. This has not only inspired many Muslims to become some of the most pioneering explorers of the world, but also gave rise to a whole genre of travel writing. Some of the foremost Muslim explorers like Ibn Jubair, and Ibn Batutta left their home towns with the intention of performing Hajj and eventually set out on fascinating journeys exploring different lands and cultures.
Somehow during the better part of the last two centuries this pioneering spirit has been subdued among the Muslims. That is all set to change now - Muslim travelers are now one of the fastest growing travel segments. In 2010, it was estimated that they spent about $90 billion USD accounting to around 9% of the total expenditure by travelers. This is set to grow to more than $200 billion USD by 2020, amounting to around 15% of the total travelers' expenditures.
This means that Muslim travelers have become an important travel segment, whose unique requirements need to be taken into account by travel service providers in developing their services and facilities. The good news is that many service providers are keen to accommodate the needs of these consumers. However, it has also given rise to buzzwords like "Shariah compliant hotels", "Halal travel", "Islamic travel", "Halal hotels" etc. with none of them being fully defined as to what they actually mean.
This was one of the primary reasons for the launch of Crescent Rating. The rating system developed by Crescentrating allows the travel services and facilities to be rated based on the facilities they provide to cater to the needs of a Halal conscious traveler. Through Crescent Rating the service provider can choose the level of Halal friendly services that they are willing and able to accommodate. At the same time, it allows Muslim travelers to make an educated choice when planning their trips, based on the level of Halal friendly facilities they are comfortable with.
The hotel Crescent Rating is based on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being the highest rating. The areas considered in the rating includes the level of Halal food services offered, prayer information/facilities, ease of use of water in the washrooms, ability to cater to specific needs during Ramadan, the level of non-Halal activities in the hotel, and availability of recreational facilities with privacy for males and females.
Hotels rated 1 to 3 at minimum have information on Halal food and prayer available, while a hotel rated 4 or 5 will have some level of Halal food services in the hotel among other things. Hotels rated 6 and 7 are very specialized hotels serving only Halal food, alcohol free, night club free, family friendly TV channels and having other nice-to-have Halal friendly services and facilities. Hotels that wish get a Crescentrating and be listed on its website have to agree to allow for onsite audits.
During the coming months, Crescentrating will launch rating services for self service accommodation, theme parks, etc. and eventually cover all services and facilities related to travel and hospitality.
www.crescentrating.com is a specialized website focused on catering to the needs of the Muslim travelers worldwide. From listing of travel services that are rated by Crescentrating to destination guides, airport guides, etc. that help Muslim travelers make Halal friendly choices when planning their trips.
Many destinations and travel services have realized the need to include the Halal conscious travelers' needs in their services and products. The travel service providers have years of experience catering to the changing needs of consumers by adjusting their products. As such, for them, Muslims are just another segment to cater to.
Muslim travelers, when planning their trips, should look for those services that will make their travel a comfortable one. With the already higher awareness among the travel industry about the Muslim travelers, requesting for these facilities will only further increase the awareness to provide such services.
Choosing Crescentrated services will let travelers explore the world with peace of mind, insha Allah.