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Enabling Muslims to Explore the World with Peace of Mind

Jul 2011

Muslims have a unique attribute when it comes to travel: from the time they understand the five 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 hometowns with the intention of performing Hajj and eventually set out on fascinating journeys exploring different lands and cultures.

Somehow, during 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 for 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 must be considered 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 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 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 include 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, serving only Halal food, alcohol-free, nightclub-free, family-friendly TV channels, and other nice-to-have Halal-friendly services and facilities. Hotels wishing to get a Crescentrating and be listed on their website must agree to allow 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 Muslim travelers worldwide. From the listing travel services 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 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.

When planning their trips, Muslim travelers should look for services that will make their travel comfortable. With the already higher awareness among the travel industry about Muslim travelers, requesting 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.

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