Muslim travellers tend to check the availability of certain facilities before deciding on a hotel or accommodation option. The extent to which services and facilities for Muslim travellers - such as Halal food and prayer facilities – are available play a major role in their decision making process. Hotels that offer a certain level of facilities for Muslims will be the preferred choice of accommodation amongst Muslim travellers.
One of the main aspects that Muslim travellers look at before selecting a hotel or accommodation is the availability of Halal food. Hotels that are capable of providing Halal food to Muslim guests will be preferred by any Muslim traveller. Hotels equipped with Halal-certified kitchens and Halal-certified restaurants are usually preferred and hotels with restaurants where no alcohol or non-Halal food items are served will be an added bonus. Certain hotels have an "only Halal food on premises" regulation which is the highest level of service offered by hotels that cater specifically to Muslim travellers.
Another important aspect is the availability of prayer facilities for Muslim guests. Salaath facilities offered to Muslim guests are also an important deciding factor when selecting a hotel. Many Muslim-friendly hotels offer designated prayer room areas for guests as well as facilities such as prayer mats, prayer timetables and prayer dresses for ladies. Many hotels also provide a Quran in each guest room and have Qibla directions marked in the guest rooms.
Additional facilities that Muslim travellers would require include services during Ramadan. Basic facilities to break fast – such as dates and water – are a minimum level of requirements by Muslim travellers during Ramadan. Hotels that offer Iftar during Ramadan or Suhoor & Iftar buffets will be preferred. Certain hotels also provide Halal room service menus, a list of all the Halal restaurants in the area as well as transport to local mosques.
Muslim travellers may also take the level of non Halal activities available in the hotel into consideration when selecting a hotel. Some Muslim travellers may prefer to avoid hotels that offer casinos, nightclubs, adult TV-channels and other non Halal activities. There are certain hotels that offer gym areas, swimming pools and spa facilities with separate areas for men and women – which is the highest level of service offered to Muslim guests. Hotels that are located in close proximity to local Halal restaurants, mosques and attractions are also preferred by Muslim travellers.
With the Muslim market being amongst the fastest growing market segments in the travel industry, more hotels are implementing steps to better serve its Muslim guests. By establishing a “Muslim-friendly” brand image, hotels will be able to attract more Muslim travellers in the future and will become a preferred option amongst the Muslim community.