With the growth of the Muslim travel market, tour operators and guides too need to have a thorough understanding of the special needs of Muslim guests in order to effectively attract and provide them with better services. Understanding the preferences and their nuances will help these tour guides provide a better service to this segment of travelers.
The travel agent is be responsible for developing and marketing of holiday packages which will encourage and motivate Muslim travelers to go on holiday. In this context, tour guides play a key role to ensure these travelers enjoy their stay in a destination. For that, they will have to take into consideration and be aware of their unique set of needs when planning their daily tours and explanations of the attractions, heritage, sights etc. at the destination.
Muslim travelers need to have certain facilities available to them when they choose a destination for their holiday. The most important of which is halal food. Tour guides need to know the importance of halal food to the Muslim traveler so that they can organize a stop at a halal restaurant for meals during the tour instead of stopping at a non-halal restaurant. They will have to research the availability of halal restaurants in the vicinity of the various attractions in the destination and plan the day’s tour according to the location of these restaurants. If there are no halal restaurants in the vicinity, the tour guides will have to organize halal meals in advance.
These groups of travelers also need to have a prayer stop in their itinerary; as it is obligatory for every Muslim to offer their daily prayers. Tour guides will therefore have to know the location of the Mosques in the vicinity, as well as the prayer times in order to be of better service to their Muslim guests. They will have to make stops at these mosques at the proper prayer times so that the Muslim guests can offer their prayers.
Another important reason for these tour guides to know the special needs of Muslims travelers is to plan appropriate activities and tours for them. A Muslim traveler will not be interested in going on a wine tasting tour or a vineyard tour as they are prohibited from drinking alcoholic beverages. Bars and nightclubs too are not places of interest to these travelers. Muslim travelers will generally want more family-friendly activities such shopping, sightseeing, visiting a theme park, zoo, nature reserve or even a museum.
Most Muslim travelers tend to travel with family and in large groups and they usually enjoy visiting landmarks and famous sites in the travel destination. Many of them also enjoy shopping for high end brands when they are on holiday. Tours guides should therefore definitely include a shopping stop in the itinerary. Crowded beaches are not ideal for these guests, however one that is family-friendly, private and less crowded; so that the women will be comfortable, will definitely be appreciated.
The needs of Muslim tourists are quite specific but they are not hard to satisfy. Tour guides should therefore know the special needs of this segment of travelers in order to effectively tailor tour packages that will please the Muslim tourist.