The Muslim population of the world is growing rapidly; therefore, several countries are seeing an increase in Muslim visitors. For a lot of Muslims, travelling is about learning new cultures and traditions; to sum it up, it’s about gaining knowledge. The Prophet once said: Seek knowledge "even though it be in China."
As the consumers increase so does the need for increased production. Halal tourism is now a full-fledged industry which generates billions annually. There are numerous benefits of investing in the Muslim travel market apart from just making money.
Muslims have special needs such as Halal food, modest clothing, Halal banking, etc. And because of these ‘special needs’ new industries and markets have been created which are progressing at a rapid pace - for example the Halal food market:
Halal Food Market:
Moneymakers and businessmen are already eager to tap into the potential of the Muslim travel industry. Muslims only consume such meat which is derived from an animal that is slaughtered in the way as mentioned in the Quran and Hadith; such meat is referred to as Halal meat. Muslim tourists visiting a non-Muslim country usually rely on veg food to fulfill their dietary needs, for many this is a challenge since not everyone can stick to a certain diet. However; restaurants are now opening their doors to Muslim visitors. Fast food giants such as the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) have already started selling Halal fast food in the UK. Similarly in April, Pizza Hut announced the opening of three new outlets in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia one of the three restaurants will be located at the Old Airport and will serve Halal food to its customers. All of these companies are trying to earn big bucks by tapping into the Muslim travel industry.
How it Helps in Building a Strong National Economy:
Businessmen and private companies aren’t the only ones benefitting from the increase of Muslim tourists. Countries like Turkey are making a fortune out of it. According to the United Nations World Tourism Association, the Republic of Turkey saw an increase in number of tourists coming from the Middle East from 2.1 million in 2011 to around 3.7 million in the year 2015. This is helping Turkey’s economy greatly which also confirms the fact mentioned in the report report published by Research and Markets, that the Halal food market and Halal tourism helps the economy of Muslim countries to grow.
Business loving countries such as China are looking for investors to invest in its Halal meat market. China is eyeing its Muslim majority neighbor Pakistan to invest in its Halal food market. The Pakistani online news outlet Express Tribune reports:
Pakistan, the second largest exporter of rice to China, has every opportunity to grab a sizable share in the Halal food market said Ye Anping, Director for Asia and African Affairs, Department of International, Ministry of Agriculture, China.
China already has a noticeable Muslim population but it’s the foreigners that China wants to accommodate since a lot of tourists and international students from the Middle East and North Africa are pouring into China.
Apart from food and money the hike in Muslim tourists coming into Non-Muslim countries can also be used as a ‘peacemaker’:
Lessening the Divide:
You can find Muslims in every nook and corner of the world even in the isolated state of North Korea and the remote continent of Antarctica. Due to the political events that are unraveling in the world particularly Muslim countries, a lot of bias has been created against the Muslim community mainly due to misunderstandings, lack of education on certain topics and unfamiliarity of the situation. Apart from money making, hosting Muslim tourists could also somewhat decrease the mistrust between Muslims and people of other cultures. Even a few minutes of pleasantries can reduce the hysteria.
So far there are only positives of hosting Muslim tourists, Businesses can make a fortune, it helps in better understanding of other cultures, promotes tolerance and helps nations grow. Everybody wins!
Thousands of people from the host community are already benefitting from the growth of the Muslim travel industry. Today’s world is very competitive, if you snooze, you lose; you have to pay attention to the new trends otherwise you’d be left behind. It’s a golden opportunity to benefit from the growth of this diverse industry.