SHAFAQNA – The Muslim travel market was worth US$145 billion last year, with 108 million Muslim travelers representing 10 percent of the global travel economy, according to a recent study by CrescentRating and MasterCard. The firms forecast that these numbers will grow to 150 million travelers by 2020, accounting for 11 percent of the global travel economy and spending nearly US$200 billion per year.
As Indonesia is a republic with the largest Muslim population in the world, from time to time we like to bring up interesting products that are tailored specifically for Muslims.
Singapore-based HalalTrip is one of those companies, as it lets Muslim consumers book flights, hotels, and travel packages. What makes the site special though is that it offers recommendations based on the halal friendliness of each place, product, or package.
Last month, HalalTrip updated its mobile app with a halal food-spotting feature built in. The app is designed to let users find, share, and rate halal food around the world. With the app, users can “spot” halal dishes while travelling, photograph and upload images, add comments, and share via social media to the global Muslim community, or anyone who also uses the app. The company claims that halal food is one of the biggest drivers of tourism for the global Muslim market.
“We want to make it easier and more fun for people to plan trips, and discover very important things that influence their travelling decisions such as places to eat along their journey,” says Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of HalalTrip. “Halal food is one of the most important aspects of Muslim travel and we have seen a huge increase in the industry from restaurants wanting to become halal and more Muslim-friendly to accommodate this market.”
Over the next few months, HalalTrip also plans to add new features to the app, including a direct booking service. The app is free on iOS and Google Play. HalalTrip launched the app back in January, and Google Play says it has less than 10,000 downloads so far. In Asia, HalalTrip competes with Japan-based HalalMinds.