The Muslim tourism industry is huge. A study estimates that the “global Muslim tourism market in 2011 was US $126.1 billion in outbound expenditure1” or 12.3 percent of the global outbound tourism expenditure in that year. It’s estimated that the Muslim tourism market will grow an average of 4.79 percent year-on-year until 2020.
Launched in December, HalalTrip will sell three travel services to Muslims online: the booking of flight tickets, hotels, and tour packages (to be launched this week). All three are offered in cooperation with travel companies Wego (flights), Booking.com (hotels), and Kuoni (travel packages).
What makes the site special however is that it offers travel recommendations based on the halal friendliness of each product2. The “halal friendliness level” is derived from the parent company’s database of halal tourism ratings. The website also carries a directory of halal friendly restaurants and mosques.
In the next two to three weeks, the Singapore-based team would add “major releases” to the site like improved search filters for hotels and flights.
HalalTrip’s primary audience are consumers in Southeast Asia, UK, France, and the US. The 10-man member will localize the site by providing Arabic and French content. They also plan to support other markets like Indonesia and Malaysia. Crescent Rating’s iOS app for in-flight prayer times and the qiblah direction called Crescent Trips would also be available on Android and will be integrated inside HalalTrip’s website.
COO Dany Bolduc says that there are quite a few Muslim travel services around, but most of them are fragmented as they focus on a specific country or region. HalalTrip, on the other hand, is doing it on a global scale.
The team is currently raising a series A funding round.
- The estimation does not include core religious travel expenditure of Hajj and Umrah, but covers leisure, business, and other tourism segments. You can download the study here.↩
- For example, hotels are scored based on halal certified restaurants it has inside, and nearby halal restaurants and mosques.↩