Reed Travel Exhibitions, organiser of the annual Arabian Travel Market (ATM) showcase in Dubai, which will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 24-27 April 2017, has announced that it will host the first ATM Global Halal Tourism Summit as part of its line-up of special focus events.
The one-day summit, scheduled to take place on Wednesday 26th April 2017 on the Global Stage, will feature three interactive seminar sessions covering the big picture, halal destination strategies and how to sell halal travel, led by leading Muslim travel industry experts including Faeez Fadhlillah, Co-Founder & CEO, Salam Standard & Tripfez; Nabeel Shariff, Founder and Director of Serendipity Tailormade and Luxury Halal Travel.
A 2014 report by Thomson Reuters valued the global halal food and lifestyle sector at US$1.8 trillion and this is expected to reach US$2.6 trillion by 2020; That figure was supported by research commissioned by the Government of Dubai, and produced by Thomson Reuters in partnership with DinarStandard, which found that halal tourism represents 11.6% of global tourism expenditure, estimating the sector would be worth US$238 billion by 2019.
The summit announcement follows a special roundtable session about halal tourism, organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions, which took place earlier this year in Dubai. A prominent group of hoteliers, destination management companies and tourism professionals took part in the event, with 70% of participants agreeing that there is a need for a global convention on halal tourism.
Halal tourism is defined as the provision of services and facilities that address the specific needs of Islamic travellers, such as halal food, dry hotels and separate male/female facilities. However, it can mean different things to different people, thus creating both challenges and opportunities for the regional and global tourism sector when it comes to servicing the needs of halal tourists.
“In fact, 90% of our panelists believed that there is a huge gap in the tourism market for halal cuisine, which is especially relevant as 80% also predicted a significant increase in the percentage of inbound halal business over the next five years. Launching this summit therefore presents a timely opportunity for the industry to come together to discuss opportunities, share success stories and create awareness,” said Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, Arabian Travel Market.
Faeez Fadhlillah, Co-Founder & CEO, Salam Standard & Tripfez, an acknowledged expert on halal tourism, will chair the panel at the opening session: Halal Tourism – The Big Picture, at which he will present his report findings. He will be joined by other key industry speakers to analyse how the Middle East benefits economically from Muslim travel as well as the sector’s true inbound and outbound potential.
“The Global Economic Impact of Muslim Tourism report by Salam Standard reveals the Muslim travel sector is a major contributor to global GDP, generating millions of jobs in the tourism, travel and hospitality industry worldwide, and the UAE is one of the top international countries leading the development and promotion of Muslim-friendly tourism infrastructure,” said. Fadhlillah.
The second session will delve further into the successful marketing strategies of some of the world’s leading halal-friendly destinations, from Halal certification, services and amenities, to online tools, apps and promotional efforts designed to raise awareness of their halal credentials.
Wrapping up the inaugural summit, the final session will address effective sales strategies to capitalise on ways to leverage the domestic and outbound boom in Muslim travel demand and what trends travel professionals are noticing in terms of booking decisions.
ATM – considered by many industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, witnessed a year-on-year visitor attendance increase of 8% to over 39,800 in 2016, with 2,520 exhibiting companies signing business deals worth more than US$ 2.5 billion over four days.