On 23rd January, Instituto Halal and International Halal Tourism (HIT) presented their new scheme of certification Muslim Friendly Tourism within the International Tourism Fair FITUR 2019. Barbara Ruiz-Bejarano, Director of International Affairs of Instituto Halal, conducted the presentation at the Andalusian pavilion, specifically, in the booth of the City Council of Córdoba.

Based on an analysis on the situation of tourism in Spain and the Muslim tourism market, Instituto Halal and HIT launched this new Muslim Friendly Tourism as a progressive and gradual certification scheme. This is intended to help hotel managers and professionals of the sector to know the preferences and needs of Muslim travellers.

Currently, muslim travellers represent an important and growing segment in the international tourism market, with more than 1 billion potential customers. In a study carried out by Crescent Rating and Mastercard, it states that «this is the tourism segment with the highest growth rate due to the demographic increase and the establishment of a middle class in Muslim majority countries, although it needs to adapt to the requirements and preferences of these tourists.» According to the same report, Muslim tourism spending for the year 2020 is estimated at US $ 220 billion. In fact, Spain is a preferred destination for this segment that is attracted by the quality of the sector, the renown Islamic heritage, excellent weather and its cultural richness.

Dr. Ruiz-Bejarano mentioned that «the main preferences of Muslim tourists include halal food and drink, special services for Ramadan, indication of the qibla (orientation to Mecca) and prayer mats in the rooms, among others”. These characteristics are those that can increase the comfort of Muslim tourism and point to an establishment or service as excellent in the social networks of Muslim customers. “Our Muslim Friendly brand prepares the establishments to be able to offer all the possible guarantees to the clients and optimize the offer of the business owners before new demands. It also makes it clear to customers what to expect of a particular establishment or service. It Is essential to avoid confusions or misleading customers, as halal is a matter of trust» she explained.

The Muslim Friendly certification scheme has born with the vocation to unite businessmen and clients under a policy of shared quality and an added value that satisfies both parties. And it aspires to become a reference not only in holiday tourism, but also in business, health, or sport tourism. Instituto Halal and HIT pointed out that «we work together to offer maximum customer satisfaction and for the user with all the know-how we have acquired in these twenty years of experience.”