Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, has given passionate talks at both WTM Africa and Indaba last month on how South Africa – and Cape Town in particular – is ideally positioned to take advantage of the opportunities of Halal tourism.
Said Duminy: “The Muslim travel market is one of the most rapidly growing market segments in the tourism industry. It is also one of the world’s highest spending tourist markets. Therefore, it is vital that destinations, businesses and travel-related entities take the needs of this market segment into consideration when devising business models and plans.”
Duminy explained South Africa wants to reach the Halal Tourism market by positioning Cape Town as a Halal destination and an accessible point of entry for other Halal destinations. He said the city wants to build awareness about Muslim customs and preferences and indicate to Muslim travellers which establishments have measures in place to accommodate their preferences.
He added Cape Town offers a Halal-friendly social environment dating back to early 1600s, with Halal food in most restaurants and hotels. The city also has no shortage of prayer facilities at airports and malls as well as over 200 plus mosques in the entire Western Cape. Also the average day light hours are ideal for Ramadhan, according to Duminy.
Tour operators and hotels can attract Halal visitors by taking action in some easy ways, according to Duminy. For example, if establishment can’t provide Halal food or prayer facilities, they can provide their guests with a list of nearby places that do provide these amenities.
According to a recent Amadeus study, Halal Travel 2016, Halal tourism is indeed one of the fastest growing travel sectors in the world, and presents a significant business opportunity for travel agents.
The study shows that Halal travellers are keen to explore non-Muslim countries, and show their children the world and all the different realities that come with it. The fact that Cape Town has all the necessary facilities in place, makes the destination an ‘easy sell’ for travel agents wanting to tap into this lucrative market segment.
Cape Town last year ranked as Africa’s leading Halal tourism destinations and is fourth best non-IOC destination on the 2016 MasterCard-Crescent Muslim Travel Index.