Muscat – The launch of a halal travel glossary can propel Oman further up the list of most preferred Muslim-friendly destinations. Singapore-based CrescentRating, which released the glossary, has acknowledged Oman’s growing presence in the travel economy and plans to cooperate with the government on promoting it further.
The MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015 ranks Oman seventh on the list of top ten Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) destinations. The top six spots have been taken up by Malaysia, Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Indonesia.
This year, Malaysia scored 83.8 on the index, followed by Turkey at 73.8. Oman had a GMTI of 66.7. In 2014, Oman saw 670,000 Muslim arrivals into the country which account for 30 per cent of the total tourists. Meanwhile, the glossary, an e-book, by CrescentRating promotes accurate and consistent use of terms in the halal travel market. Over 150 terms and concepts have been entered and validated with regular updates planned as the market matures.
Users can obtain a quick list of terms through the glossary which has been divided into sections for easy navigation. It has been published as a free downloadable e-book with plans to make it an online resource in the near future.
In an e-mail, Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating said, “Embracing the halal travel phenomenon is now a key focus of growth across the industry for both OIC and non-OIC destinations. With an increasing number of destinations and services looking to attract Muslim traveller, there is a need to better understand the terms used to describe the market needs and practices related to this segment.”
Each of the terms has been defined in the context of lifestyle and travel. The e-book also covers faith-related terms used to describe the needs and practices of Muslim travellers.
“The first edition of the glossary is now available in English with plans to launch the Arabic version over the course of the next few months.”
Bahardeen said, “At the moment, we have no plans to have country-specific information in the glossary; however Oman is a very important destination which is attractive to Muslims from across the world and we would love to speak with the Oman tourism board and how we can promote it further.”
CrescentRating says understanding these terms is imperative for all travel-related businesses looking to benefit from the growth of this market such as tourism boards, government agencies, hotels, restaurants, attractions, airports, airlines, cruises and spas.
The GMTI 2015 revealed that in 2014, the Muslim travel market was worth US$145bn with 108mn Muslim travellers representing ten per cent of the entire travel economy.
This is forecast to grow to 150mn visitors by 2020 and 11 per cent of the market segment with a market value projected to grow to US$200bn.
Earlier this year, Travel Point had announced its accreditation with CrescentRating, thus officially making its outbound leisure division launch halal vacations, enabling Muslim travellers to explore any part of the world with the satisfaction that their Islamic needs and requirements will be met.
Originally published on www.zawya.com