ABU DHABI, 20th October 2015: Salam Standard, the world’s first online hotel reference tool dedicated to Muslim travellers, launches today at the inaugural World Halal Travel Summit & Exhibition (WHTS15), in Abu Dhabi.The unique standard, which provides information on “Muslim-friendly” amenities and services available at hotels and resorts around the globe, caters to the specific accommodation requirements of Muslim travellers, who spent more than US$142 billion on tourism in 2014, according to Thomson Reuters research.
“With this figure set to rise to more than $233 billion in 2020, which accounts for 25% of total global travel expenditure, there is a need to provide this influential group of travellers with tourism products that make them feel at home,” said Salam Standard creator Faeez Fadhlillah, the CEO and co-founder of one of Asia Pacific’s leading travel and tourism companies, Lagisatu Travel Sdn Bhd.
“Salam Standard provides Muslim travellers with a one-of-a-kind reference tool, enabling them to choose Muslim-friendly accommodation that adheres to their Islamic principles.”More than 10,000 properties worldwide have already joined the Salam Standard initiative with major international hotel chains on board including AccorHotels, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Rotana Hotels & Resorts, Anantara Hotels & Resorts, and Rixos Hotels.
Indonesia’s biggest hospitality firm, the Archipelago Hotel Group, as well as Tauzia Hotel Management and Berjaya Hotels & Resorts, are also high-profile Salam Standard partners.The standard is divided into three main categories – Bronze, Silver and Gold – according to the range of amenities and services each property offers Muslim guests.
For example, Bronze-standard properties must have Muslim prayer mats available and Kibblat directions (signs pointing to Mecca) in the room or be made available; Silver-rated properties must also provide a list of halal restaurants nearby and there must be no alcohol in guestroom mini bars; while accommodation with Gold status must also offer halal food certified by a recognised certification body.
“Salam Standard is based on the feedback of 50,000 Muslim travellers from around the world,” revealed Fadhlillah.
“We conducted an extensive global campaign asking those surveyed what services and amenities were most important to them when travelling. The Salam Standard helps them select hotels according to this Muslim-focused criteria – no other review portal provides such comprehensive information.”
Fadhlillah said Salam Standard could evolve into the “biggest information provider of Muslim travel content” over the next few years if more Muslim-focused travel products and services are added.
“Our aim is to encourage hotel operators to offer more facilities for Muslim travellers, ensuring they experience their holiday of a lifetime,” he said.
Salam Standard is being promoted as part of the Tourism Malaysia showcase at this week’s WHTS15 (October 19-21), which is expected to attract more than 6,000 halal travel industry professionals.
Speaking at the event, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) acting director general HE Jasem Al Darmaki noted that halal travel was “one of the fastest-growing sectors of global tourism” and that its value would “double within five years”.
Malaysia is recognised as a global leader in the Muslim travel market, which Tourism Malaysia deputy director general Dato’ Abdul Khani Daud stressed held “strong potential”.
“The introduction of Salam Standard will not only help hotels worldwide cater to the needs of this burgeoning sector, which we strongly support, but also help Muslim travellers seeking a blessed journey,” he said.
Originally published on www.zawya.com