New Zealand Tourism Launches Halal Guide
New Zealand Tourism and Christchurch International Airport have introduced a halal culinary guide for Muslim tourists travelling to the country. New Zealand: a Culinary Haven for Muslim Travellers offers general tourist information, as well as a list of halal, vegetarian and vegan restaurants. The guide caters to the growing number of Muslim tourists visiting New Zealand – which rose by 141% between August 2011 and 2012.
Muslim travel is booming. A 2012 study by US-based marketing firm DinarStandard and Singapore-based halal travel specialist Crescentrating has revealed that Muslim tourist spending, worth $126.1bn in 2011, is expected to grow to $192bn by 2020.
"Muslim tourists may very well be the largest untapped niche market of the tourism industry,” said Rafi-uddin Shikoh, managing director of DinarStandard. “Airlines, destinations, hotels and resorts can benefit tremendously by catering to the unique Muslim lifestyle travel-drivers [that include] halal food, family-friendly environments, religious practices accommodation, gender-relation nuances and other areas."
The top countries for Muslim outbound tourism in 2011 were Iran, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Indonesia and Kuwait, as well as Muslim communities from Russia, the UK, France and Germany. Most-visited destinations include Malaysia, Turkey, UAE, Singapore, Russia, China, France, Thailand and Italy.