Halal Tourism Conference 2016 attracts thousands

Thousands of delegates are expected to attend world’s biggest international conference on halal tourism – an industry now worth over $150 billion.

The Halal Tourism Conference 2016 is being held on 3-5 May 2016 in Konya, Turkey and will bring together some of the world’s leading names in the travel industry.

Themed “Developing Halal Tourism Industries” the two-day event will feature a number of keynote speeches, panel discussions and workshops and will also see new campaigns and projects launched.

Alongside the conference, there will also be a three-day exhibition featuring over 100 businesses from across the world.

Over 1,000 delegates from all over the world are expected to attend including tourism boards, travel agencies, tour operators, hotels and airlines. This year’s event will also feature from Hajj and Umrah providers, financial institutions and food and drink businesses.

It is the second time the event is being held in Europe following the success of the inaugural event in Andalucía, Spain.

A recent study has revealed that in 2015 the estimated total Muslim visitor arrivals were 117 million representing close to 10% of the entire travel economy. This is forecasted to grow to 168 million visitors by 2020 and 11% of the market segment with a market value projected to exceed $200 billion.

The Halal Economy that encompasses the Halal Tourism, Halal Food, Halal Clothing, Halal Cosmetics and Pharmaceuticals among others is poised to grow over the next few years.

Valued at approximately US$3.2 trillion in 2012, the halal sector is forecasted to increase to US$6.4 trillion by 2018.

A study by Pew Research Centre has found that the world’s Muslim population will grow at 35% over the next decade, which is around double the rate of the non- Muslim population. This will bring the Muslim population from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.2 billion by 2030. Thomson Reuters has predicted that the Islamic tourism market is projected to be worth US$181 billion by 2018. Recognising the potential in the rapidly growing Muslim population, and the increasing demand for halal alternatives in various retail sectors, many countries including non-muslim countries are already jumping on the bandwagon and opening up their markets for Muslim capital and tourists.

Islamic foodAccording to the 2014-2015 report by Thomson Reuters on the State of the Global Islamic Economy the global Muslim spending on travel (outbound) has increased 7.7% to reach $140 billion in 2013(excluding Hajj and Umrah). This is 11.6% of the global expenditure and is expected to reach $238 billion by 2019. Top source countries of Muslim tourists based on 2013 expenditure were: Saudi Arabia ($17.8 billion), Iran ($14.3 billion), United Arab Emirates ($11.2 billion), Qatar ($ 7.8 billion), Kuwait ($7.7 billion), and Indonesia ($7.5 billion). Meanwhile, Malaysia, UAE and Singapore lead the Halal Travel Indicator that focusses on the health of the family-friendly/Halal Travel ecosystem a country has relative to its size.

Organiser Bilal Domah, from CM Media, based in UK, said the 2016 conference would be the biggest seen in Europe.

He said: “The Halal travel sector is now at a critical stage of its development and this conference will reflect the trends of the market.

“The event will seek to move the debate on to where the sector is heading and how the various industries that form Halal tourism can be developed.

“We have some of the most renowned names in the sector who will be part of a very exciting event that will shape the future of the halal tourism industry.

“Our first event in Spain was a ground-breaking event and we are confident that through our experience and partners this will be another memorable event.

‘This is a not-to-be-missed chance to get businesses across the world together to showcase what’s planned for the industry going forward and it’s going to be another exciting event.”

Confirmed guest speakers at the event will include Dr. Bandar, Fahad al Fehaid, Delegation of Arab Tourism Organization of the Arab league, Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of Crescentrating & HalalTrip, Simon Coombs, President & CEO – Shaza Hotels, Irfan Onal, Director General, Ministry Of Culture and Tourism Promotion and Rafi-Uddin Shikoh, CEO of Dinar Standard.

The conference will be hosted alongside an exhibition which will last for three days with the final day opened to trade and public. It will feature over 100 exhibitors from Turkey and the rest of the world.

The Halal Tourism Conference 2016 takes place from the 3rd to 5th May 2016 at the Mevlana Cultural Center in Konya, Turkey.