Halal ho­tel to lure more Mus­lim vis­i­tors

Azer News - - Country Guide - By Aygul Sal­manova

Speak­ing of tourists vis­it­ing Azer­bai­jan, it is im­pos­si­ble to avoid the grow­ing num­ber of tourists com­ing from Mus­lim coun­tries. Due to the in­flux of Mus­lim guests, the coun­try now is con­sid­er­ing to de­velop halal tourism, a sub­cat­e­gory of tourism that is aligned with the laws and tra­di­tions of Is­lam.

The Min­istry of Cul­ture and Tourism is pre­par­ing a state stan­dard project called “Halal Man­age­ment Sys­tem – Ho­tels”. The project has gen­eral re­quire­ments for ho­tels of­fer­ing halal ser­vices.

These re­quire­ments en­vis­age that ho­tels pro­vid­ing halal ser­vice must ful­fill their com­mit­ments to cus­tomers in ac­cor­dance with the pre­sen­ta­tion. Ad­ver­tis­ing, cam­paigns, and prices aimed at de­ceiv­ing guests should not be al­lowed, max­i­mum at­ten­tion should be given to the guests' re­li­gious sen­si­tiv­i­ties.

The project states that the ho­tels of­fer­ing halal ser­vices must meet cer­tain re­quire­ments, in par­tic­u­lar, to pro­vide cus­tomers with ser­vices spec­i­fied in the ad­ver­tise­ment. The chem­i­cals and ma­te­ri­als used to meet san­i­tary and hy­giene re­quire­ments must be suitable for use in the halal field, ac­cord­ing to Rah­man Sa­farov, one of the au­thors of the project, Dean of Tourism and Hospi­tal­ity of the Azer­bai­jan Tourism and Man­age­ment Univer­sity.

Such ho­tels should not have video sur­veil­lance and au­dio record­ing in rooms, show­ers, swim­ming pools, mas­sage rooms, locker rooms. More­over, men and women in cer­tain des­ig­nated places should be serviced by work­ers of the same sex.

Em­ploy­ees of the ho­tel are re­quired to un­dergo a med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion in ac­cor­dance with the es­tab­lished pro­ce­dure, their ac­tiv­i­ties must meet the re­quire­ments of san­i­tary and hy­gienic stan­dards. The uni­form of ho­tel work­ers should not con­tra­dict the norms of Is­lam.

The pre­lim­i­nary ver­i­fi­ca­tion of the stan­dard will be­gin in 2022 and will last five years.

To­day, the Mus­lim travel mar­ket one of the fastest-grow­ing seg­ments in the global travel in­dus­try, if to con­sider that Mus­lims rep­re­sent nearly one-fourth of the world’s pop­u­la­tion.

Last year about $155 bil­lion were spent by Mus­lim trav­el­ers, which rep­re­sent about 13 per­cent of the to­tal global travel ex­penses, ac­cord­ing to the data of the Global Mus­lim Travel In­dex (GMTI).

This May, the GMTI pre­dicted that the Mus­lim travel mar­ket will be worth $220 bil­lion by 2020 and $300 bil­lion by 2026, spurred by Mus­lim-friendly ameni­ties and easy ac­cess to travel in­for­ma­tion.

It should be par­tic­u­larly men­tioned that Azer­bai­jan has lately be­came the most fa­vorite place for travel of many Arab tourists. The ma­jor­ity of them are from Saudi Ara­bia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Iraq. Short dis­tance be­tween Azer­bai­jan and their coun­tries is one of the rea­sons of such a great tourist growth.

Mean­while, this year the GMTI put Azer­bai­jan 24th on de­vel­op­ment of halal tourism.

In the 2016 sur­vey of GMTI cov­er­ing 130 tourist des­ti­na­tions, Azer­bai­jan, has ranked 20th among the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Is­lamic Co­op­er­a­tion (OIC).

The coun­try’s in­com­pa­ra­ble his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural her­itage, as well as ex­per­tise in halal hospi­tal­ity, al­lowed Azer­bai­jan to en­ter the list of the top Mus­lim hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions. In Azer­bai­jan, where moder­nity and in­tel­lect meet Is­lam and mod­ern cul­tures, Mus­lim vis­i­tors can have an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence.

Mean­while, this year the GMTI put Azer­bai­jan 24th on de­vel­op­ment of halal tourism.

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