Travel site for Mus­lims

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TRAVEL -

A NEW web­site for Mus­lim trav­ellers, which in­cludes a global di­rec­tory of ha­lal restaurants and ded­i­cated city guides, was launched re­cently in a bid to cap­i­talise on the grow­ing num­ber of Mus­lim tourists.

Specialist Sin­ga­pore-based firm Cres­cen­trat­ing said the site, which is called HalalTrip.com, of­fers a wide range of fea­tures for tourists wish­ing to travel in ac­cor­dance with the rules of Is­lam.

“It is the world’s first ful­lyfea­tured travel book­ing web­site for Mus­lim trav­ellers,” said Cres­cen­trat­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Fazal Ba­hard­een, adding that the in­dus­try had been lack­ing a ded­i­cated travel book­ing site cater­ing to the needs of Mus­lim tourists.

Spend­ing by Mus­lim trav­ellers is es­ti­mated to reach US$200bil (RM665.5bil) by 2020, up from US$126bil (RM419.27bil) in 2011, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Dany Bolduc.

Cres­cen­trat­ing ac­quired HalalTrip.com from its Aus­trian owner last June and has re­launched it with new fea­tures, in­clud­ing book­ing fa­cil­i­ties for nearly 400,000 ho­tels, as well as air­lines and tour pack­ages. The site pre­vi­ously only al­lowed book­ings for 1,000 ho­tels.

Tourists can now search flights and ho­tels on the English-lan­guage site as a re­sult of part­ner­ships with on­line reser­va­tion firm Book­ing.com, and travel search en­gine Wego.com.

It also of­fers a global di­rec­tory of ha­lal restaurants, mosques and ameni­ties use­ful for the Mus­lim tourist.

There are ded­i­cated travel and city guides to places such as Is­tan­bul, Bei­jing, and Kuala Lumpur, high­light­ing places of in­ter­est for the Is­lamic vis­i­tors.

Other fea­tures will be added pro­gres­sively, in­clud­ing Ara­bic and other lan­guage in­ter­faces, the com­pany said.

Cres­cen­trat­ing al­ready runs a web­site which rates ho­tels, restaurants, air­ports and other es­tab­lish­ments us­ing such cri­te­ria as hav­ing ha­lal restaurants and prayer rooms.

This year, it launched a ser­vice that al­lows Mus­lim trav­ellers to de­ter­mine their prayer times and the di­rec­tion to which they should pray even while they are in mid-flight and across dif­fer­ent time zones. – AFP Re­laxnews

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