First International Halal Tourism conference preps get underway

Christian Nader, vice president, development, Shaza Hotels, an affiliate of Kempinski Hotels
Christian Nader, vice president, development, Shaza Hotels, an affiliate of Kempinski Hotels

Spain will soon play host to the first international halal tourism conference. The event is scheduled to be held on 22-23 September 2014 in Andalucia. The speaker list confirmed is diverse from across the globe with the key focus on discussing the opportunities and challenges that halal tourism presents for the industry.

With a market capitalisation of US$140 billion in 2013 and increasing year-by-year, halal tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors and accounts for almost 13% of global travel expenditures. This figure is expected to grow to US$192 billion in 2020.

The speakers list includes Chris Nader, vice president, development, Shaza Hotels, an affiliate of Kempinski Hotels, Zulkifly MD Said, director general Islamic Tourism Centre, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia, Fazal Bahardeen, founder of Islamic hospitality ratings agency Crescentrating, Elnur Seyidli, co-founder of HalalBooking.com, Rafi-Uddin Shikoh, CEO and managing director of Islamic industry research experts DinarStandard and Hani Lashin, group general manager, Al Jawhara Group of Hotels among others.

Hani Lashin highlighted that halal-friendly hotels would increase the appeal of a country to all those looking for a family-oriented holiday irrespective of their religion. “Halal-friendly tourism is not limited to Muslim travellers only. It is a concept where the safety parameters are considered and taken care in all possible aspects for the guest stay,” he added.

The two-day event expects to witness an attendance of around 500 delegates and exhibitors from the Middle East, Far East and Europe. The objective of the two-day event is to equip countries with market intelligence, industry forecasts and trends to understand how to market to the lucrative Muslim consumer and benefit commercially.

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