Every business is three dimensional and the evolving trend of tourism industry is no different. The ones who are most at stake from the innovation and changes of the business are the hoteliers, employees and the customers.
Many hoteliers are taking the opportunity of the emerging Muslim tourists to transform their hotels into Muslim friendly. Currently, they have a lucrative market size of 1.6 billion Muslims, which is motivation enough to bring some changes to their conventional hotel policies.
This trend has already taken flight, so, the hoteliers have to keep up to be at competitive edge. However, their capital can only be from halal source and they have to make significant investment in changing the décor and architectural angle of the hotel to suit the laws of Islam.
The pressure piles on as the hoteliers need to synchronize their timetable according to the prayer time and their information desk and staff needs special training to communicate with the customers and supply halal food and beverage.
Though this takes a lot of effort and change in the dynamics of the business, the hoteliers are well aware that this supplements their earnings not only from hotel business but also from new products that are of interest to the Muslim customers such as gift shops accommodating tasbih, plush prayer rugs, attar (perfumes for Muslims) and such other related items.
Their hard work is paid off as they can penetrate the Muslim market extensively and this new idea excites non-Muslims as well for a diverse hotel experience bringing in more profit and a wider clientele.
As for employees, it is a bitter sweet deal. On one hand, these hotels prefer hiring Muslim staff as they are more acquainted to the laws of Islam putting employees of other religion to a professional dilemma. Besides, each of the staff has to maintain a strict dress code and etiquette to cater their customers. The information desk also needs to have supplementary information on prayer timing and location of Muslim landmarks and artifacts.
On the other hand, these are all part and parcel of the job and if they are specialized in this area then they can expect a salary hike since this service is getting increasingly demandable among the hotel industry.
However, our ultimate stakeholders are the customers who are getting the most out of it. Muslims get to have a clean and familiar environment where they do not need to improvise to adhere to their religion. They have clean and spacious rooms with qibla direction to offer their prayer.
They can divulge into several facilities offered by the hotel such as spas, swimming pools and gyms as they are segregated for males and females. They do not have to sacrifice their favourite dish in fear that it is not halal.
Moreover, the staffs are Muslim friendly so their queries can be entertained and readily understood by them. For Non-Muslims, it is an amazing journey of Islamic Heritage where they can have an insight on the life of Muslims and to communicate with them.
It creates a cozy, family friendly atmosphere without the threat of a drunken stranger banging on their door steps. The environment is more refreshing and serene spreading a sense of spirituality and peace.