Sunday 8, May 2016

Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: The 2nd World Halal Tourism Summit will be held in the United Arab Emirates’ capital of Abu Dhabi from 21-25 November 2016, and as part of the inaugural International Travel Week (ITW), will play host to the world’s biggest hosted buyers programme for global travel professionals.

Taking place at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), the event will be attended by more than 6,000 travel professionals including travel agents, hospitality groups, hoteliers, developers and key international decision makers from around the world.

ITW Abu Dhabi is a five-day exhibition that from the same venue plays host to ten (10) distinct travel events simultaneously. Each is focused on the fastest growing sectors within the global tourism economy, foremost of which is Halal Tourism. In addition to the World Halal Tourism Summit, other scheduled events include the World Halal Travel Awards and other summits focused on: Education Tourism, Eco Tourism, Medical Tourism, Cruise Tourism, Sports Tourism, Shopping Tourism, Family Friendly Tourism and Ministerial Tourism.

The World Halal Tourism Summit 2016 is expected to eclipse the impressive results achieved at the 2015 edition, which saw 202 exhibitors representing 26 countries generating over $18.4 million worth of business generated on the show floor. In addition to this, a further $73.5 million worth of business for exhibitors was estimated to stem from leads generated at the show.

Unlike other events in the Halal travel sector the World Halal Tourism Summit defines and drives future initiatives and industry content. The summit presents insight and solutions and brings together tourism leaders, innovators, investors and stakeholders who all share one common aim of understanding and driving the family friendly travel industry.

His Excellency Dr. Rami Hamdallah, Prime Minister of the State of Palestine said; “Palestine, the cradle of religions and civilizations, participates in the World Halal Tourism Summit in Abu Dhabi. This event is of great importance to promote Palestine as a major destination for Halal tourism for the unique touristic and religious potential it has, especially in Jerusalem.”

Other organisations from a cross-section of industries recently confirmed to participate include; Wonderful Indonesia, Thomson Reuters, Dinar Standard, Jannah Hotels, Etihad Airlines, Sofyan Hospitality, Holiday Bosnia, Marjan Island Resort & Spa, Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation, and the Medical Tourism Association.

Halal tourism is one of the fastest growing areas of global tourism. Excluding Hajj and Umrah, it is set to surpass $238 billion by 2019 and currently constitutes 12 to 14% of global tourism expenditure.

The sector is tailored around the travel needs of Muslim tourists who predominately seek a family friendly environment. Primary source markets include the member states of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), as well as some non-Muslim majority markets with a fast growing resident Muslim population, including Europe, North America, China and India.

Halal tourists are proven to travel with more family members, stay for a longer period and ultimately spend more money than any other tourism niche. For these reasons tourism brands across the globe are adapting their services to meet the needs of these guests.

Andy Buchanan, CEO of Cacti Events, the official organiser of International Travel Week 2016, said, “Unlike any other industry event for Halal tourism, the World Halal Tourism Summit uniquely brings together the industry’s finest and most influential, ensuring that the valuable time of exhibitors and visitors is maximized in terms of business returns. The participants of the World Halal Tourism Summit not only shape the future of Halal Tourism, but directly generate and benefit from what is created today. With this year’s event to be supported with the industry’s biggest hosted buyers programme, I expect the 2016 edition to be a windfall for those organisations and individuals that exhibit and participate.”