Egypt’s Halal Tourism
OnIslam & News Agencies
CAIRO – Coping with the changing atmosphere in post-revolution Egypt, an Egyptian travel operator has launched a new initiative encouraging Egyptians to arrange their vacation in halal way, hoping to tap into the expected global tourism boom.
“Organizing family trips that agree with our traditions, our Egyptian culture and our el-Shari`ah teachings,” a statement on “Shouq Travel” operator’s website said, Al Arabiya reported on Monday, July 30.
The Cairo-based travel operator is the first of its kind in Egypt.
It was initiated by a team of Egyptian businessmen, who seek to provide tourism accommodating with the Shari`ah law by organizing holidays for customers who must stay in special hotels and visit specific tourist sites.
On its website, the operator encourages “Family Tourism” that is accommodated through the practices of “Halal tourism”.
“We are dealing with a large number of hotels that provide Halal meat … and do not present alcoholic beverages on board, or pork,” the operator said on its website.
Along with halal food and ban of alcohol, it provides other alternatives for Muslim women, who wear full Islamic clothing, such as “covered swimming pools or other places reserved only for women.”
Female visitors to the sites are required to wear modest clothes and may only be accompanied by a first-degree relative.
The new market for halal tourism in Egypt copes with political changes in Egypt after Islamists gained political momentum since the overthrow of the former regime in the 2011 mass uprising.
The country has also witnessed an influx of Islam-inspired projects such as a niqab-only TV channel.
Launched on the first day of Ramadan on July 20, Maria TV is exclusively run by only niqab-wearers.
The new initiative comes also in accord with an expected influx of Muslim holidaymakers over the next decade according to a new study released by Singapore-based halal travel specialist Crescentrating and DinarStandard, a US-based firm that tracks the Muslim lifestyle market.
The study, conducted in 47 countries, found that spending by Muslim tourists is growing faster than the global rate and is forecast to reach $192 billion a year by 2020, up from $126 billion in 2011.
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