Speaking of tourists visiting Azerbaijan, it is impossible to avoid the growing number of tourists coming from Muslim countries. Due to the influx of Muslim guests, the country now is considering to develop halal tourism, a sub-category of tourism that is aligned with the laws and traditions of Islam.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is preparing a state standard project called “Halal Management System – Hotels”. The project has general requirements for hotels offering halal services.
These requirements envisage that hotels providing halal service must fulfill their commitments to customers in accordance with the presentation. Advertising, campaigns, and prices aimed at deceiving guests should not be allowed, maximum attention should be given to the guests’ religious sensitivities.
The project states that the hotels offering halal services must meet certain requirements, in particular, to provide customers with services specified in the advertisement. The chemicals and materials used to meet sanitary and hygiene requirements must be suitable for use in the halal field, according to Rahman Safarov, one of the authors of the project, Dean of Tourism and Hospitality of the Azerbaijan Tourism and Management University.
Such hotels should not have video surveillance and audio recording in rooms, showers, swimming pools, massage rooms, locker rooms. Moreover, men and women in certain designated places should be serviced by workers of the same sex.
Employees of the hotel are required to undergo a medical examination in accordance with the established procedure, their activities must meet the requirements of sanitary and hygienic standards. The uniform of hotel workers should not contradict the norms of Islam.
The preliminary verification of the standard will begin in 2022 and will last five years.
Today, the Muslim travel market one of the fastest-growing segments in the global travel industry, if to consider that Muslims represent nearly one-fourth of the world’s population.
Last year about $155 billion were spent by Muslim travelers, which represent about 13 percent of the total global travel expenses, according to the data of the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI).
This May, the GMTI predicted that the Muslim travel market will be worth $220 billion by 2020 and $300 billion by 2026, spurred by Muslim-friendly amenities and easy access to travel information.
It should be particularly mentioned that Azerbaijan has lately became the most favorite place for travel of many Arab tourists. The majority of them are from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Iraq. Short distance between Azerbaijan and their countries is one of the reasons of such a great tourist growth.
Meanwhile, this year the GMTI put Azerbaijan 24th on development of halal tourism.
In the 2016 survey of GMTI covering 130 tourist destinations, Azerbaijan, has ranked 20th among the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The country’s incomparable historical and cultural heritage, as well as expertise in halal hospitality, allowed Azerbaijan to enter the list of the top Muslim holiday destinations. In Azerbaijan, where modernity and intellect meet Islam and modern cultures, Muslim visitors can have an unforgettable experience.
Meanwhile, this year the GMTI put Azerbaijan 24th on development of halal tourism