South Africa has been ranked as one of the ten most Muslim-friendly travel destinations for 2018 among non-Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries in the annual Mastercard-Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI). This adds a boost to Cape Town Tourism’s ongoing campaign seeking to grow this market segment.
The organisation has implemented a number of initiatives geared towards developing the Muslim-friendly tourism market, to drive awareness around travel preferences and to spread the word that the city is an ideal destination for the Muslim traveller.
Cape Town Tourism recently released information and a glossary of terms so that more tourism businesses can gain an understanding of the Muslim travellers’ needs and preferences. It is available to everyone online:
In addition, the organisation has provided access to Crescent Rating training that offers a more in-depth look at Halal tourism and has endorsed a Crescent Rating/Mastercard programme that focuses on showcasing on product offerings and special offers suitable to the Muslim traveller. Tour operators can get in touch with Cape Town Tourism to be vetted for being added to the packages.
These latest developments follow on from years of research into this market and some initial steps, including a Chef Exchange programme that saw local chefs being trained by two five-star chefs from Singapore and two local hotel chefs being given the opportunity to go to Singapore for further exposure to this culinary style.
Cape Town Tourism has also been invited to share in a panel discussion at ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show, around the topic of preparing to cater to the needs of the Muslim visitor.
Cape Town Tourism CEO, Enver Duminy, said there is more to marketing Cape Town as a destination than showcasing what they already have.
"We can do more to make our city a welcoming tourism environment for visitors whose needs are specific. This means investigating what needs to be done and taking action, and we’re pleased to see this is already having an impact.
"As part of the intention to uncover how to attract the Muslim traveller, we conducted an in-depth exploration to find out what can be done to achieve this.
"By 2020, approximately 26% of the world’s population will be Muslim and, given the growth of the Muslim middle class and younger population with increased disposable income, Muslim travelers are becoming a significant segment within the global travel and tourism sector. With that in mind, Cape Town Tourism has been seeking ways to develop awareness around Muslim travellers’ needs," he said.
In a statement, it said that the Muslim traveller prioritised the Six faith-based needs: Halal food, Salaah (Prayer), ablution facilities, Ramadhan services, no non-Halal activities and separate recreational facilities for males and females – are important factors when choosing holiday destinations. Halal food is by far the most important service that a Muslim traveller is looking for when travelling. Acceptability of the different levels of Halal food assurance varies among Muslims.