The relationship was cemented at last month’s Travel Counsellors conference in Dubai (September 12 to 13, 2017) where Serendipity Tailormade founder Nabeel Shariff was one of 30 suppliers in attendance and met with the travel company’s 45 travel professionals and its executive team.
The UK-based tour operator, which specialises in bespoke halal-friendly tourism experiences, will offer Travel Counsellors UAE a wide range of unique travel products that cater to the faith-based needs of its discerning Muslim travellers, from Tuk Tuk tours in Chiang Mai to safari experiences in South Africa.
The partnership brings Muslim tourism into the mainstream travel arena, which Shariff says is testament to the exponential growth of the global halal tourism industry, driven by lucrative source markets including the UAE.
“Serendipity Tailormade’s collaboration with one of the world’s leading names in travel represents a major milestone for the company and for halal travel, which is now a fast-developing multi-billion-dollar industry that is no longer considered ‘niche’,” said Shariff.
“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Travel Counsellors UAE to offer its valued customers with some of our most unique and exciting halal-friendly travel experiences. Our focus will be to support the incredible benchmark in customer service for which Travel Counsellors is globally renowned. We will therefore be providing its UAE team of Travel Counsellors with in-depth product training and support to ensure they are well equipped to enhance the experience of their Muslim clients, offering them the additional comforts of privacy, halal dining and personal attention.”
The world’s Muslim population spent $151 billion on travel in 2015 (excluding Hajj and Umrah), representing some 11 percent of a global tourism market worth $1.3 trillion. Its value is expected to increase to $243 billion by 2021, according to the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2016/17 by Thomson Reuters and DinarStandard.
As a source market for travel, Muslim travellers were second only to Chinese travellers, who spent $168 billion in 2015, and ahead of US travellers, who spent $147 billion that same year, the report revealed.
Regional trends reveal Muslim tourism expenditure was the highest in the GCC at $54 billion followed by the rest of Middle East and North Africa at $26 billion.
The Dubai-based UAE branch of Travel Counsellors LLC, a network of more than 1,600 travel professionals in seven locations worldwide, has witnessed strong demand for Muslim-friendly luxury travel experiences, with two of its consultants already accredited by CrescentRating – a leading authority on halal travel.
Serendipity Tailormade will follow up its attendance at the Travel Counsellors conference with training for the travel company’s team of UAE-based travel professionals, introducing them to the halal-friendly travel experiences the tour operator offers.
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
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TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
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