Choosing the right hotel for the budget traveler is always a trying task. Factor in ‘Muslim friendly’ into the equation and it can be downright overwhelming. So, as a Muslim budget traveler, how can you tell if a hotel is the right one for you?
Like your average traveler, the Muslim traveler has different needs to fulfil when searching for a hotel. Price, location and connectivity are standard considerations. But for the Muslim traveler, the decision is always skewed towards accommodations that fulfill the Islamic religious principles.
Halal food is the principal requirement of the Muslim traveler. Ideally the hotel itself would have a Halal certified restaurant or kitchen, or even Halal assured food. Where this is not available, a hotel could instead provide a listing to Muslim travelers of halal restaurants in the vicinity.
Prayer facilities are the next most important aspect of a halal friendly hotel. As with restaurants, hotels can provide Muslim guests with a listing of nearby mosques and should be able to answer queries regarding prayer times and direction. Furthermore, even the smallest of provisions such as a prayer timetable, prayer mats and Qibla directions in the rooms play a big role too.
More conservative Muslims might also look for separate swimming pools or beaches for men and women. Finally, they may also tend to be interested in activities and excursions on the theme of Islamic religion and culture.
Services during the Ramadan or fasting month are another key attraction to Muslim travelers during this particular time of year. This would likely include halal meals provided at the relevant times in both the morning and evening/night.
In recent years, travel agencies targeting Muslim clients have increased tremendously and this is because according to DinarStandard, Muslim tourists spent $ 137 billion (excluding expenses for pilgrims in Saudi Arabia) in 2012 and it is expected that in 2020, the figure will exceed $ 180 billion. Some of the travel agencies dedicated in providing services for halal tourism are HalalBooking.com, Muslim Tripper, Halal Trip and Sun Sea & Halal, just to name a few. All of these companies have one thing in common: they sell vacations which gives the best experience while complying with Islamic principles. With all of these services and facilities at their fingertips, Muslim travel has never been easier.