DestinationsNTOs that sharpen focus to tap on halal win big when it comes to courting Muslim guests

Wooing Muslim travellers with smart marketing

Meaningful and immersive experiences top the list of Muslim travellers when they vacation.
Meaningful and immersive experiences top the list of Muslim travellers when they vacation.

Online readiness can be the make or break factor that determines an NTO’s success in targeting the growing Muslim tourism market.

In the third edition of the report How Online Ready Are NTOs For Muslim Travellers in 2022?, APAC destinations lead in creating content for Muslim-friendly travel resources with Korea and Taiwan sharing first place. Japan and Hong Kong are in joint second place while Singapore emerged third.

The report, released in conjunction with the 3rd World Islamic Tourism Conference (WITC) held at Kuala Lumpur’s World Trade Centre, is a first-time research collaboration between the Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC), an entity under the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and travel market research company, Pear Anderson.

The study examines the online resources of national tourist offices representing the top 50 most visited non-Muslim (non-OIC) destinations worldwide.

Some of the key best practices of leading NTOs are as follow:

1. Providing clear guidelines on halal food
Halal food remains the primary concern for Muslim travellers. To address this, Korea Tourism Organization’s (KTO) website provides a thorough list on food available to Muslims and further segments its restaurants and eateries into categories such as halal-certified, Muslim-owned (without certification) or Muslim-friendly.

2. Listing authentic experiences
Meaningful and immersive experiences top the list of Muslim travellers when they vacation. NTOs can win by listing culinary or cultural encounters that help enrich the Muslim traveller’s experience of the destination and better appreciate the country’s history or culture.

3. Making information easy to find on the website
How resources and information are organised and presented is vital. Japan Tourism Organisation (JNTO) has a homepage that is packed with content and easy for the Muslim traveller to navigate. And, where English is not widely spoken, JNTO facilitates Indonesian travellers by offering Indonesian language options.

4. Winning at the SEO game
Get on the first page of Google. Winning NTOs work hard at providing comprehensive Muslim travel information that helps with their brand authority and Muslim travel expertise.

5. Segmenting Muslim travellers
Recognise that Muslim travellers are not one homogenous group. Curate resources and activities that appeal to different segments of the group. This provides a more authentic way of marketing the destination to the traveller. Singapore Tourism Board (STB) offers curated activities to target families and millennials, offering itinerary suggestions to meet their respective needs.

The Top 10 NTOs Ranked:

 Rank Country Continent
 1 Korea Asia
 1 Korea Asia
 2 Japan Asia
 2 Hong Kong Asia
 3 Singapore Asia
 4 Spain Europe
 5 Australia Oceania
 6 Austria Europe
 7 Thailand Asia
 8 Macau Asia
 8 Slovenia Europe
 9 Croatia Europe
 10 Switzerland Europe

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