The importance of halal-friendly services for Muslim Gen Z travellers – report

A new report shows the importance of halal-friendly services for Muslim Gen Z travellers.

The Mastercard-CrescentRating report, ‘Muslim Gen Z: The Next Generation of Travelers,’ says this generation will shape the future of halal travel and take a crucial role in championing sustainable initiatives.

Across the world, 1 in 4 Muslims is Gen Z; people born between 1997 and 2012.

Faith-based services are important for Muslim Gen Z travellers, who identified halal food, prayer facilities, and water-friendly washrooms as “need to have” factors when considering destinations.  

The report says 65% of Gen Z Muslims feel very strongly about accommodations offering halal food, while 60% strongly want halal food establishments nearby.  

Almost 40% feel that being near mosques is very important, with similar numbers (35%) indicating that accommodations providing prayer rugs, the Holy Quran, and Qibla direction is important.

For women, the demand for privacy is essential. The report says 80-90% want women-only prayer rooms, 60% feel strongly about women-only spas, and 40% require women-only beaches.

Destinations perceived to have Islamophobic sentiments have a negative impact on almost 60% of Gen Z Muslims, while places rich in Islamic heritage spark a positive (60%) impact on their destination choices.

“Marketing attractive destinations filled with nature excursions to Muslim Gen Z with the intent of boosting halal-friendly services stands to be very beneficial for stakeholders in the tourism industry,” says the report

Promoting sustainable practices

Two-thirds of Muslim Gen Z travellers are looking for cultural immersion activities such as experiencing local traditions, heritage, and cuisine.

Nature excursions are prioritised as highly as more conventional “leisure seeking” pursuits, such as shopping and events.  

This segment is also a driver for change, with 76% indicating social causes to be important in their travel plans. And almost half of the respondents (45%) identify as environmental enthusiasts.  

Nearly a third are willing to minimise flying, while 11% will pay for carbon offsets, and 14% will take holidays closer to home to avoid long-haul flights.  

In fact, when it comes to travel spend, they are known as intentional spenders, where 77% are willing to spend more on sustainable practices such as reducing air travel, participating in voluntourism (or volunteer tourism), and supporting local businesses.  

“Gen Z’s, who are constantly exposed through social media to social, environmental, and community causes, are increasingly becoming champions of advocating sustainable practices in travel and tourism,” says the report.

Fazal Bahardeen, Founder & CEO, CrescentRating and HalalTrip, said about the report: “Being the first generation born in the digital age, Gen Z are often considered the true digital natives with exposure to the internet, social networks, and mobile devices from a very early age. Gen Z are actively redefining what it means to travel.  

“This report presents clear, actionable findings for tourism operators around the world that can help them to capture this incredibly important demographic.”

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