Halal service provision-understated, but not undervalued: A view from Oman

Bronwyn P. Wood, Hamed Al-Azri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

There is increasing interest in Muslim travellers throughout both the academic literature and the tourism practitioner spheres. Following this, studies considering the requirements of such travellers, particularly their interest in halal service provision, have been provoked. This chapter, which concerns the possible push-and-pull factors delineating Omani travellers’ destination choice, particularly their interest in access to halal products and services, seeks to add to this literature. Tourism providers were interviewed to ascertain the preferences of their Omani clientele when booking a holiday to determine how much real or stated interest in halal services was obvious to them at the discussion and booking stages. External providers reported little or no interest, possibly attributable to: (1) the destinations most commonly chosen (i.e. other Muslim countries); (2) a lack of awareness that in many countries ‘standard’ Islamically compliant/halal services are non-standard; (3) a desire to travel to get away from all local norms, so a preference for destinations where ‘standard’ Muslim requirements were not likely to be in place. A noteworthy aspect of holiday selection mentioned by providers was the strength of the influence of women in making the destination selection. This may be a result of women being Islamically required to travel with a male relative (maharam) whilst men are not, thereby this influence operates as a mechanism to redress this balance. The study considers the responses of participants in the light of Islamic teaching, as well as the contemporary tourism literature, thus providing a nuanced contextual report and offering insights more widely generalisable to the Middle East, but also the wider Muslim tourist market.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Halal Hospitality and Islamic Tourism
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages117-129
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781351367042
ISBN (Print)9781138557055
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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