A bibliometric analysis of Halal and Islamic tourism

Shameem Shagirbasha (Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, India)

ISSN: 2516-8142

Article publication date: 11 October 2021

2777

Abstract

Purpose

Halal and Islamic tourism is gaining attention in the tourism literature in recent years. This study uses bibliometric analytical techniques to explore all the publications indexed in the Scopus database in the broad subject of Halal and Islamic tourism from 2004 to 2021.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors found 238 publications that fit the function, subject and set criteria. The papers were analysed in terms of publication by knowledge area, number of studies published every year, contribution by countries, number of authors and most influential journals. VOS viewer was used to perform a visual analysis on co-occurrence of keywords and document citations.

Findings

According to the findings, the Scopus database includes 151 (34.40%) documents on business, management and accounting, and 89 (20.27%) documents on social science. It was reported that 29 documents were published in 2018, followed by 54 documents in 2019 and 56 documents in 2021. Malaysia has contributed 86 documents on Islamic tourism, whereas Indonesia has contributed 64 documents. The paper also discusses other interesting findings.

Research limitations/implications

The bibliometric analysis carried out was confined to Scopus data. Other national and international databases were not taken into account for this research.

Originality/value

Between 2004 and 2021, this study examined relevant studies on Halal and Islamic tourism. The study presents a concise review of the literature accessible to researchers working in this area and provides recommendations for future research.

Citation

Suban, S.A., Madhan, K. and Shagirbasha, S. (2021), "A bibliometric analysis of Halal and Islamic tourism", International Hospitality Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IHR-05-2021-0038

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

1. Introduction

The tourism industry has been rapidly expanding over the past few decades, and it proved to be one of the most popular and promising industries globally (Ho et al., 2009; Shi et al., 2017; Zhao, 2018). According to Statista (2021), the travel and tourism industry is expected to generate US$383,782m in revenue. By 2025, revenue is projected to grow at a rate of 24.05% annually and resultant to the market value of US$ 908,844m and online sales will reach 72% of the overall revenue of the tourism and travel sector. Globally, tourism is growing progressively and contributing immensely to the employment generation for stakeholders (Sharma et al., 2021). The tourist sector is widely recognized as one of the most important drivers of economic growth, with Halal and Islamic tourism emerging as a new tourism business idea throughout the world (Prayag, 2020). Traveling is accomplished in Islam to appreciate Allah's grandeur and glorify Allah (Boğan, 2020). The practice of Muslims traveling throughout the Islamic world has a strong tradition (Henderson, 2009). Muslims' travel is discussed to as Halal, Islamic, Sharia or Muslim friendly tourism (Henderson, 2016). Muslim tourists participating in halal and Islamic tourism activities make up one of the most significant specialized areas in global tourism, providing possibilities to Muslim and non-Muslim countries (Cohen and Neal, 2012; Henderson, 2016; Lari et al., 2019). By 2021, it is expected to attract 156 million tourists, accounting for 10% of the worldwide tourism market (Mastercard-Crescent Rating, 2021).

Growth in demand for a variety of tourism products that conform to Halal and Islamic needs and requirements are becoming quite ubiquitous, which creates a necessity to explore more about Halal and Islamic tourism (Adinugraha et al., 2021). Despite this rising interest, academicians and practitioners continue to be perplexed by the usage of Halal/Islamic tourism terminology (Wingett and Turnbull, 2017). Even though the words Islamic and Halal tourism are frequently used interchangeably in the literature, a standard definition has yet to be established (Usman et al., 2019), Islamic tourism, Halal tourism, destinations on halal friendly tourism and Muslim friendly travel, Halal travel, Muslim friendly travel destinations, as well as other terms still used. The distinctions between these words are described in this study, regardless of whether the broad strokes of these words are difficult to define.

In order to comply with Islamic law's requirements, it is the responsibility of every Muslim to travel Hajj and Umrah (Zamani-Farahani and Henderson, 2010). Islam recognizes people's right to travel and encourages them to go to pilgrimage such as Hajj and Umrah and travel for medical, education, business, trade, entertainment and pleasure (Adinugraha et al., 2021). Halal and Islamic tourism is the type of tourism, which mostly attracts Muslims who prefer to remain immersed in their own culture (Zamani-Farahani and Henderson, 2010). Prior research has confirmed that cultural and social activities in a tourism destination are perceived as important issues to be considered by tourism management organizations to create a Halal friendly environment and image (Han et al., 2019).

With a sizable Muslim population, traveling across the nations, the pressure to create Halal and Islamic tourism marketing practices is growing, and there is a lot of discussion about how it should modify their methods in order to manage productive relationships between tourists and service providers. Despite the rising interest in Halal and Islamic practices in the tourist sector and the resulting growth in the number of publications on the subject (Faiza and Michelle, 2017), only limited studies offer a complete view of this field's structure and development.

Few studies have been conducted in the arena of Islamic and Halal tourism in current years, and those focused on specific research questions (such as the aims, drivers/barriers and outcomes) rather than providing an overall and comprehensive picture of halal tourism.

A recent research on Halal tourism revealed the views of Malaysian and Indonesian Government officials and senior executives on Australia as a viable vacation destination (Ismail et al., 2019). The continual rise in the number of researchers interested in the subject, and the number of scientific papers and publishers in the field demands the interpretation and summary of the informational convergence that has arisen in this environment. This circumstance highlights the importance of tourism-related bibliometric study.

Although research reported in the area of Halal is growing with an upward trend (Alzeer et al., 2018), to the best of the authors' knowledge, no study has used bibliometric and network analytic approaches to assess and evaluate the topic area of Halal and Islamic tourism (Haleem et al., 2020). Furthermore, scholars have not done a sufficient review, assessment or guiding study on this topic (Yagmur et al., 2019). Against this backdrop, with a quantitative bibliometric study, this work seeks to address this gap to summarize, examine and classify the body of knowledge on Halal and Islamic tourism. This study examines Halal and Islamic tourism methodical and transparent research to educate current and upcoming researchers on the current state of affairs of a topic field and, as a result, to reduce research bias by extensively mining/auditing literature databases. Bibliometric analyses quantify scientific communication by constructing a framework for a field of study, core topics, and existing relationships (Sánchez-Riofrío et al., 2015). In the instance of a thorough examination of advancement in research, the bibliometric analysis will aid in a thorough assessment of the many elements of the systematic landscape surrounding Halal and Islamic tourism.

It also analyses the number of publications by years, most popular authors with their citations, top listed journals in this area, author's affiliating organization with their contributions, the countries where the articles were written, the studies with maximum citations and network analysis of keyword co-occurrence, document citation, co-citations of source and author's citations.

2. Literature review

2.1 Halal and Islamic tourism

Halal or Islamic tourism have been common study topics in recent years, with studies being undertaken in the United States, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Japan among other countries and contexts. We have studies conducted in Indonesia on halal tourism (Abror et al., 2019; Adinugraha et al., 2021; Aji et al., 2020; Rahmawati et al., 2021; Ratnasari et al., 2020). The literature has highlighted studies in different countries such as Malaysia (Hanafiah and Hamdan, 2020; Rahman et al., 2020; Said et al., 2020), Turkey (Battour et al., 2018; Boğan and Sarıışık, 2019), China (Jia and Chaozhi, 2020), New Zealand (Prayag, 2020), Jordan (Harahsheh et al., 2019), Italy (Carboni et al., 2014) and the research on Muslim tourism from Malaysia (Battour et al., 2011).

Indonesia's significant number of public demands for Halal tourist visits compelled the creation of normative and positive regulations that govern the industry (Adinugraha et al., 2021). Lombok has adopted the Halal tourist idea, which encompasses services, Halal food service, spiritual requirements, communication and other Halal branding-related issues (Rahmawati et al., 2021). Halal tourism is built on three pillars in West Nusa Tenggara Province: legal, philosophical and social (Jaelani et al., 2020).

The scholars from Ghana (Preko et al., 2020) have established a correlation between Muslim tourists' perceived beliefs, happiness, commitment and the moderating influence of religion. This study was conducted among 396 Ghanaian Muslim tourists who visited Larabanga Mosque. Recent studies have highlighted halal food availability in the assortment of destination, satisfaction and experience of travel, and Muslim tourist retention (Mannaa, 2020). On similar lines, various studies have been conducted among Muslims belonging to different countries, for example, Jordan (Harahsheh et al., 2019), Indonesia (Rusby and Arif, 2020), etc. Relevant studies by several researchers from various countries have made significant contributions to the chosen keywords, which are taken into account in this current study (Abror et al., 2020; Addina et al., 2020; Al-Ansi et al., 2020; Al-Ansi and Han, 2019; Al-Hamarneh and Steiner, 2004; Al-Hammadi et al., 2019; Battour et al., 2010, 2011; 2012, 2017; 2018; Brdesee et al., 2013; Douglas and Shaikh, 2004; Eid and El-Gohary, 2015; Harahsheh et al., 2019; Khan and Khan, 2016; Mannaa, 2020; Neveu, 2010; Pradana et al., 2020; Prayag, 2020; Preko et al., 2020; Rahman et al., 2020; Rahman, 2014; Said et al., 2020; Taheri, 2016; Tiamiyu et al., 2020; Wardi et al., 2018; Wisker et al., 2020).

2.2 Bibliometric analysis in the tourism industry

López-Bonilla and López-Bonilla (2021) conducted the bibliometric analysis considering papers from 2002 to 2013 indexed in the Scopus database and presented various academic viewpoints, disciplines and domains of knowledge. A review of 258 studies from journals indexed in the database of WOS related to tourism and hospitality published between 2013 and 2019 identified the tourism domains identified on smart tourism (Bastidas-Manzano et al., 2021). There are few studies in the literature on bibliometric analysis of the slow tourism sector, using criteria such as the number of articles published each year (Mavric et al., 2021). A count of 407 documents was retrieved from the Scopus and analysed using descriptive, conceptual, intellectual and social structure analysis approaches (Sharma et al., 2021). Recent work also provides gaps and research possibilities in the fields of sustainability and tourist marketing (Cavalcante et al., 2021). The article includes numerous lists of the most cited works and citation structure in the hospitality tourism during the previous few decades (Merigó et al., 2020). Behaviour, experience, methodology and theory, and patterns of knowledge production are explained, illustrated and analysed alongside the eight themes (Li et al., 2020). In hospitality and leisure, the most referenced publications in all journals are listed in Web of Science (Merigó et al., 2020). The keywords co-occurrence, co-citation and analysis on co-authorship and bibliographic coupling are used to examine the 4625 papers on this topic published till 2018 in the WOS (Garrigos-Simon et al., 2019). A study by Johnson and Samakovlis, (2019) considered journal articles during the years 2000–2018 were used to research smart tourism knowledge and its visual mapping and observation of the domain. Bibliometric analysis of specific topics on “tourism” (Yilmaz, 2019), “tourism recreation research” (Vishwakarma and Mukherjee, 2019), “tourism and hospitality” (Evren and Kozak, 2014), “social media in hospitality and tourism” (Nusair et al., 2019), “sport tourism and sustainability” (Jiménez-García et al., 2020), “tourism research” (Güzeller and Çeli̇Ker, 2018), “convergence in tourism management research” (Estevão et al., 2017), “Asia Pacific journal of tourism research” (Guzeller and Celiker, 2019), “sustainable tourism studies” (Profile and Profile, 2018), “journal ranking and the assessment of quality research in tourism” (Michael Hall, 2011) and “trends and patterns in sustainable tourism” (Ruhanen et al., 2015) have been conducted. The current study has compared the contributions made by scholars from all around the world to halal tourism (Cheng et al., 2018; Evren and Kozak, 2014; Güzeller and Çeli̇Ker, 2018; Kaparthi, 2005; Koseoglu et al., 2016; Köseoglu et al., 2015; Mulet-Forteza et al., 2018; Niñerola et al., 2019; Nusair et al., 2019; Okumus et al., 2018; Ruhanen et al., 2015; Theresa Waterbury, 2018; Vishwakarma and Mukherjee, 2019).

In light of this evidence, it is apparent that academics should investigate further the notion of Halal tourism, which is a relatively new concept. In this manner, the study seeks to assess the present situation by evaluating the worldwide literature using a bibliometric technique based on a variety of characteristics and guiding to future researchers interested in working in this subject. The retrospective assessment of scientific production is expected to aid in planning of future research and enhancing their quality. Furthermore, the study's findings are expected to contribute to the creation of academic knowledge in terms of defining and assessing publications and trends in this subject.

3. Methodology

3.1 Bibliographic analysis

Bibliometric indicators were applied to evaluate bibliographic data, including the total number of authors and articles, citations, institutions and countries. The use of quantitative and statistical analytical approaches to articles, such as journals, and their corresponding citations to assess literature's success is known as bibliometric analysis (Estevão et al., 2017). In recent years, this analysis has grown in acceptance in business research, and it is effective for decoding and a map of accumulating scientific and evolutionary knowledge subtleties of engrained areas by rigorously attempting to comprehend enormous amounts of unstructured data (Donthu et al., 2021a–l; Khan et al., 2021; Kumar et al., 2021; Sigala et al., 2021).

For years, bibliometric approaches have been used to map and research the information published in various fields (Danvila-del-Valle et al., 2019). It is often used to effectively manage all of the current studies in the chosen field and to provide a clearer picture of the study scope (Haleem et al., 2020). It can also be used to evaluate the efficacy based on the publication and citation outlines of a journal (Vishwakarma and Mukherjee, 2019), and several governments now use it to assess the quality of state-funded universities' research output.

Scholars employ bibliometric analysis for several purposes, including identifying journal performance and new trends in article, patterns of cooperation and research mechanisms, as well as investigating the intellectual structure of a given topic in the existing literature (Donthu et al., 2021a, b, d).

Our paper has presented bibliometric analysis covering descriptive and science mapping of halal and Islamic tourism (Donthu et al., 2021a, b). Our descriptive analyses include the area of research, year of publication, publications by countries, publications by universities, leading journals, popular authors, author keywords co-occurrence, citation of documents, authors citations and co-citation of the source are part of science mapping.

We have also used the VOS viewer to do visual analyses on citations, co-citations and co-occurrences (Chen and Song, 2017). VOS viewer graphically visualizes the nodal network using two standardized weights, such as the number and total strength of the links (Donthu et al., 2020a, b, 2021c; Öztürk, 2020; Sureka et al., 2020; Yang et al., 2020). VOS viewer is a commonly used application for network analysis of this kind (Estevão et al., 2017; Güzeller and Çeli̇Ker, 2018; Kawuki et al., 2021; Leong et al., 2020; Michael Hall, 2011; Rey-Martí et al., 2016). The author keywords co-occurrence specifies which keywords are most prominent (Leong et al., 2020), citation and co-citation analysis, and bibliometric visualization are examples of such techniques. Citation interpretation is based on the assumption that scholars can refer to sources that are relevant to their study (Danvila-del-Valle et al., 2019). The design of this study is, however, presented in Figure 1.

3.2 Defining keywords

The identification of the keywords used for research paper selection is the first step in bibliometric analysis. As a result, the previously listed concepts in the Islamic tourism literature are used as keywords when searching for bibliographic documents in Scopus. The Boolean operator (OR) is used in this way to search for the following keywords in one search: “Islamic tourism” OR “Halal tourism” OR” Muslim tourism” OR “Sharia tourism” OR “Muslim tour” OR “Islamic tour” OR “Halal tour” OR “Muslim friendly tourism” OR “Halal friendly tourism” OR “Muslim tourist” OR “Halal tourist” OR “Islamic tourist” OR “Islamic religious tourism” OR “Islamic spiritual tourism” OR “Muslim spiritual tourism”. The search was conducted on May 2nd, 2021 before 09.20 AM and only documents published between 2004 and May 2nd, 2021 were taken into consideration for analysis.

3.3 Initial results

Despite the fact that a vast number of databases group global analysis, the current study focused on Scopus database for bibliographic analysis. We restricted our English-language searches to the Scopus indexed journals. With over 22,000 publications in the areas of research, social science, technology and medicine, scholarly journal, conference reports and book chapter (Haleem et al., 2020). In total, 293 documents were found during the initial search, which were then refined using the parameters outlined in the subsequent sections. This includes 225 articles, 23 book chapters, 20 conference papers, 18 reviews, three books, two editorials and two letters.

3.4 Redefining initial research

The initial results are then refined by excluding publications in press (19), papers in French (1), Japanese (1) and Spanish (1), as well as book chapters, books, short surveys and magazine articles. We only included scholarly papers (reviews and articles) which were published in peer-reviewed journals (journals and conference proceedings) since they are often referred to as “certified expertise” in the research objectives. We found 239 records using this method, and after extracting one duplication, the refinement yielded 238 related documents published between 2004 and 2021.

4. Results and discussion

We analysed the data of this study in two steps, the first of which was bibliometric analysis and the second of which was network analysis.

4.1 Area of research

The number of records (documents) reported in the research field is represented in Table 1. Scopus database has 151 (34.40%) business, management and accounting records, 89 (20.27%) social science documents and 37 (8.43%) environmental science documents, according to the analysis. The results conclude that Islamic tourism is one of the emerging subjects of accounting, business and management. Also, the majority of documents published on Islamic tourism dealt with “business, management and accounting,” as well as “social science.” It indicates that scholars in this field are more interested in doing studies in the chosen area.

4.2 Year of publication

Table 2 shows the total quantity of journals from 2004 to May 02, 2021. These data show how interest in this field of study has grown year after year. According to Scopus database, the number of publications between 2004 and 2015 was very less (less than 3%), but it has steadily increased as follows: 2015 (11 documents), 2016 (21 documents), 2018 (29 documents), 2019 (54 documents), 2020 (56 publications) and 2021 (so far 14 publications). As a result, it may be argued that Islamic tourism has grown in popularity among researchers, but it also needs to be explored further. Figure 2 gives a graphical representation of the publication and its growth year on year.

4.3 Publications by countries

Table 3 depicts the various nations' contributions in terms of publishing around the world. In this analysis, only the top 15 nations were considered based on the number of publications per country. According to the Scopus database, Malaysia has contributed 86 documents on Islamic tourism, followed by Indonesia with 64 publications, the United Kingdom with 18 publications and Egypt with ten research papers. Apart from that, publications are documented from South Korea, Turkey, the Arab Emirates, Spain, Singapore and China. Some countries are not included in this analysis because they have written fewer papers. The findings show that Malaysia and Indonesia are extensively involved in Islamic tourism as these countries have the largest Muslim populations. According to Scopus results, Figure 3 depicts the pictorial information of publications published by various countries. Our studies document published articles from 42 countries.

4.4 Publication by universities

The number of publications produced by authors from various universities is shown in Table 4. Out of 160 universities, the top 15 were chosen for this analysis. Institutions of more than four publications were included in this study. In total, these 160 organizations have published 320 documents. From the analysis, it is determined that the authors from the University of Malaya have published 20 documents; the authors of International Islamic university Malaysia have contributed 16 publications. With 11 studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA and Tanda University are next. The results reveal that the institutions from Malaysia have published maximum studies on Islamic tourism. Figure 4 gives a pictorial representation of author of the publication by the university.

Table 5 lists the articles that have been published on “Islamic tourism,” “Muslim tourism” and other keywords used in this study. Knowing the journals that publish Islamic tourism study is critical for choosing the journals for literature review and understanding each journal's emphasis on Islamic tourism. Only the top 15 journals were included in this study, and journals with less than four publications were excluded. According to the review, the “Journal of Islamic marketing” has 21 studies published, while “Tourism Management Perspectives” has 14 studies on Islamic marketing. These two journals are followed by Geojournal of Tourism and Geosites (seven studies) and the International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage (6 studies). There are eight journals that have published five studies each: “Advanced Science Letters, African Journal of Hospitality Tourism and Leisure, International Journal of Supply Chain Management, International Journal of Tourism Research, Journal of Environmental Management and Tourism, Malaysian Journal of Consumer and Family Economics, Sustainability Switzerland, Tourism Recreation Research”.

4.6 Popular authors

Table 6 lists the first ten scholars to publish articles on halal. The term “articles” is used in this section rather than “documents” because the analysis filters out all documents that are not articles from the database to guarantee compliance with the h-index and number of author citations. This table only includes authors who have more than four publications, regardless of their citations or h-index. These ten writers have authored 51 publications with a total of 2420 citations. According to Scopus, 160 scholars contributed to the study's key words of Islamic tourism and other related topics. It was understood that Han, H has conducted greater number of studies (seven articles), followed by Al-Ansi and Battour, M each contributing to six articles. Henderson, J.C received 395 citations for his research, followed by Ismail, M.N and Battor, M, who each received 384 citations.

4.7 Co-occurrence of author keywords

The main keywords on Islamic and halal tourism were analysed using VOS's co-occurrence functionality, which represents a graphical overview of author keywords (as shown in Figure 5). In a scientific field, co-occurrence analysis on keywords creates a grid of topics and their associations (Merigó et al., 2020). We used the same authors' keywords co-occurrence analysis for the past five years, beginning in 2004, and ending on May 02, 2021, to classify the leading keywords of authors in recent years. We performed the same analysis from 2004 to 2021 using three as a minimum threshold of terms. The keywords “Halal tourism,” “Islamic tourism” and “Muslim tourist” are used often in the network. This network has 63 keywords, eight clusters, 321 nodes and connection strength of 488. The first major keyword was determined to be “Halal tourism,” which had 75 occurrences, three clusters and 45 connections, followed by “Islamic tourism,” which had 44 occurrences, 36 links and two clusters. “Muslim tourist” was the second most important keyword in this network, appearing 19 times with six clusters and 25 connections. The third keyword was “Malaysia,” which had seven clusters and 29 connections and appeared 17 times with one cluster and 22 links. The keyword “satisfaction” appears 15 times in this report. Other prominent keywords included “Halal,” “tourism,” “Islam,” “Indonesia,” “Muslim,” “Islamic attribute,” “tourist satisfaction” and “destination”.

4.8 Citations of documents

Figure 6 shows the citation analysis for the articles. The documents with more than five citations were subjected to this study. Out of 238 articles, 99 met the requirements according to the threshold limit. Some of the network's 99 objects were not attached to one another, with the highest collection of connected items consisting of 86 records. As a result, using VOS viewer, the network for 86 documents was established, with nine clusters of 530 connections. The first cluster contains 15 objects, while the second, third and fourth clusters each contain 10 articles. In the fifth, sixth and seventh clusters, nine studies were found. Eight and seven items make up the eighth and ninth clusters, respectively. The document by Zamani-Farahani (2010) has 169 citations, five clusters and 33 links, Battour (2016) received 120 citations and Al-Hamarneh (2004) received 115 citations according to VOS's citation analysis.

4.9 Citations of authors

Figure 7 demonstrates the outcomes of the author citation analysis outcomes to determine the most prominent scholar on halal and Islamic tourism around the world. There are 577 articles on halal tourism written by 577 scholars. The current study was based on authors who had at least one paper with ten citations. This criterion was fulfilled by 132 scholars. Some of the objects are not related, and the highest group of connected authors was 121. As a result, a network with 1510 connections was established for 121 objects in 10 clusters. According to the findings, Han H. has seven papers, Al-Ansi A. has six studies, Battour M. has five documents and Ismail M.N has four documents.

4.10 Co-citation of sources

The network overview of source co-citations is presented in Figure 8. This research was performed on 4927 sources that had at least 20 citations. The VOS has produced 42 items within this limit. The source term “tourism management” has 661 citations, with 41 connections totalling 18,278 link strength. The journal “Annals of Tourism Research” received 389 citations, 2 clusters and 40 links. The key influences on co-citation reviews are understood to be “Tourism Management Perspective,” “Journal of Islamic research,” “Journal of Travel and Tourism Management” and “Journal of Hospitality Research.”

5. Discussion

“Halal tourism” is clearly a growing segment, with muslim travellers engaging in tourism-related events. This population constitutes one of the largest niche sectors in the worldwide tourism. This growing demand warrants extensive study to realize its full potential and provide the finest services to visitors. To facilitate the flawless services to the tourists, we require scientific knowledge on Halal and Islamic tourism. Hence, this paper provides extensive bibliometric analysis on Halal and Islamic tourism to assess the various topics researched and also highlights important theoretical and practical implications for tourism business as well as to the researchers.

According to the Scopus results, research in this area has exploded since 2017, with 132 studies published between 2017 and 2020. With 150 research articles, Malaysia and Indonesia are two major contributors to the Halal and Islamic tourism literature. According to the study, 160 institutions have been active in conducting study on the present subject, with the majority of the studies coming from Malaysian organizations. The leading journals, “Tourism Management Perspectives” and “Journal of Islamic Marketing,” have published the maximum amount of studies in this area. There are 160 scholars who have contributed to this field, including Han, H. (seven experiments with 136 citations), Battour, M. (336 citations of six), Henderson, J.C. (five documents with 395 citations) and a total of 2420 citations.

The study contributes to the related literature as well as to the researchers interested in exploring this area. The findings of this study will aid Halal and Islamic tourism students, researchers and practitioners in determining its global spread. The study highlights the most promising regions to work on and the various patterns of publications to be aware of, if they choose to publish in this field. In addition, our research serves as a roadmap for future research studies by highlighting the strengths and limitations of the publications in Halal and Islamic tourism. Also, our research provides insights to non-Islamic countries to concentrate on Halal tourism which encourages Muslim travellers to visit these countries, thereby contributing the growth of tourism economy.

5.1 Theoretical implications

From a theoretical standpoint, this research paper follows the call of recent studies by (Khan and Callanan, 2017) and (Wingett and Turnbull, 2017), to develop the stronger theoretical basis for Halal and Islamic tourism domain. While the research domain has grown considerably, it lacks comprehensive insights into Halal and Islamic tourism. We synthesize the past and current research patterns in this particular domain by conducting this analysis using bibliographic coupling and co-citation. Furthermore, there is a clear distinction between Islamic tourism, which refers to travel for religious and pilgrimage purposes and is thus associated with acts of faith and Halal tourism, which is done for recreational, leisure and social reasons. In this context, the term “Halal” refers to acts permitted or authorised by Islamic law (El-Gohary, 2016).

From the journal, it was summarized that the total number of documents from the years 2004 to May 2021 reached 293 documents in the form of articles. The most cited paper, entitled “Islamic tourism and managing tourism development in Islamic societies: The cases of Iran and Saudi Arabia” was written by (Zamani-Farahani and Henderson, 2010). (Al-Ansi and Han, 2019; Battour et al., 2010) were the three best productive writers based on the number of publications. The most cited keywords in HIT's were Halal tourism, Islamic tourism and Muslim tourist. This implies that most of the research studies discuss those topics. Meanwhile, it is suggested to explore more studies based on the least keywords' occurrence such as Sharia hotel, Islamophobia and purchase intentions.

The number of keywords related to Halal and Islamic tourism studies literature shows an awareness of the need for an ethical and moral framework in the marketing field (Lee et al., 2019) and the growth of halal markets throughout the world (Alserhan, 2010a, b). Increasing the awareness of the Muslim population on Halal products is also a business prospect for Muslim entrepreneurs and those with other backgrounds (Abuznaid, 2012), and this serves as a motivation for different groups to explore the Islamic marketing field. Furthermore, monitoring the usage of keywords also can determine the important areas to be focused on.

Finally, the methodology employed in this study has implications for future bibliometric and review research in general. The study also offers complete insight into the idea of Halal tourism that can be used as a reference by tourism business for any strategic efforts, as well as revealing the major research topics that can be used by emerging researchers for their future studies.

5.2 Practical implications

This research reported the significant development recorded by the journal over the years and also presented appropriate information required for the potential authors to publish. It is also intended to guide scholars in the Halal and Islamic tourism field toward new topics and also to support the development of knowledge on Halal and Islamic marketing by providing more space for conceptual papers. A special edition is also recommended to discuss the concepts and research on Halal and Islamic tourism to confirm the expansion of the halal business which is currently popular throughout the world. Collaborations with practitioners in the Islamic marketing industry are to be invited to conduct research and publish in the journals to improve the realistic conditions and needs in the field. As most of the studies are limited to Malaysia and Indonesia, this study also invites contributions from various other countries to add their cultural aspects influencing halal and Islamic tourism.

Building on the work of other scholars, this study offers certain practical implications for the tourism managers and policy makers. From a managerial perspective, this paper suggests that business managers should formulate and execute more extensive strategies to cater to the requirements of Muslim visitors while keeping their religious responsibilities in mind.

This bibliometric research finding might also be used to educate non-Muslim investors on how to respond to an expanding Halal tourist sector. They would get a competitive advantage as a result of this. To make the halal tourist business more acceptable, profitable and sustainable, increasing number of studies on the Halal tourism industry in non-Muslim nations and cross-country studies between muslim and non-Muslim countries are strongly encouraged.

Managers should consider applying for Halal certification as this would instil confidence among Muslim tourists. Destination packages should be designed and positioned by service managers to meet the needs and desires of various customers. This would aid customers in their destination selection processes, as well as facilitate the customers' expectations. Tourism managers should design promotional campaigns that help customers understand the distinction between Halal and Haram foods. Furthermore, smart strategies should be employed to improve access to raw materials, ensure halal food safety, quality and integrity and develop the requisite expertise in this thriving global industry.

Government should provide economic incentives such as tax relaxation for hotels and restaurants that apply for Halal certification. The government should also set up a committee that could develop, establish and monitor Halal and Islamic hospitality compliance standards wherever applicable. The government should devise strategies to encourage Halal and Islamic tourist businesses to use radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to trace Halal products from the manufacturing floor to the supermarket shelf.

5.3 Limitations and future research

This study has some limitations. First, we rely on writers' forethought to include Halal or Islamic tourism in one of the three areas of search, which are “Title, Abstract and Keywords.” It is possible to overlook an article that does not include any of them in all areas of search. However, the probability is minimal and has no impact on the study findings to discover and disclose the influential components of the Islamic tourism sector. Second, we limited our analysis to articles and reviews published in English in the Scopus database; while the study represents moderate and high-quality publications published in this field, we failed to integrate other databases and languages, such as Arabic, which could have affected our results. Future research can address this research gap in their bibliometric analyses. Based on the bibliometric analysis, it is clear that Malaysia and Indonesia are two of the most important contributors to Halal and Islamic tourism, having conducted 150 studies, while other ASEAN member countries contribution is meagre. Future studies are invited from other countries to bring out cross-country differences in Halal and Islamic tourism. Further studies should contribute to the literature by providing a deeper understanding of how to make destinations of Halal friendly based on millennials perspectives. Future studies may look into how Halal tourism can be complemented in other specialty industries like medical tourism and wellness tourism.

Figures

Design of study

Figure 2

Gives a graphical representation of publications from 2004 to May, 02 2021

Figure 4

Shows the authors of the universities involved in tourism research

Figure 5

Network analysis for co-occurrence of author's keywords

Figure 6

Expresses the citation analysis of documents

Figure 7

Depicts citations of authors

Figure 8

Co-citation analysis of sources

Table 1

Classification of publication by research area

Knowledge areaNo of documents%
Social sciences8920.27
Environmental science378.43
Computer science276.15
Economics, econometrics and finance245.47
Arts and humanities225.01
Engineering204.56
Earth and planetary sciences153.42
Energy122.73
Decision sciences112.51
Mathematics61.37
Agricultural and biological sciences51.14
Biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology40.91
Multidisciplinary40.91
Materials science20.46
Medicine20.46
Pharmacology, toxicology and pharmaceutics20.46
Physics and astronomy20.46
Chemical engineering10.23
Total436100

Table 2

Distribution of publication by years

YearNo. of publications%
200410.4
200510.4
200920.8
201041.7
201162.5
201262.5
201341.7
201462.5
2015114.6
2016218.8
2017239.7
20182912.2
20195422.7
20205623.5
2021145.9
Grand total238100

Table 3

Publications contributed by different countries

RankingCountryCount
1Malaysia86
2Indonesia64
3United Kingdom18
4Egypt15
5South Korea10
6Turkey9
7United Arab Emirates9
8Spain8
9Singapore7
10China6
11Italy6
12United States6
13Australia5
14Iran5
15New Zealand5

Table 4

Author of the publication by the University

RankingUniversityCount
1University of Malaya20
2International Islamic University Malaysia16
3Universiti Teknologi MARA11
4University of Tanta11
5Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia9
6Universiti Teknologi Malaysia8
7Sejong University7
8Universiti Utara Malaysia6
9Nanyang Technological university5
10Universiti Putra Malaysia5
11Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia5
13Universiti Sains Malaysia4
14United Arab Emirates University4
15Cairo University4

Table 5

List of journals publishing Halal and Islamic tourism

RankingJournalCount
1Journal of Islamic marketing21
2Tourism management perspectives14
3Geojournal of tourism and geosites7
4International journal of religious tourism and pilgrimage6
6African journal of hospitality tourism and leisure5
7International journal of Supply Chain management5
8International journal of tourism research5
9Journal of environmental management and tourism5
10Malaysian journal of Consumer and family economics5
11Sustainability Switzerland5
12Tourism recreation research5
13Asia pacific journal of tourism research4
14International journal of culture tourism and hospitality research4
15Conference series earth and environmental science4

Table 6

Publications by authors with the citations

AuthorPublicationsCitationsH Index
Han, H71365
Al-Ansi, A61365
Battour, M63366
El-Gohary, H52874
Haque, A5141
Henderson, J.C.53955
Ismail, M.N.53845
Battor, M43844
Eid, R42984
Rahman, M.K.4504

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Acknowledgements

Authors contribution: All the authors contributed equally for this study.

Corresponding author

Syed Ahamed Suban can be contacted at: syedahamedsuban@gmail.com