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Halal tourism: conceptual and practical challenges

Erhan Boğan (Department of Tourism Management, Faculty of Tourism, Sakarya University, Sakarya, Turkey)
Mehmet Sarıışık (Department of Tourism Management, Faculty of Tourism, Sakarya University, Sakarya, Turkey)

Journal of Islamic Marketing

ISSN: 1759-0833

Article publication date: 31 October 2018

Issue publication date: 22 February 2019




Muslim tourists participating in halal tourism activities represent a valuable niche market for global tourism industry. The purpose of this study is to clarify the concepts of halal tourism and Islamic tourism and to draw attention to some conceptual and practical challenges in the halal tourism industry.


The paper is based on a critical assessment of the literature in this field. To differentiate the concepts and to discuss practical and conceptual challenges, the authors found some references by reviewing the existing definitions in related literature and the primary source of the concepts which is Holy Book of Islam, Quran.


The terms “intention” and “Islamic motivation” can be used to differentiate Islamic tourism and halal tourism. The authors suggest calling hotels that provide good and services in halal tourism industry as “halal hotels” and tourists as “Muslim tourists”. One of the leading practical challenges in halal tourism is having lack of halal standards, especially for hotels. As the way Muslims understand and adapt their lives to Islam is quite different, which means this market is not homogenous, the authors suggest that halal hotels should be scaled through different qualifications in different countries.

Research limitations/implications

This study is based on literature review, and it lacks primary research.

Practical implications

Current paper stresses the need for consistent use of Islamic-related tourism terms in industry. Hotel companies should have halal certifications that will provide assurance to customers. It is highly important for hotel companies to inform their target guests about the location of hotel before arriving at hotel. This is because halal hotels and other hotels are usually located in resort destination, especially in Turkey.


This paper is one of the leading papers that differentiates Islamic tourism and halal tourism concepts. It also provides several conceptual and practical issues in halal tourism industry.



Boğan, E. and Sarıışık, M. (2019), "Halal tourism: conceptual and practical challenges", Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 87-96.



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