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Supply side perception of Halal tourism: A Swedish pilot study
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Tourism Studies.
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Tourism Studies.
2019 (English)In: 28th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research 23rd to 25th October 2019, Roskilde, Denmark: Roskilde University , 2019, p. 40-Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Halal tourism – where tourists with Muslim norms are considered in that there is no alcohol, no gambling, food adheres to Muslim religious requirements, and that there is a separation of men and women in public spaces – is considered a growing market, especially when considering the wealthier populations, e.g. in Saudi and United Arab Emirates. However, some of these requirements may seem at odds with some western norms, and may hence require both investments, and dealing with ethical issues if one would cater to this demand. Nevertheless, Halal tourism can also be provided by non- Muslim countries to Muslim tourists. This justifies a research (e.g. Henderson, 2016; Yasuda, 2017; Razzaq et al, 2016) for the multicultural Sweden as well.  A pilot study with 15 questions to assess perception of Halal tourism is being carried out with an open- ended questionnaire been sent out with 4 reminders to 250 persons working in government, organisations and enterprises linked to tourism in Sweden from four e-mail lists between June 2018 and January 2019. As of now, 22 have returned forms. The responses will be broadly thematically analysed as it is a survey of opinions. Possibly the investigation may turn to deep interviews and in that case a deep thematic analysis may show useful.  Only a minor part of the interviewees has a good grip on which exact dimensions are considered in definition of Halal tourism and have some knowledge of the adaptations required to it. Most of them have mentioned oral sources and Internet as their information source. A majority thinks Halal tourism may be of significance in Swedish tourism, if Muslims are targeted, while the rest are either doubtful or sceptic. Concerning pros of going after this target group, the majority report diversification of demand, general increase in demand, cultural exchange and general benefits to consumers, while a minority report having too little knowledge, or do not see any advantages or in a couple of cases have unclear answers. On the cons they point to the association between the concept of Halal to slaughter specifically, to the inability to deliver appropriate hospitality, to the possible detrimental effects on other target groups, point out the organisational adaptations necessary, put forth economic costs as well as cultural hinderances, or saw no downsides. A minority had either no ideas nor answers atall.  Whether one should go ahead and pursue this target audience or not, the answers totally varied. Some did agree, while others thought more thorough analysis of the target group was needed, or thought that all customers should be catered to as long as it does not adversely affect other target markets, or believed that this should not be a public responsibility, that invest is not on the proper level, or that at present no investments should be made, but if it turned out to be a high demand, it may be profitable. A minor part found it economically not defensible. When it comes to marketing Sweden as a Halal destination, several of them either mentioned Muslim nations or Muslim VFR tourists or specific geographic regions, while the rest either emphasizes need of more analysis, or claimed that they knew too little, answered irrelevant or gave no answer. On problems that may arise from marketing Sweden as a Halal destination, a majority either mentioned cultural difficulties or feared confused identity, leading to blurred destination image. Several of the interviewees found no problem while the rest either thought further analysis was needed or had no idea or answer. To the question if they were willing to pursue the target group, most of the interviewees was positive while several of the interviewees had negative opinion on it and few persons either did not know, answered unclear or gave no answer. As to under which conditions they could see Halal tourism being undertaken in Sweden, the answers are very varying. Nine persons either gave no answer or did not know while the rest either were against the idea or any necessary adaptions or required respect to equal value of people, to sustainability and fairtrade.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Roskilde, Denmark: Roskilde University , 2019. p. 40-
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39225OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-39225DiVA, id: diva2:1365919
Conference
28th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research, Roskilde University, October 23-25, 2019.
Available from: 2019-10-26 Created: 2019-10-26 Last updated: 2019-10-31Bibliographically approved

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Onn, GustafAbbasian, Saeid

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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