April 2, 2024

FIVE CRITICAL INSIGHTS TO BRITISH MUSLIM TRAVEL AND TOURISM

When discussing the Muslim travel market, little emphasis is placed on European Muslims. However, those in the tourism industry seeking to expand through Muslim-friendly tourism offerings must start considering non-conventional markets like Europe’s Muslim tourist market.

Mud Orange conducted a study revealing the flourishing interest in travel and tourism among the 3.9 million British Muslim population in recent years. A desire for cultural immersion, leisurely escapism, and spiritual journeys propels this surge. The study delves into modern Muslims’ evolving needs and demands, covering destination choices, activities, and more.
Notably, while brands like Emirates Airlines and Booking.com have engaged during key Muslim moments, the British Muslim population expresses a need for continuous attention throughout the marketing calendar.

This Travel & Tourism study is the latest installment in Mud Orange’s cultural insights research. The study engaged with over 1000 British Muslims across the UK to unveil their motivations, behaviors, and attitudes toward various lifestyle areas, providing valuable insights for brands seeking opportunities to engage with this demographic.

Mud Orange’s study on British Muslims in travel reveals critical insights: the demand for Muslim-friendly holidays, the need for holiday inspiration, the adventurous spirit of Gen Z, the enduring popularity of Islamic trips, and the rise of staycations.

1. THE DEMAND FOR MUSLIM-FRIENDLY HOLIDAYS

Top travel destinations for British Muslims are the UAE and Turkiye, which are known for their Muslim-friendly environments and rich cultural experiences. These Muslim-majority countries ensure halal food and accommodate Muslim needs, allowing British Muslims to enjoy a seamless experience.

British Muslim travelers often create their itineraries, leading to the emergence of Muslim-owned travel companies like HalalBooking and HalalTrip. However, there is untapped potential for brands to engage this market further. Expanding Muslim-friendly packages and direct communication from airlines like British Airways could enhance the overall travel experience for British Muslims.

2. THE RISE OF STAYCATIONS

Staycations are gaining popularity among British Muslims, with one in four considering a British staycation over the next year—a trend on the rise annually. Factors contributing to this surge include the growth in household disposable income and increased visibility of the diverse British landscapes and history on platforms like TikTok. Muslim family getaways are becoming common in destinations such as Bath, Edinburgh, Lake District, and the Cotswold.

This trend presents a significant opportunity for local tourism boards to engage with British Muslims, showcasing appealing experiences and activities tailored to Muslim lifestyle choices and preferences.

3. THE NEED FOR HOLIDAY INSPIRATION

Nearly half—44 percent—of British Muslims express a willingness to explore a new country if they had the information or guidance. The unknown aspects of unfamiliar destinations, including halal dining and Muslim-friendly activities, can be intimidating. Many rely on insights from friends, family, and social media influencers to assess the “Muslim friendliness ratings” of a destination. A respondent noted TikTok was a valuable source for such reviews.

Solo travel is less common among British Muslims, who prefer tour groups like The Muslim Women’s Travel Group. Travel agencies can seize a significant opportunity by addressing British Muslim travelers’ challenges, providing curated and communicated offerings to boost confidence and inspire diverse experiences.

4. THE ADVENTUROUS SPIRIT OF GEN Z

One in three Muslim Gen Z individuals plans adventurous activities while traveling abroad, including skydiving, ziplining, theme parks, and water sports. For them, travel is about maximizing experiences and creating unforgettable moments through adrenaline-fueled activities.

Activity booking platforms can engage these energetic British Muslim travelers by offering Muslim-friendly activities. Creative campaigns that resonate with and represent these adrenaline seekers and curated content inspiring their next trip can challenge the stereotype that Muslims are reserved and unadventurous, tapping into the fun and energetic population.

5. ENDURING POPULARITY OF ISLAMIC TRIPS

Islamic trips, which include exploring Islamic history and religious experiences, constitute one in six British Muslim trips annually. Approximately eight percent of these trips are dedicated to Hajj and Umrah (Pilgrimage) in Saudi Arabia, with the remainder aimed at discovering Islamic heritage in destinations such as Turkiye, Spain, and Bosnia.

While award-winning tour groups exist for organizing these trips, there is untapped potential for airlines, airports, and hotel chains to enhance the seamless, comfortable, and graceful aspects of these experiences, catering to the unique needs of Muslim travelers.

Mud Orange is an independent creative agency renowned for its award-winning work, specializing in niche audiences. The summary article of the insights mentioned above can be accessed at https://www.mudorange.com/latest/travel-tourism-for-british-muslims-2023-findings.