Halal friendly tourism sees a record upsurge before pandemic

Published on : Wednesday, June 9, 2021

In May 2021, HalalBooking, the world’s leading accommodation booking platform for halal-friendly travel, recorded sales of 4.4 million USD; up from 3.5 million USD in the same month in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic struck. It represents an astonishing recovery for the company, especially in the 2nd half of the month. HalalBooking is now on track to be back to its pre-Covid 2.0x growth rate, forecasting sales of 60 million USD in 2021 compared to 32 million in 2019.

In addition to the increase in sales across the month, 31st May 2021 was the single most successful day for sales in the company’s entire history with more than 500,000 USD of sales in a single day. The company forecasts, however, that this record will be beaten many times during the coming weeks.

HalalBooking’s CEO, Elnur Seyidli, said: “I always believed that we would bounce back relatively quickly, based on our exponential 2.0x growth trajectory up to March 2020. All the hard work of the last 15 months is now paying off. We used the period of the coronavirus pandemic wisely, to develop new website functionalities which our existing and new customers can now benefit from. Furthermore, we have also continued our customer acquisition programme generating tens of thousands of new leads who have now started to book for the first time with us. As part of the current Series B campaign we have raised 5 million USD in March and we are in negotiations with venture capitalists for a further 15 million USD.”

One important programme, which the company has been developing, has been to increase its portfolio of worldwide properties with halal-friendly features configured, so that customers can use this data to search and book. Enver Cebi, Chief Operating Officer, explained: “Over the past year, our team has been extremely busy scaling up the system to add properties to our portfolio. We now feature around 250,000 properties worldwide on HalalBooking.com. Our programme of expansion is still continuing: we will shortly feature over 300,000 properties in over 65 countries.”

Ufuk Seçgin, Chief Marketing Officer, explained further how the company has been able to achieve such impressive results. He said: “I think it all comes down to customer trust in our brand and the value we place on customer service. Obviously, many of our customers were negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, however, we treated them well, providing refunds as fast as possible, offering them attractive alternative options and allowing them flexibility with their holiday arrangements, and we can now see that this approach has paid off as it has allowed us to retain our existing customers and also to attract new customers, often through word of mouth.”

He explained that HalalBooking has developed campaigns such as ‘book with confidence’ which permits customers quibble-free cancellation in certain circumstances, such as when they test positive for Covid-19, have their flight cancelled or when increased travel restrictions are put in place. Many customers are also benefiting from initiatives such as flexible bookings with zero or low deposit. He said: “Following such a successful month in May and a phenomenal start into June, we expect to see our sales continue to grow, with the fast roll-out of vaccination programmes, not just in European source countries but also in key destinations such as Turkey and Morocco.” He added: “It is a shame that the UK government has not shown more commitment to the travel industry as this is one of the few European markets where sales have yet to bounce back.”


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