AI, VR and 'instant noodle trips': 2019's top travel trends
- 31 January 2019
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Muslim-friendly travel is getting simpler and more enjoyable every year, and 2019 looks to be no exception.
The “Halal Travel Frontier 2019” report by MasterCard-CrescentRating identified 17 trends that will shape the next phase of development in the halal travel space.
"A number of trends identified this year are driven by technologies such Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). These technologies along with proliferation of smartphones will play a key role in redefining the Muslim travelers’ experience in trip planning and during traveling," said Fazal Bahardeen, Founder and CEO CrescentRating.com
If you’re planning a trip soon, here are the key highlights of the report that you should know.
INCREASING SOCIAL AWARENESS
Driven by their faith as well a global trend towards sustainability, Muslim travellers are becoming more conscious of social responsibility and are rewarding travel businesses and destinations that embrace sustainability and responsible tourism.
A.I. WILL FURTHER EMPOWER TRAVELLERS
Artificial intelligence (AI) such as chatbots and intelligent personal assistants will be able to collect and process information on consumer preferences, enabling it to provide more personalized recommendations based on a traveller’s past trips, selections, and queries.
HALAL ASSURANCE WILL BECOME SMARTER WITH A.R.
Travellers will be able to authenticate and verify halal assurances using multiple tools and technologies, and that includes augmented reality (AR), which will relay information about the Muslim-friendliness or halal status of products, ingredients, hotels and restaurants to users. Consolidation of the Muslim travel space will result in emergence of stronger Muslim lifestyle/travel brands.
DISRUPTION OF UMRAH MARKET WITH D.I.Y. UMRAH
Technology is taking over the traditional umrah operators’ role, allowing pilgrims to perform the rites themselves. Through new umrah solutions, younger pilgrims will be able to book and arrange their own trips without depending on a travel agent or umrah tour group.
In addition, VR technology will guide travellers on the steps and the rites to be observed.
NON-O.I.C. NATIONS WILL ADD MORE MUSLIM-FRIENDLY EXPERIENCES
There will be greater competition among destinations to become more Muslim-friendly this year. Destination leaders in OIC countries such as Malaysia and non-OIC countries such as Singapore will face stiff competition to retain their positions in the Global Muslim Travel Index.
Non-OIC countries like South Africa, led by Cape Town, are dramatically changing their Muslim-friendly status through various initiatives. Asian countries such as Japan, Taiwan and Korea are also looking to attract Muslim visitors and are investing resources nationwide to achieve this goal.
DEMAND FOR INSTANT NOODLE TRIPS
“Instant noodle trips”, like ramen, are meant to be affordable, convenient and available throughout the year. They are taking off among Muslim travellers, especially Gen Z and Millennials, thanks to a bevy of airfare promotions, travel discounts during off-peak seasons, an increasing number of regional routes among budget airlines and busier work schedules all year round.
FOCUS ON HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
Talent development will continue to be key for organizations catering to Muslim travellers, and tourism providers will increase their human resource and training development to serve a growing pool of Muslim travellers and remain competitive in a changing economy.
Regarding the research methods and reasons for choosing those methods, Bahardeen said, "We looked at emerging global trends and combined them with our own models to assess their impact on halal travel.”
“The report relies on in-depth data/survey insights we have access to, specially the surveys that we have done the last 12 months, Muslim traveller behaviour patterns we see on our HalalTrip platforms (website and mobile app) as well as the qualitative insights of experts, thoughts leaders and influencers that CrescentRating has access to and consumer purchasing behaviour trends observed by MasterCard," he added.
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