September 01, 2013
September 01, 2013
Halal hotels in Turkey have been drawing the attention of Turkish citizens rather than visiting Arabs, according to industry experts, reported Turkish newspaper, Hurriyet Daily News.
Local tourists make up a large proportion of those enjoy the halal hotel experience, a resort General Manager, Ömer Solmaz, told Hurriyet Daily News.
Solmaz said that Turks living outside the country were the second largest group choosing the alternative hotels, while Muslims hailing from Russia and other European countries were also showing interest, despite their share in total visitor numbers in Turkey being relatively low.
The halal hotels offer visitors gender segregated beaches and swimming pools as well as halal food and non-alcoholic drinks.
“Veiled women are able to wear swimsuits or bikinis while they swim in separate pools, or in the sea off separate beaches. In addition, some unveiled women prefer these hotels, in order to avoid being disturbed by the attitude of some men,” Solmaz said.
A representative from another resort told Hurriyet that Arab tourists prefer the normal hotels in the country as “they are already living in conservative countries. When they come to Turkey, they’re looking for something different.”
The hotels run at almost full capacity during the summer season, except during Ramadan , when it falls to around 50 percent, according to Solmaz.
“The people who prefer alternative holidays are usually prayerful. They can’t swim while they’re fasting. That’s why the occupancy rates fall during Ramadan,” Solmaz said, adding that some hotels lit the beaches at night for their Ramadan visitors who wanted to swim after breaking their fast.
Muslim-friendly hotels are mostly located in the southern, Aegean, northwestern and Black Sea regions, according to Hurriyet Daily News.
Seçim Ayd?n, the president of Anatolia Tourism Enterprises Association, told the newspaper that “alternative holidays are appropriate for Islamic tendencies. These hotels’ profit margins and occupancy rates are higher than the others. As long as this profitability continues, investments in this sector will continue under this government’s rule.”
Source: Al Arabiya