28 August 2010
British tourists flock to Turkey’s coast for cheap bars, clubs and beaches. And yet, as a Muslim country, Turkey has been selected as the main destination for a new breed of holiday, one that targets Muslims who want the same things as everyone else on the beach, bar a few concessions, and minus the alcohol.
Under the slogan “Sun, sea and halal!”, a handful of hotels in Turkey are offering what are being dubbed halal holidays – beach holidays that adhere to Islamic values. That means no alcohol and no wearing a bikini in front of a man who is not your husband.
Crescent Tours and Islamic Travels, which both started trading last year, are two operators selling the concept to Britain’s estimated two million Muslims. Until recently, the Muslim travel market was dominated by agencies specialising in pilgrimages to Mecca; flights to countries such as Pakistan and India account for the rest of the market; first generation immigrants, for whom holidays mean trips home to see close relatives.