South Africa and more specifically Cape Town, has often been rated as one of the top Muslim-friendly destinations in the world – a fact that comes as no surprise when you consider the rich cultural roots of the Cape Town area in particular. But being a Muslim-friendly destination is about more than just offering Halal food. It’s about truly understanding what this market needs and wants and then going above and beyond.
“Cape Town has a rich Muslim history and heritage, with the Cape Malay Muslims making up around a quarter of the local population,” says Leigh Dawber, Marketing Executive at Cape Town Tourism. “We are therefore in an excellent position to attract more Muslim travelers to our shores and offer packages that cater to this all-important market.”
“This pandemic has made us relook all of our strategies and, while building on existing marketing strategies is key, it is also imperative to reach out to smaller niche markets. We have been preparing our city for Muslim-friendly travelers since 2016, so we are all set to deliver an enjoyable and safe holiday.”
Cape Town was the place for South Africa’s first Muslim settlers and is home to the oldest mosque in South Africa, dating back an impressive 200 years. Cape Town’s large Muslim community is central to every aspect of life in the city and, as a result, Muslim travelers and locals alike are able to enjoy what the Mother City has to offer – whether it be food, accommodation, experiences and more.
“We work closely with CrescentRating, the world’s leading authority on Halal travel to accredit and train the industry first-hand. As part of marketing efforts, it’s essential to audit your destination and prepare the tourism industry to cater for the international Muslim traveler,” notes Dawber.
It is with this in mind that Cape Town Tourism has partnered with Travelstart and Aquila Private Game Reserve on a Muslim-friendly campaign over the Ramadan period. This continues to strengthen the relationship with CrescentRating, by offering the organisation’s unique rating and accreditation service to the Cape Town industry, being globally recognised as the premier independent standard for the Muslim travel market.
“It is no secret that partnerships like these go a long way when it comes to attracting Muslim travelers to Cape Town as these partnerships not only showcase the diverse offerings that we have as a destination but also speaks volumes about how the industry is adapting and changing to be more inclusive with what it offers potential travelers,” adds Dawber.
The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, adds: “As a world-class city, we pride ourselves on being a forward-looking and inclusive city. The Muslim culture is part of Cape Town’s DNA, and we have a rich and interwoven heritage. Together with CTT, we will continue to implement numerous strategies to attract this growing market segment.”
“Being a destination that is a top choice for Muslim travelers has always been on our radar. Pre-pandemic, we saw year-on-year growth in Muslim visitor arrivals, while also noting that more than a quarter of the world’s population is Muslim. Clearly, this market is an important one and we, as the City’s official destination marketing organisation will continue to ensure more diverse, inclusive and specific packages that cater to these travelers. The sheer size of the growing Muslim travel market makes it common sense to ensure that we’re ready to welcome visitors from this market. Whether those visitors come from our own country, the Middle East, North Africa, Asia or even from our traditional source markets such as Germany or the UK, we must provide top-notch travel experiences to the Muslim market,” Dawber concludes.
For fantastic deals to Cape Town over the Ramadan period visit travelstart.co.za and to find out more about becoming accredited through CrescentRating, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.