Tourists of Islamic faith reportedly bring in over 130 billion USD to the world tourism industry. According to the World Tourism Organisation, Halal-Tourism made up 12% of global tourism income in 2011, but Croatia has a long way to go if it wants a slice of the pie, as Croatian television reports, only seven hotels in the country are ‘halal certified’.
With not one halal-hotel in all of the busy tourist area of Split on the Dalmatian coast, experts say that Croatia needs to up its halal-hotel numbers by at least another 10. With tourism numbers consistently on the rise, the offerings for tourists of the Islam faith still remain almost non-existent, and tourism experts believe it’s an area Croatia can cash in on.
Hotels in Croatia which are Halal certified include Hotels Aristos, The Esplanade, Les Points and The Westin in Zagreb, Art in the eastern town of Slavonski Brod, Spacva in Lipovac, Turist in Varazdin and Baska on the island of Krk on the northern Adriatic coast. Providing Halal standard facilities will not take a lot of investment. Apart from Halal food, hotel rooms need to provide conditions to practice religious rituals, have the south-east marked (direction which is faced during prayer time), and to make sure the mini-bars do not contain any alcoholic drinks.
Croatia currently has 15 Majlises, their locations being Dubrovnik, Gunja, Karlovac, Labin, Osijek, Porec, Pula, Rijeka, Sisak, Slavonski Brod, Split, Umag, Varazdin, Zadar and Zagreb. The country also has 3 Jama’at, located in Bogovolja, Maljevac and Vinkovci. Time will tell if Halal-Tourism starts to grow in Croatia.