Travelling is always fun and I cherish the experience of each trip I undertake whether on business or leisure. I have traveled East, central, Southern and Western African Cities and Villages. Done road trip from Bujumbura to Bukavu through the rain-forest and back to Bujumbura through Rwanda. The Road experience shall be story for another day. Had unforgettable road trip from Kampala to Gulu in Northern Uganda at the height of LRA Menace, got stuck at Douala Airport in Cameron when my connection flight to Bangui was canceled abruptly and flew to Portuguese speaking Angola when I never ever heard a word of Portuguese hahahaha, all i heard upon arrival was “ola”, and “Obrigado”.
My world travel took me to Amsterdam, Beautiful Biarritz (The magnificent beach at Biarritz, on France’s Basque coast, is known as La Côte des Basques), gastronomy city of Europe (Lyon), The Love capital of Paris (ever seen the love bridge?, ensure you leave your padlock there, to symbolize your love for your spouse. The Metropolitan London negotiated my way through the maze of underground and the traffic….. just like Nairobi, and off course missed my flight thanks to striking similarity in road menace between London and Nairobi. enjoyed my staff at cool Colorado, Beautiful city of Atlanta and wondered on the streets of Washinton DC and toured White House and the Congress. Before our world became insecure thanks to various ill-intended religious and racial zealots , you could actually walk to the metallic fence f the white house and have a chat with the guards, sadly, this is no more.
As a Muslim traveler, what strike me most during my travel, was the lack of facilities for a Muslim traveler and limited understanding of the needs of a Muslim traveler. this challenge is even compounded in the recent times by the may ills associated with deviant militant groups who committed many atrocities in the name of Islam. The curriculum of the world renowned hospitality schools teach all tourism tricks and need of a traveler but Muslim. The food are non – halal by default, key attractions at the hotels are alcohol, parties and beaches unfriendly to a Muslim and accommodation facilities and guide books lack basic information to stay of a Muslim guest memorable. The Airline services and airports aren’t any better. The Cabin crews frown when you decline a meal because you are fasting, ask for qibla direction (direction a Muslim face during prayer) and they stare at you like an alien. The hospital staff and management are paranoid at the sight of a Muslim guest, pray at any free space and you will get a VIP escort to nearest cell room.
When world tourism stakeholders constantly look out for new products that will excite the next traveler, the destination marketers are running out of places and the tourist are bored with the beaches, sun, safari, wild and other overused attractions. however, a new opportunity is emerging, that of halal tourism to tap into the the less traveled, wealthy Muslim tourist. It is about time we embrace this market niche and repackage our facilities as Muslim – friendly and rip the benefits. contact me for further information