By Ezgi Erkoyun
ALANYA, Turkey (Reuters) – Turkey’s $26 billion tourism industry has been battered by security fears and political disputes in recent years but one corner of the market is quietly growing – beach holidays for conservative Muslims.
Dozens of hotels and resorts on Turkey’s shores, featuring separate pools and beaches for men and women to meet religious strictures on modesty, are attracting families from Turkey, the Middle East and Muslim communities in the West.
While still only accounting for a small fraction of tourists, the market for “halal”, or Islamic-compliant, holidays has shrugged off the turmoil and looks set for more growth.
“In the last couple of years there was a boycott of Turkey as a tourism destination but we have seen halal-friendly tourism booming throughout this period,” said Ufuk Secgin of halalbooking.com, which promotes international Islamic holidays.