Top research accolade awarded to UCB tourism experts

October 2018

A research paper by two tourism experts at UCB has won an award and could spark a wave of interest and further work in the area of the global Muslim market. 

Faiza Khan and Michelle Callanan’s paper The Halalification of Tourism was published by the Journal of Islamic Marketing last autumn with news of their highly commended accolade coming through 12 months later, much to their surprise. 

The paper is the first that Business School lecturer Faiza and Michelle, Assistant Dean (Tourism and Aviation), have written together and Faiza explained that there had been a lack of research into the subject prior to their work. 

“Muslim or halal tourism is an area that is very under-reported and we were one of the first to try and define the term,” she said. 

“One of the aims was to address the confusion surrounding the use of terminology used in the industry and whether or not we would be better to adopt a different term such as ‘modest’ tourism – a description that has become popular in the fashion industry and something that could embrace all tourists looking for a more family-friendly experience, regardless of religion.” 

Michelle added: “I had been reviewing the growth of the global Muslim market for many years and noticed a pattern in the number of non-Muslim countries targeting this growth market and offering varying ‘halal’ products and experiences – thus we coined the term, the  ‘halalification of tourism’.  

“Faiza and I had been discussing this development for a while and decided that there was a real need to conduct some formal research into this market and to ascertain the response by various destinations and operators – thus our paper.” 

Faiza explained that the Journal of Islamic Marketing was very receptive to their research and pleased with its publication last October. 

“The letter telling us that the paper had been highly commended was totally unexpected and a complete surprise. We’ve also been told that the paper is also being used to help with a plan for tourism in Indonesia.” 

Andy Roberts, Director for International Student Recruitment, said: “In essence, this award is for highlighting the need for, and providing, high quality research in a new area or new field – the holy grail for researchers. As a result of Faiza and Michelle’s work, we expect many academics to now follow their lead and for research and understanding in this area to increase exponentially.”

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