UK: Halal-friendly hotel and villa provider, HalalBooking, has partnered with online travel agency Expedia to help it weather the global pandemic.
The search and booking website for halal-friendly travel has over 300,000 registered users in more than 84 countries, with a December 2019 valuation of $52.5 million.
HalalBooking, which is headquartered in London, serves as an aggregator for Islamic friendly travel facilities. It screens businesses for requirements such as halal food, alcohol-free areas and areas with sufficient levels of privacy for women.
The company’s technologies hope to bolster Expedia’s content, including providing data on halal-friendly listings to give its customers unique information. The deal is internally seen as vitally important for the company’s future, as the company has been heavily affected by the pandemic.
Ufuk Seçgin, chief marketing officer at HalalBooking, told Arabian Business: “The Expedia deal has meant that we have been able to add a large number of new hotels and villas to HalalBooking in a very short space of time. This means that we have been able to offer many new destinations to our customers in one go.”
Founded in 2009 by a group of Muslims with senior management experience from travel and blue-chip companies, HalalBooking allows travellers to search its accommodation for halal-friendly facilities and services which are most important to them. Its accommodation offering, which includes sun and beach resorts, hotels for city breaks, thermal resorts and spas, and luxury villas with private pools, which ensure complete privacy for guests.
Expedia’s participation will allow the company to automate the process of adding new accommodation to the site. Commission will be split between the two partners, ensuring that customers will not note a greater or lesser expense between the two sites.
According to HalalBooking, results from earlier in July were encouraging, and the Expedia deal had driven accommodation bookings in the UK, Germany and France. The group highlighted the emergence of its key market from lockdown, Turkey, as a sign that it was effectively recovering.
Seçgin added: “Expedia is one of the world’s biggest travel companies, so when we were looking for a partner to help us scale up our business, it made sense to consider them. Expedia contracts the hotels, while we can focus on the part which we do best, which is to refine the halal-friendliness data and make sure that it is shared with our customers in the best way possible.”