SMIIC Member States have put tremendous efforts and their expertise in the SMIIC Technical Committee on Tourism and Related Issues (TC 5) to prepare the standard "OIC/SMIIC 9:2019, Halal Tourism Services – General Requirements" that aims to ensure that products and services provided for Muslim travellers are in accordance with the Islamic rules.
OIC/SMIIC 9, as the common standard of SMIIC Member States, is expected to be widely used by the actors of the tourism industry who offers Halal Tourism Services (HTS) in the world.
Standard is available for online sale: https://www.smiic.org/en/project/31
HTS is defined as "all products or services in the travel and tourism industry guided by Islamic rules that cater to or provide facilities suitable for Muslim travellers".
The objectives of OIC/SMIIC 9 are listed as follows:
- to enhance the ability of an organization/individual to produce and/or manage halal,
- tourism products and services that meet Islamic rules,
- to preserve and protect the integrity of halal tourism products and services, through effective application of the standard,
- and to enhance customer satisfaction by meeting customer requirements.
OIC/SMIIC 9 provides guidelines and requirements for managing halal tourism facilities, products and services for travellers in, accommodation premises, tour packages, tourist guides and, other services and facilities such as catering, restaurants…etc.).
In the standard, HTS are classified according to the services provided by the organizations. And depending on the type of HTS offered, the accommodation premises are divided into 3 categories as:
- Category A: Accommodation Premises with Halal Tourism Advanced Scale Services
- Category B: Accommodation Premises with Halal Tourism Medium Scale Services
- Category C: Accommodation Premises with Halal Tourism Basic Scale Services
This makes the standard applicable for a wide range of accommodation premises which are located in OIC or non-OIC region.
Therefore, the standard basically defines the requirements regarding Halal issues, food, accommodation and other facilities such as prayer rooms, recreational areas…etc. And the rules for tour operators and guides are also parts of the standard.
On the other hand OIC/SMIIC 9 gives guidance to the organizations regarding management responsibility, the requirements of the personnel involved in HTS as well.
In brief, all requirements defined in the standard are generic and intended to be applicable to all organizations and individuals managing HTS.