Concept for Halal industry has now reached Russia where in recent past you can not even think about it. There are many reasons behind it which are responsible for the drastic change in the policy and attitude towards Muslims. In Russia there are more than 15% of Muslims or around 23 million and Islam is the second largest religion over there which means potential of earning from them. Collapse of Soviet Union and escalation in tension between the European Union, USA and Russia is major contributing factor for Halal tourism.
There is a steep rise in tourists from Muslim countries visiting Russia and sharp decline in people coming from European countries. Hotels and tourism industry does not want to let go this business opportunity they have started themselves to be Halal certified from various recognized Halal certifying bodies. Samat Sadykov in a press release said "Russian tourism industry has started paying greater attention to the people coming from Muslim nations as there is decrease foot fall from EU an US," Samat is from Halal International Centre for Standardization and certification in Moscow.
Hotels across Moscow has started to make some very important changes in their rooms as per the directions of authorized Muslim bodies and started getting themselves Halal certifications. Menu has been changed no bacons, no pork only Halal certified food. Some of them have even placed Quran inside the room, a prayer mat, a basin for ritual washing and a small compass that indicates the direction of Mecca. Also the basic small amenities like shampoo are also certified by Halal authorities. Marketing director of Aerostar hotel Lyubov Shivan said in more than 70 percent of total overseas guests that they serve about 13percent or about 5,000 is Muslim. Muslims guests are now being served Halal food Aerostar hotel as undergone stern and strict procedure recommended by authorized Halal certifying body and these standards were checked by these authorities. After that the hotel got its Halal certification.
Another important reason for the trend for Halal certifying food and hotels is that Muslims are now spending more and more on tourism activities. It is estimated that Muslim tourism industry will reach around $200 billion by year 2020 up from $140 billion in 2013. This big spending by Muslims has forced the industries for Halal certification of their products not only in Russia but in Spain, Norway, Sweden and Australia.
Now the hotels are displaying signs of Halal in their kitchen, crockery are new and never used in non Halal products. No pork or ham is used in the kitchen said chef Vitaliv Ukhanov. Concept of Halal certification was initially thought for the food items only. But now the other services and goods are also certified Halal like cosmetics clothing pharmaceuticals and financial services. Services after Halal certification has become it and the revenues has started flowing and after the first two weeks of launching Halal services people are making reservations as far as from Iran and Malaysia. Russia has only two Halal certified hotels which are situated in Muslim dominated area and which is insufficient to cater large population of Muslims as well as Muslim tourists. Halal certification has opened gate for these hotels to capture this golden opportunity and tap the huge potential of Halal tourism.