The transparency of Islamic hotels: "Nice Islam" and the "self-orientalizing" of Muslims?

Alserhan B. A. , Wood B. P. , Rutter R., Halkias D., TERZİ H. , Al Serhan O.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TOURISM RESEARCH, cilt.20, ss.475-487, 2018 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 20 Konu: 4
  • Basım Tarihi: 2018
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1002/jtr.2197
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.475-487


The Crescent Ranking (CR) is a service benefiting both the supply-side (halal-friendly hotels) and the demand-side (Muslims wanting to have a guest experience consistent with their way of living) within the tourism market. Halal is a technical term in the Arabic language usually translated as permissible from the perspective of Islamic law (sharia'ah). This study examines the transparency of the top and bottom 10 hotels listed on the CR site. First, we compared the hotel profile as per the CR listing with the hotel's own website. Next, we examined guest reviews on a word-of-mouth proxy site (), paying particular attention to the feedback of non-Muslim guests. Following this analysis, self-styled Islamic hotel managers were interviewed to triangulate the data. We found Islamic hotels to be intransparent to their guests seeking an Islamically compliant holiday and also to those seeking a conventional hotel experience. We suggest several reasons hotels misrepresent themselvesself-orientalization, a necessity to present nice Islam, an ethics gap, and/or a poor understanding of marketing and market positioning. We consider regulation of the Islamic hotel industry to be a mechanism policy makers, and managers could, adopt to become transparent and to protect demand-side (guests) rights. Regulation would also differentiate hotels operating an Islamic business model and those merely offering a few simple services appreciated by Muslim travellers.