Acta Universitatis Danubius. Œconomica, Vol 15, No 6 (2019)

Understanding Muslim woman travel behaviour: A theoretical perspective

Rafa Haddad

Abstract


There is dearth in research about woman and tourism from an Islamic perspective. Previous research explored Islam and tourism and shed light on different types of tourism such as Islamic and Halal tourism (Kamali 2012; Akyol and Kilinc 2014; Aziz et al., 2016; Harahsheh et al., 2019). Meanwhile, debate about the position of Islam regarding tourism is popular (Jaafari and Scott 2014). Some scholars stated that Islam and tourism are contradictory, and tourism was described as a religious spiritual process only that aims at visiting the holy places in Makkah and Madinah and Al Aqsa Mosque.

However, other scholars clarified that Islam is expansive in its meanings and interpretations. Accordingly, these scholars provided a different proof that tourism and Islam are not opposing, on the contrary Islam promoted tourism and travel (Saghayi and Abdar Esfahani 2016). They proofed their position by the saying of God: “Travel through the land and observe how He began creation. Then Allah will produce the final creation. Indeed Allah, over all things, is competent” (Holy Qora: Surat Al Ankabut 20). Nevertheless, research regarding Muslim women and tourism in Islam or how these women are perceived and viewed by Islam is almost scarce. Thus, the aim of this research is to clarify how woman and tourism are perceived from an Islamic point of view.

The study adopted a conceptual research design to build better understanding of a Muslim woman travel behaviour. The paper answers the question why a Muslim woman cannot perform tourism independently? There is huge chunk of data and debate from different point of views. Accordingly, this paper explores how sociocultural and religious factors may or may not influence Muslim women and decision to travel. Thus, the focus is on religion and particularly Islam and its influence on shaping Muslim woman’s ability to travel and visiting tourism destinations. In addition, the paper will contribute potential Halal destinations in organising Halal package tours for Muslim women. Other issues in Islam is woman’s work in general and particularly in the tourism sector and how Islam deal with this issue.


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