Asia's economy is still healthy and intra-ASEAN travel is growing significantly. Arrivals from Malaysia and Indonesia to Vietnam have rebounded significantly in the past nine months thanks to more direct flights, and now Luxury Travel Ltd. is reaching out to court Muslim tourists from these markets.

Luxury Travel Ltd. has a high end halal holiday concept and has just launched This is a unique online brand, offering truly great holiday experiences with an Islamic ethos. The company's aim is to provide a holiday experience that is in harmony with Islam.

The featured hotels and resorts do not serve alcohol in rooms upon request, and have segregated swimming pools, leisure areas and spa facilities for men and women. Further, on some chartered cruises on Halong Bay, all food on board is sea food or halal food. 

Pham Ha, founder and CEO of Luxury Travel Ltd, said: "The Muslim population within Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia shows immense potential.

"Demand from this segment is picking up and is expected to increase, thanks to direct flights between Southeast Asian countries, including the newest flight to HCM City from Jakarta four times per week. Also, no visa is needed for most citizens traveling between ASEAN countries.

"In order to capitalize on these potential markets, we have launched a website, created special tours for Muslim travelers, worked with reputable halal food restaurants, searched out mosque locations and trained our staff in order to better serve Muslim travellers. 

"We attend various travel trade shows in individual markets such as TTC Indonesia and Selangor Matta Islamic Travel Fair in Malaysia. We also plan to target India, Turkey, and the Middle East in the long run. And with nearly 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, the potential market is huge. We expect to receive 600-800 muslim travellers in 2013," added Pham.

According to Luxury Travel, about 23 per cent of the world population is Muslim. Of these, around 62 per cent live in Asia - Pacific, 20 per cent in the Middle East - North Africa,15 per cent in Sub Saharan Africa, around three per cent in Europe and 0.3 per cent in the Americas. 

The company has launched a new website and will launch a Vietnam guidebook for discerning travellers and focus on Muslim visitors.

Plans are also in place to open a representative office in Jakarta, to act as a point of contact and information for Indonesian travel consultants and consumers. Luxury Travel is positioning itself as the first luxury halal tour and holiday operator in Indochina.

According to VNAT, during the first nine months of 2012, the number of visitors from Malaysia to Vietnam was 210,805, an increase of 125.4 per cent from the previous period. 

Pham stressed that the number of tourist arrivals increased thanks to direct flights to Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City from Kuala Lumpur. The company enjoyed 30 per cent growth in Central Vietnam, where Luxury Travel opened a new office a few month ago. The company will attend Selangor Matta Islamic Travel Fair in Malaysia from 7-9 Dec 2012.

The tourism industry is looking to 6.5 million international arrivals, 32 million domestic travelers and revenue of VND150 trillion in 2012. The already approved tourism development strategy envisions that the number of international arrivals will soon be 7-7.5 million, that domestic travelers will approach 36-37 million, that revenue will hit $10-11 billion by 2015, and that the tourism sector will contribute 5.5-6 per cent of the country's GDP by that year.

For mor einformation on Vietnam-based Luxury Travel Ltd, visit

Do you think more holiday companies should embrace the tailor-making approach to travel and create tours and packages to accommodate different religions and cultures? 

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Shabana Adam @Shabs_A

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