- Salam Standard product now internationally recognised and used
- Tripfez to use predictive AI tech for travel recommendations
THE travel industry is competitive, with travel all over the world being made more interesting and affordable by innovative startups all the time.
Despite this, Muslim-focused online travel agency and hotel review platform Tripfez reports a stronger overall performance in 2017 than in the previous year.
Faeez Fadhillah, co-founder and chief executive officer of Lagisatu Travel Sdn Bhd, which operates Tripfez, says that Tripfez exceeded its initial growth target by 40%, with a month-on-month revenue growth of 410% between January and October.
“Since it was established, Tripfez has been growing from strength to strength, with focus on creating value for Muslim travellers and playing a part in the growth of the Islamic economy. We are now recognised as a leading player within the Islamic economy at large and, more importantly, within the Muslim travel segment,” he says.
In the beginning of this year, Tripfez’s Salam Standard, its hospitality standard dedicated to making hotels more Muslim-friendly through information and training, had just been developed into an application programming interface (API) for Tripfez partners to integrate into their websites and was beginning to be used by hotels around the world to cater to and attract Muslim travellers.
Faeez says that the one of the main reasons for launching the API and providing instant access for travel sites, meta-search engines and review sites, and the third parties that use them, to Muslim-centric travel information, was to create global recognition of Salam Standard within the industry.
Several sites are currently in the process of testing and integrating the API into their systems. However, due to a non-disclosure agreement, Tripfez is unable to announce who the partners are.
“But I can say that they are leading travel providers, online travel agents and review sites,” reveals Faeez.
Tripfez had also just released The Global Economic Impact of Muslim Tourism report in December 2016. The report made data on the Muslim travel market widely available. Since then, the report has received more than five million global impressions and coverage on international digital, print and broadcast news channels in 2017.
According to Faeez, Tripfez, through Salam Standard, has successfully strengthened its position as the leading travel company within the Muslim travel segment.
He also says that Salam Standard has now become “a global definition of halal and Muslim-friendly travel through the introduction of a clear classification system. It serves as a global authority with more than 50,000 hotels covering more than 80% of geographical space in many countries.”
Faeez previously told DNA that Tripfez was looking to secure partnerships with leading authorities in the tourism industry to enhance the Salam Standard product presence among industry and consumers.
He now reveals that Salam Standard is working with various national tourism organisations (NTOs), including in Abu Dhabi, not just to raise awareness but also as a guideline for hotels and NTOs on how to approach the market and meet expectations of Muslim travellers.
Next year will see the implementation of phase two of Tripfez’s and Salam Standard’s growth strategy.
“We remain committed to delivering the value proposition of growth both in terms of hotels as well as revenue over the long term. We foresee growth opportunities not only in strengthening our core Muslim travel business, but also in new areas of data and predictive technology to enhance the Muslim travellers’ experience,” says Faeez.
In the next two quarters, Tripfez and Salam Standard will focus on using predictive artificial intelligence technology to build recommendations for travel based around a number of contextual signals designed for Muslim travellers. It will also focus on building a more engaged Muslim community that will be able to contribute more content that complements the core technology Tripfez uses.
Within Tripfez itself, Faeez says that the startup will enhance the team with expertise in product development, technology, design, and anything else it needs.
For 2018, Tripfez is focusing on the area of Muslim experience with tours and accommodation, as well as supporting sectors, including flights, says Faeez.
“We aim to shape the future of a digital Islamic economy and support the growth of this US$2 trillion industry [RM8.16 trillion],” he says.
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