What services do Muslim tourists want? Uncovering nonlinear relationships and unobserved heterogeneity
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Halal tourism is a dynamic emerging market segment that is growing at a notable pace. Understanding the Muslim travelers' needs, interests and behaviors is a key priority for professionals. Therefore, the goals of this study are twofold: first, to examine the linear and nonlinear effects of Islamic physical and nonphysical hotel attributes on Muslim guests' visit intention and willingness to pay extra, and second, to employ an advanced segmentation method for revealing different types of Muslim travelers. Data were randomly collected from 559 Muslim in the United Arab Emirates. The study adopted the finite mixtures partial least squares technique to investigate the question of unobserved heterogeneity among Muslim travelers. The study results reveal important linear and nonlinear relationships and three new Muslim segments. The segment-specific findings offer distinctive insights for managers, policy makers and decision makers in developing long-term strategies for tapping into the Muslim travel market.