Have Halal, Will Travel (Singapore Company)
Have Halal, Will Travel (HHWT) is a Singapore-based media company that creates lifestyle and travel content for Muslims. HHWT was established by co-founders, Tengku Suzana, Mikhail Goh and Elaine Tee in 2015. As of December 2020, it has over 417,000 followers on Facebook and over 135,000 followers on Instagram.
HHWT was conceptualised after Tengku Suzana, Mikhail Goh and Elaine Tee faced difficulties in sourcing for halal eateries while on a student exchange programme in Seoul, South Korea. Speaking to Disruptive Tech Asean in 2019, Mikhail Goh was quoted to have said:
“I feel that Muslims shouldn’t be restricted to just kebabs or nasi biryani. To really understand different cultures, you have to eat their food, speak their language, and really get lost in their country. Muslims shouldn’t be deprived from that opportunity.”
HHWT's first article, “Top 3 Local Halal Food In Hong Kong” was published in February 2015 and generated thousands of comments and positive feedback. This initial reception inspired the co-founders to produce similar articles for other countries.
Tengku Suzana Tengku Abdul Kadir is an alumna of Singapore Management University (SMU) from which she graduated with a Bachelor of Business Management in 2013. As of December 2020, Tengku Suzana is the chief editor at Have Halal, Will Travel. Tengku Suzana is married to fellow co-founder Mikhail Goh, who she met in her first year of university studies. She has also known fellow co-founder Elaine Tee since she was 15 years old.
Mikhail Goh is also a Bachelor of Business Management graduate from SMU. As of December 2020, he is the chief executive officer of Have Halal, Will Travel. Mikhail Goh has been married to HHWT co-founder Tengku Suzana since 2017 and is a Muslim convert.
Elaine Tee obtained a Bachelor of Business from Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) in 2012. As of December 2020, she oversees business development and client partnerships for HHWT.
After a trip to Japan, Mikhail Goh and Tengku Suzana were inspired to further develop HHWT as a tool to bring Muslims and non-Muslims closer. In a 2019 interview with Social Space, Tengku Suzana shared the following about the renewed purpose of HHWT:
“In that moment [in Japan], I had an epiphany: it struck me that Muslims and non-Muslims rarely get the opportunity to interact and come to a deeper understanding about each other’s cultures and faiths... Some Muslims come under the impression that countries with a small Muslim population—Japan, for instance—will not be as conducive or accommodating, and refrain from visiting them. However, what these travellers most need are more information and support, both of which HHWT offers.”
Having started as a team of four, HHWT has grown to a team of over 20 people (as reported in 2019). The company has also expanded its team to include remote writers in Malaysia and Indonesia.
According to HHWT's LinkedIn profile, the company's content reaches over nine million users each month. Mainly catering to the Muslim populations in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, HHWT’s social media platforms operate in English, Malay and Bahasa Indonesia; posting shareable content in the lifestyle, food and travel categories. The company’s past clientele include brands such as KLM Airlines and Klook.
Improved user engagement
HHWT launched its mobile application in 2016. In April 2018, HHWT launched a new feature on its website called Sofia, an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot that assists with travellers’ enquiries regardless of their time zone. The chatbot aimed to improve the efficiency of the website in providing relevant suggestions to its users.
- Have Halal, Will Travel. LinkedIn. n.d. Accessed on 8 December 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.linkedin.com/company/havehalalwilltravel/about/
- Low, Joseph. “Co-Founders Of Have Halal, Will Travel, On Creating A More Holistic Travel Experience For Muslim Travellers”. ELLE SINGAPORE. November 27, 2020. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
- Kamin, Debra. "The Rise of Halal Tourism". The New York Times. January 18, 2019. Accessed on 21 December 2020.
- “The Story Behind HHWT and Why You Should Care”. Have Halal Will Travel. January 24, 2016. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
- Caceres, Diego. “Savvy Sojourner: Tengku Suzana”. Social Space. August 6, 2019. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
- Hong, Carolyn. "Happy trails with halal apps and guides". The Straits Times. February 13, 2018. Accessed on 21 December 2020.
- “Have Halal, Will Travel: A chatbot named Sofia is helping Muslims find halal food overseas”. Disruptive Tech Asean. May 18, 2018. Accessed on 9 December 2020.
- "Top 3 Local Halal Food In Hong Kong". Have Halal, Will Travel. February 16, 2015. Accessed on 21 December 2020.
- Singapore Management University. “#TalentsOfSMU: Melvin Goh, Co-founder of Have Halal Will Travel”. YouTube. April 25, 2018. Accessed on 9 December 2020.
- Tan, Sue-Ann. “Have Halal, Will Travel: She helps Muslims tour the world”. The Straits Times. December 31, 2018. Accessed on 9 December 2020.
- “Mikhail Goh & Tengku Suzana Tengku Abdul Kadir”. Singapore Management University. June 17, 2019. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
- “HHWT Turns 4: Meet The Team Behind Your Travel Articles And Videos”. Have Halal Will Travel. October 1, 2019. Accessed on 8 December 2020.
- Mikhail Melvin Goh. LinkedIn. n.d. Accessed on 8 December 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melvingwj/
- Tan, Theresa. “More mixed marriages: Journey to Islam started with love”. The Straits Times. July 18, 2018. Accessed on 9 December 2020.
- Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman. "Breaking fast with a Muslim convert". The New Paper. June 19, 2017. Accessed on 21 December 2020.
- Elaine Tee. LinkedIn. n.d. Accessed on 9 December 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elaine-tee-90152850/
- “Founders Friday – Mikhail Melvin Goh”. TalentKraft. October 14, 2019. Accessed on 9 December 2020.
- “Mikhail Goh And Elaine Tee, Co-Founders, Have Halal Will Travel”. Money FM 89.3. April 7, 2019. Accessed on 10 December 2020.
- “Home”. Have Halal Will Travel. n.d. Accessed on 9 December 2020.
- Bohari, Santriani. “KLM Serves Halal Meals On Selected Routes (Perfect For Muslim Travellers!)”. Have Halal Will Travel. December 13, 2017. Accessed on 10 December 2020.
- Senin, Faruq. “Klook Singapore Is Having Huge Discounts On Staycations & Attractions For Its 6th Birthday”. Have Halal Will Travel. September 23, 2020. Accessed on 10 December 2020.
- "Content platform Have Halal, Will Travel unveils chatbot named Sofia”. Marketing Interactive. April 30, 2018. Accessed on 9 December 2020.