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7 Aug, 2014

Muslim Travel Index 2014 Lists 15 Top European Countries “Most Likely to be Visited”

LONDON, 6 August 2014 — The Muslim Travel Index 2014, released today, has revealed a list of European countries that Muslim tourists from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Malaysia will visit in the future.

According to the research, France topped the list with 30% saying they would like to visit in the near future. England and Italy shared second spot (28%) while Germany and Turkey (26%) also made the top five.

Experts say that the study shows the potential for Europe of halal tourism which could be worth billions annually to the economy. The Index revealed that 93% of those travelling abroad said it was important that the country they were visiting had facilities that catered for a halal lifestyle.

The halal tourism sector was worth $140 billion in 2013 representing around 13% of global travel expenditures. This figure is expected to reach $192 billion by 2020.

“This Index is a great indication of the value of halal tourism to Europe and the potential of the market to the economy,” said Tasneem Mahmood of CM Media, who are organising the world’s first halal tourism conference in Spain in September.

“We already know Europe is already very popular with the Middle East and Malaysian countries but as the research shows there is a lot more who would like to come. With other European countries now wanting a slice of this lucrative market, there is a need to understand the requirements of Muslim tourists.

“If you consider that visitors from the Middle East spent £1.1billion in the UK in 2013 while those from UAE contributed £527 million, it shows just exactly how big this market is. Furthermore they travel in different times of the year which means there are opportunities across 12 months. “This research represents great opportunity for tourism boards, tour operators, travel agencies, hotels, restaurants and the entire sector.”

The Muslim Travel Index Europe 2014 showed that although France topped the overall table for most popular destinations, only Malaysia (28%) picked it at the top of its list. For Saudi Arabian visitors Germany (33%) was the most popular destination while 39% of UAE residents opted for Turkey.

A huge 97% said it was important the country of destination provided halal food while 89% said it was important to provide praying facilities. Almost a quarter (24%) who had been to France, Germany, Italy and England previously described the halal facilities as average.

The Muslim Travel Index Europe 2014 looked at the attitudes and behaviour of majority Muslim populations to tourism in the future and their experiences of countries they have already visited in Europe.

It was conducted with residents from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Malaysian residents who are already frequent visitors to Europe.

The Halal Tourism Conference, which is being held on 22 and 23 September 2014, will bring together the travel industry from around the world to discuss ways of tapping into this niche market.

The event, which is being hosted in Andalucia, Spain, aims to equip delegates with market intelligence, industry forecasts and trends to understand how to market to the lucrative Muslim consumer and benefit commercially.

The two day event hopes to attract tourism boards, tour agencies, tour operators, restaurants, media, hotels and airlines. The event will also feature seminars from industry experts, workshops, networking sessions and an exhibition.

For more details: http://www.htc2014.com/


1. France (30%)
2. Italy (28%)
3. England (28%)
4. Germany (26%)
5. Turkey (26%)
6. Spain (23%)
7. Netherlands (17%)
8. Austria (14%)
9. Scotland (12%)
10. Greece (11%)
11. Sweden (11%)
12. Portugal (9%)
13. Belgium (7%)
14. Finland (7%)
15. Denmark (6%)

Press release pic 800x Notes

  • The ONS data has been derived from Travel Trends – Section 4 Overseas Residents Visits to the UK, 2013 residents’ visits and spending in the UK by purpose and region, 2013
  • The Muslim Travel Index Europe 2014 surveyed 401 residents from Saudi Arabia, UAE and Malaysia to understand the importance of being able to follow a halal lifestyle while travelling abroad.
  • The Muslim Travel market segment was estimated to be worth US $140 billion in 2013, representing almost 13% of global travel expenditures according to a report by ratings agency Crescent Rating.
  • A study by Crescent Rating projects that until at least 2020 Muslim international tourism will increase at a faster rate than the average rate for international tourism — 4.79 percent versus 3.8 percent. At that point, the study says, overall annual spending for international Muslim tourism is expected to reach US $192 billion.
  • Creative Minds Media specialise in international conferences and exhibitions. The founders of CM Media have between them over 10 years’ experience in events management and sales. Their events portfolio includes working within the defence and forensics industry, youth work, as well as within the health sector.