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5 Mar, 2015

FREE Download: Malaysia, Turkey, Singapore top Muslim Travel Index 2015

Malaysia is the world’s most Muslim-friendly tourism destination and Singapore holds that position among the non-Islamic countries, according to ratings compiled by the “MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015”.

Considered the most comprehensive research ever released on the Muslim travel market, it looks at in-depth data covering 100 destinations across the world creating an overall Index designed to provide travellers, destinations and travel services, as well as investors with a number of important criteria to track the health and the growth of this travel segment.

CLICK HERE to download the infographics and full report FREE.

Click here for more information about the Islamic travel world.

The report noted that in 2014, the Muslim travel market was worth $145 billion, with 108 million Muslim travelers representing 10% of the entire travel economy. This is forecast to grow to 150 million visitors by 2020 and 11% of the market with an expenditure projected to grow to $200 billion. Muslim travel will continue to be one of the fastest growing travel sectors in the world.

The top 100 destinations ranked in the report are taken from 110 studied, including 29 OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) destinations and 81 non-OIC destinations. These hundred destinations represent more than 95% of Muslim visitor arrivals in 2014.

Says the report, “Against the backdrop of a new set of criteria Malaysia topped the 2015 Index with a score of 83.8. It was followed by Turkey at 73.8 and UAE at 72.1. It is the fifth year in a row that Malaysia has ranked number one having topped the previous rankings produced by CrescentRating since 2011.”

“Although OIC destinations have a distinct advantage due to having Muslim friendly facilities and services by default, there is a still a requirement to create a clear and coherent strategy across every level to fully maximise their attractiveness to Muslim tourists. It is a commitment that Malaysia, and to an extent Turkey, has embraced wholeheartedly over the last decade. In 2014 Malaysia and Turkey attracted 13% of total Muslim travelers. Other destinations in the top 10 also have the potential to target this segment to increase their visitor arrivals.”

Amongst non-OIC destinations, Singapore comes out on top, the report says. “Over the last few years it has invested in attracting this sector by adapting its offering to the Muslim tourist. It currently boasts some of the best Halal food environments in non-OIC destinations, even when com- pared against OIC destinations. In addition, it has invested and embraced processes that provide greater transparency to the sector. An example is the well established and dedicated Halal certification body.”

Currently, the top 20 destinations overall include only two non-OIC destinations, namely Singapore and Thailand. Singapore which came ninth in the overall rankings. Thailand has shown great improvement in the past few years and came 17th in the overall Index with a score of 60.3.

From a regional perspective, Asian destinations lead with an average GMTI score of 53.98.

The report, “The Muslim population is growing rapidly and is expected to become 26.5% of the world’s population by 2030. The majority of the Muslim population comes from some of the fastest growing economies such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey and the Gulf countries. Muslims are now becoming an important consumer market for the entire world. They will become an increasingly important segment for businesses across all sectors.”

Faith is increasingly influencing their purchasing decisions. They are searching for products and services that take into account their faith based needs. This has been illustrated over the last decade by the accelerated growth of Halal food, Islamic banking and lifestyle sectors.

The typical Muslim consumer is now younger, educated and with a larger disposable income which has precipitated an increased propensity to travel. This means travel and hospitality, and its various sub-sectors, is now one of the biggest markets within the Muslim consumer space.

CrescentRating positions itself as the world’s leading authority on Halal-friendly travel. The company uses insights, industry intelligence, lifestyle, behaviour and research on the needs of the Muslim traveler to deliver authoritative guidance on all aspects of Halal-friendly travel to organizations across the globe.

MasterCard is a technology company in the global payments industry. MasterCard operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.