The Muslim travel segment is expanding, with the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015 uncovering Malaysia and Singapore as the top destinations in their respective categories for Muslims.
The Mastercard-CrescentRating GMTI looked at in-depth data covering 100 destinations, which were scored against a backdrop of criteria including suitability as a family holiday destination, the level of services and facilities it provides, accommodation options, marketing initiatives as well as visitor arrivals.
Key findings of the study include: • Malaysia topped the list of 10 Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) destinations, followed by Turkey, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Indonesia, Oman, Jordan, Morocco and Brunei; • Singapore topped the list for non-OIC countries, followed by Thailand, the UK, South Africa, France, Belgium, Hong Kong, the US, Spain and Taiwan;
• Saudi Arabia welcomed the most number of Muslim travellers in 2014 with 10.2 million followed by Turkey, with 8.1 million; and
• In 2014, there were 108 million Muslim travellers – representing 10 per cent of the entire travel economy – who spent US$145 billion, and this is expected to grow to 150 million Muslim travellers (11 per cent of the travel economy) in 2020 spending US$200 billion.
Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating & HalalTrip, said: “CrescentRating has seen a recent huge shift towards more destinations targeting this sector like Japan and Taiwan, and it is a trend we expect to continue.”