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Malaysia Named as Number 1 Destination in World for Muslim Travel

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Malaysia has been named as the number one destination across the globe in the Muslim travel market, according to the MasterCard - Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015.

 The results of the research saw Malaysia take the top spot on the list, for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) destinations, followed by, Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Singapore came first for the non-OIC destinations, which also saw Thailand, UK, South Africa and France make the top five.

The GMTI looks at in-depth data covering 100 destinations, creating an overall index, based on a number of criteria. This is one of the first times such thorough insights have been provided into one of the fastest-growing tourism sectors in the world today, and will provide travellers, governments, travel services and investors comprehensive benchmarks across a number of important criteria enabling them to track the health and growth of this travel segment.

The study also revealed that in 2014, this segment was worth $145 billion with 108 million Muslim travellers representing 10% of the entire travel economy.

This is forecast to grow to 150 million visitors by 2020 and 11% of the market segment with a market value projected to grow to $200 billion.

The MasterCard - Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel Index has today set a real precedent for the tourism industry, said Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of Crescent Rating & Halal Trip. Not only is it the most in-depth research that we have undertaken so far on the fast-growing Muslim travel market, but has provided all stakeholders with some invaluable insight into how the halal-friendly tourism sector is growing and developing from a global perspective ... Crescent Rating 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.

Not surprisingly, Saudi Arabia saw the highest number of Muslim arrivals into the country in 2014 with 10.2 million followed by Turkey at 8.1 million.

All 100 destinations in the GMTI were scored against a backdrop of criteria which included suitability as a family holiday destination, the level of services and facilities it provides, accommodation options, marketing initiatives as well as visitor arrivals. Each criterion was then weighted to make up the overall index score.

Malaysia scored an Index score of 83.8, followed by Turkey at 73.8 and UAE at 72.1.

GMTI40, which will be updated quarterly around the year, will track the average score of the top 20 OIC and non-OIC destinations and will form the key index to monitor the performance of the Muslim travel segment.

The overall average score for 40 countries (GMTI40) currently stands at 56 while the overall average GMTI score for the complete 100 destinations is at 43.8. From a regional perspective, Asia Pacific destinations lead with an average GMTI score of 54.

Matthew Driver, President, Southeast Asia, MasterCard, said, We are pleased to partner with Crescent Rating to develop the Global Muslim Travel Index as we see it as an extension of our efforts in giving consumers peace of mind when travelling and using our payment products. Travel continues to be a core passion for consumers and we are confident the GMTI will prove to be a trusted resource for this important, fast-growing traveller segment.

See other recent news regarding: Interviews, Pictures, Videos, MasterCard, Islam, Muslim Travel, Malaysia

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