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