With Ramadan approaching and people surfing the internet looking where to land during the upcoming vacation, AMEinfo decided to help you narrow your searches by providing the “Top 10 Muslim Inbound and Outbound Destinations,” basing our research on the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) of 2018.
GMTI, powered by Mastercard and Crescentrating, has been analyzing the Halal travel market across the globe and studying the top Muslim travel destinations since 2011.
This year, the GMTI revealed that Saudi Arabia is topping the inbound destinations, as well as, the outbound markets.
An overview of the Muslim Travel Market
The GMTI report says that the Muslim travel market continues to rapidly grow and evolve amidst a changing environment.”
In fact, it encourages the travel-related entities to develop strategies to engage and attract this segment.
Muslim Digest reported Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating and HalalTrip, as saying: “Travel within the young generation of Muslims is booming as consumers with more disposable income seek more exotic experiences and far-flung destinations than their parents.”
“Their per-trip expenditure could be lower than the earlier generation but since they make multiple trips per year, their overall expenditure is higher,” he added.
Top inbound destinations and outbound markets
Research from the GMTI 2018 report reveals the following top inbound destinations for Muslim travelers.
As for the top 30 Muslim outbound markets revealed by the GMTI, they are:
Keys to the heart of the Muslim traveler
“The fast-growing Muslim travel segment is an opportunity in plain sight but in order to benefit from it, it is crucial to understand the needs and preferences of Muslim travelers and how to adapt and tailor products and services for them,” said Safdar Khan, Division President, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, Mastercard.
According to Shamilka Rasheed, a blogger for crescent rating, the world’s leading authority in halal travel, the following are the top six needs of Muslim travelers:
1. Halal food: Halal food is by far the most important service that a Muslim traveler looks out for when traveling.
2. Prayer facilities: Prayer is one of the central elements of Islamic practice and worship.
3. Water-usage: Muslim-friendly washrooms.
Water plays a key role in purity and cleanliness, both of which are core aspects of a Muslim’s daily life.
4. Ramadan services: Travelers are seeking unique Ramadan experiences during this Muslim holy month.
One such example is the catering of pre-dawn Halal meals by hotels.
5. Non-Halal activities: Muslims consider some activities to be “Haram” or non-Halal.
When it comes to traveling, activities are generally centered on requiring a family-friendly environment.
As such, some Muslims would prefer to avoid facilities that have music or nightclubs or that are adjacent to a gambling resort.
6. Recreational facilities and services with privacy: A sub-segment of Muslim travelers are also looking for recreational facilities that provide privacy for males and females.
These include swimming pools and gyms that provide privacy for male and female use.