Malaysia, Singapore once again top Muslim travel index

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BurkiniMalaysia and Singapore in the Global Muslim Travel Index 2015 (GMTI) once again made it to the top of the best Muslim travel destinations worldwide in the categories OIC and non-OIC members, respectively. (OIC = Organisation of Islamic Countries).

Against the backdrop of a new set of criteria by report issuers MasterCard and CrescentRating, Malaysia topped the 2015 Index with a score of 83.8. It was followed by Turkey at 73.8 and the United Arab Emirates 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 per cent of total Muslim travelers. Other destinations in the top 10 also have the potential to target this segment to increase their visitor arrivals.

GMTI ranking 2015
Click to enlarge

Non-OIC destinations have been much more proactive in looking at this segment and are developing services and capabilities specifically to attract this audience. Commendable mentions must be given to Asian destinations such as Japan and Taiwan who have fully embraced this growing sector by dedicating resources and influencing tourism policy.

Given that many of these destinations already have excellent tourism products and infrastructure, for some it will only require small adaptations and adjustments to fully cater for the needs of Muslims.

Non-OIC winner Singapore 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 compared 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.

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

Inside Malaysia 2013/14
Inside Malaysia 2013/14
A 32 page report covering numerous sectors
$24.99

In another ranking, the MasterCard-Cresent Muslim Travel Shopping Index 2015, Kuala Lumpur has been ranked second behind Dubai and ahead of Istanbul. Within Southeast Asia, Bali, Penang, Jakarta, Malacca, Bangkok and Phuket made it to ranks 10, 11, 14, 15, 18 and 23, while Pattaya has been rated the 33rd best shopping destination for Muslims worldwide.

Total expenditure of Muslim travelers visiting 40 cities amounted to $36 billion in 2014, of which 26 per cent was spent on shopping, the ranking noted.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia and Singapore in the Global Muslim Travel Index 2015 (GMTI) once again made it to the top of the best Muslim travel destinations worldwide in the categories OIC and non-OIC members, respectively. (OIC = Organisation of Islamic Countries).

Reading Time: 2 minutes

BurkiniMalaysia and Singapore in the Global Muslim Travel Index 2015 (GMTI) once again made it to the top of the best Muslim travel destinations worldwide in the categories OIC and non-OIC members, respectively. (OIC = Organisation of Islamic Countries).

Against the backdrop of a new set of criteria by report issuers MasterCard and CrescentRating, Malaysia topped the 2015 Index with a score of 83.8. It was followed by Turkey at 73.8 and the United Arab Emirates 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 per cent of total Muslim travelers. Other destinations in the top 10 also have the potential to target this segment to increase their visitor arrivals.

GMTI ranking 2015
Click to enlarge

Non-OIC destinations have been much more proactive in looking at this segment and are developing services and capabilities specifically to attract this audience. Commendable mentions must be given to Asian destinations such as Japan and Taiwan who have fully embraced this growing sector by dedicating resources and influencing tourism policy.

Given that many of these destinations already have excellent tourism products and infrastructure, for some it will only require small adaptations and adjustments to fully cater for the needs of Muslims.

Non-OIC winner Singapore 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 compared 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.

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

Inside Malaysia 2013/14
Inside Malaysia 2013/14
A 32 page report covering numerous sectors
$24.99

In another ranking, the MasterCard-Cresent Muslim Travel Shopping Index 2015, Kuala Lumpur has been ranked second behind Dubai and ahead of Istanbul. Within Southeast Asia, Bali, Penang, Jakarta, Malacca, Bangkok and Phuket made it to ranks 10, 11, 14, 15, 18 and 23, while Pattaya has been rated the 33rd best shopping destination for Muslims worldwide.

Total expenditure of Muslim travelers visiting 40 cities amounted to $36 billion in 2014, of which 26 per cent was spent on shopping, the ranking noted.

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