Thailand seeks to tap halal travel market

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One destination for Muslim visitors: Night food market in Hat Yai, southern Thailand © Arno Maierbrugger

Thailand is seeking to attract more Muslim travelers to its shores after being named a Muslim-friendly country in the latest Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2019, an annual survey by Mastercard and CrescentRating, a research firm focused on halal travel and tourism.

The Muslim travel market is expected to reach $220 billion by 2020 with 160 million tourists globally, rising by 36 per cent to $300 billion with 230 million travelers in 2026, the GMTI notes.

The report shows that Thailand ranks now second among the top ten preferred destinations for Muslim travel among countries outside of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) with a score of 57, behind Singapore with 65. Thailand also ranked 18th out of 130 destinations for Muslims worldwide.

The top ten non-OIC destinations also included Japan, Taiwan, South Africa and South Korea, which continued their upward movement, indicating that these destinations are becoming friendlier for Muslim tourists, the report said.

In Thailand, an estimated 3.7 million Muslims visited Thailand last year, accounting for nearly ten per cent of total international arrivals, according to the Thai Tourism and Sports Ministry.

As the market trend is promising, the ministry has launched a project for the development of halal tourism and services. Among the incentives for Muslims that will be created are halal travel routes, a travel guidebook containing tourism destinations, hotels, restaurants, mosques and products from Muslim communities.

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One destination for Muslim visitors: Night food market in Hat Yai, southern Thailand © Arno Maierbrugger Thailand is seeking to attract more Muslim travelers to its shores after being named a Muslim-friendly country in the latest Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2019, an annual survey by Mastercard and CrescentRating, a research firm focused on halal travel and tourism. The Muslim travel market is expected to reach $220 billion by 2020 with 160 million tourists globally, rising by 36 per cent to $300 billion with 230 million travelers in 2026, the GMTI notes. The report shows that Thailand ranks now second...

Reading Time: 1 minute

Auto Draft
One destination for Muslim visitors: Night food market in Hat Yai, southern Thailand © Arno Maierbrugger

Thailand is seeking to attract more Muslim travelers to its shores after being named a Muslim-friendly country in the latest Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2019, an annual survey by Mastercard and CrescentRating, a research firm focused on halal travel and tourism.

The Muslim travel market is expected to reach $220 billion by 2020 with 160 million tourists globally, rising by 36 per cent to $300 billion with 230 million travelers in 2026, the GMTI notes.

The report shows that Thailand ranks now second among the top ten preferred destinations for Muslim travel among countries outside of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) with a score of 57, behind Singapore with 65. Thailand also ranked 18th out of 130 destinations for Muslims worldwide.

The top ten non-OIC destinations also included Japan, Taiwan, South Africa and South Korea, which continued their upward movement, indicating that these destinations are becoming friendlier for Muslim tourists, the report said.

In Thailand, an estimated 3.7 million Muslims visited Thailand last year, accounting for nearly ten per cent of total international arrivals, according to the Thai Tourism and Sports Ministry.

As the market trend is promising, the ministry has launched a project for the development of halal tourism and services. Among the incentives for Muslims that will be created are halal travel routes, a travel guidebook containing tourism destinations, hotels, restaurants, mosques and products from Muslim communities.

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