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Malaysia and Singapore Take Top Spots in the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index 2015

  • Malaysia topped the list in the GMTI 2015 while Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar also made the top five.

  • Singapore topped the list for non-OIC countries which also included Thailand, UK, South Africa and France.

  • In 2014, there were 108 million Muslim travellers spending $145 billion. This is expected to grow to 150 million travellers in 2020 spending $200 billion.

Malaysia has been named as the number one destination across the globe in the Muslim travel market, according to the most comprehensive research that has been released on the sector.

The “MasterCardCrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015” 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 the first time such thorough insights have been provided into one of the fastest-growing tourism sectors in the world today.

It 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 forecasted 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-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index has today set a real precedent for the tourism industry,” said Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating & HalalTrip.

“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.”

“CrescentRating 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,” he added.

“We are pleased to partner with CrescentRating 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,” said Matthew Driver, President, Southeast Asia, MasterCard.

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.

The Top 10 OIC destinations of GMTI 2015

Rank OverallGMTI 2015 Rank Destination Score
1 1 Malaysia 83.8
2 2 Turkey 73.8
3 3 United Arab Emirates 72.1
4 4 Saudi Arabia 71.3
5 5 Qatar 68.2
6 6 Indonesia 67.5
7 7 Oman 66.7
8 8 Jordan 66.4
9 10 Morocco 64.4
10 11 Brunei 64.3

The Top 10 non-OIC destinations of GMTI 2015

Rank OverallGMTI 2015Rank Destination Score
1 9 Singapore 65.1
2 20 Thailand 59.2
3 25 United Kingdom 55.0
4 30 South Africa 51.1
5 31 France 48.2
6 32 Belgium 47.5
7 33 Hong Kong 47.5
8 34 USA 47.3
9 35 Spain 46.5
10 36 Taiwan 46.2

About Crescentrating Pte Ltd

CrescentRating is the world’s leading authority on halal-friendly travel. The company’s vision is to lead, innovate and drive this segment through practical and deliverable solutions in what is regarded today as one of the fastest growing segment in the tourism sector. The company uses insight, industry intelligence. lifestyle, behaviour and research on the needs of the Muslim traveller to deliver guidance on all aspects of halal-friendly travel to organisations across the globe.

CrescentRating’s services now include rating & accreditation, research & consultancy, workshops & training, ranking & indices, event support/partnerships and content provisioning.

About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.

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