According to the Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2022, Malaysia once again tops the list of best Muslim-friendly holiday destinations for Muslim travellers. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Malaysia has once again topped the list of best Muslim-friendly holiday destinations for Muslim travellers, according to the Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2022.
Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia are in the second position, while Singapore continues to be the top Muslim-friendly travel destination among non-Organisation of Islamic Cooperation destinations followed by Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
CrescentRating & HalalTrip founder and chief executive officer Fazal Bahardeen said GMTI 2022 has ranked 138 destinations on how to leverage the Muslim travel market to accelerate recovery.
“International Muslim traveller arrivals reached 160 million in 2019 and after the disruption in 2020 and 2021, we project that Muslim traveller arrivals will reach 140 million in 2023 and get back to the 2019 level of 160 million in 2024.
“The pre-pandemic projection of 230 million arrivals by 2026 will now be reached in 2028 with an estimated expenditure of US$225 billion (RM987 billion),” he said during the launch of the Mastercard-CrescentRating GMTI 2022 report today.
The event was held in conjunction with the Halal In Travel-Global Summit 2022. The online conference runs from May 31 until June 2, 2022.
Given the current situation in Ukraine, the report ranks 138 destinations as it has paused the ranking of Russia and Ukraine. These destinations now account for more than 98 per cent of Muslim visitor arrivals.
Fazal said the GMTI tracks the health and growth of Muslim-friendly travel destinations in four strategic areas: access, communications, environment, and services.
He revealed that Gen Z, Millennials, and women are the most influential and growing demographic within the Muslim population and women travellers represent one of the fastest-growing segments within the Muslim travel market.
Therefore, he is optimistic that economies will recover soon from the pandemic’s damage to lives and livelihoods.
Meanwhile, Mastercard division president for South-east Asia Safdar Khan said Mastercard is committed to supporting a full and resilient recovery of global travel across all travellers’ profiles.
“That is why we continually collaborate with our partners — HalalTrip and CrescentRating — to develop insights for businesses and governments, and to build new capabilities to offer safe, seamless, and exciting travel experiences,” he said.
Malaysia remained the top-ranked destination in the GMTI as it had been since the launch of the index in 2015. — Bernama