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Tourist arrivals from Malaysia have increased by 41% in Japan over the course of last year. Japan received 249,500 tourists from Malaysia in 2014, in comparison to only 176,712 Malaysian tourist arrivals in 2013. The number of Malaysian tourist arrivals is the highest ever received by Japan since 2006.

The Head of Consular Office of Japan - Hirofumi Morikawa - stated that most of these tourists were Muslim travellers. The rise in numbers is believed to a result of the many Muslim-friendly facilities - such as prayer rooms and halal restaurants - that were recently set up in Japan in a bid to reach out to the Muslim travel market.

The Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism has stated that over a million tourists from Muslim countries visited Spain during 2014. The largest number of tourist arrivals were from Algeria - around 220,000 visitors, followed by Turkey - 215,000 travellers, Morocco - 200,000 travellers and Egypt - 86,000 travellers.

Spain was ranked the ninth best destination for Muslim travellers in the non-OIC category of MasterCard and CresentRating’s 2015 Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI). It is showing an  increasing interest in the Muslim travel market and is also set to host the very first international Halal Congress in March.

The growing importance of Europe to the Muslim travel market

Europe is a key region in global travel and tourism market and for the Muslim traveller it is also very important. Both the inbound and outbound European Muslim tourist market is worth billions of dollars annually to the travel economy and a key strategic location which provides a plethora of opportunities stakeholders in the market.

Global Muslim Travel Index 2015 saw the inclusion of several ASEAN countries – including Malaysia which was ranked the best Muslim-friendly destination for Muslim travellers. Read on for more details on how other ASEAN destinations performed on the Index  and how well they cater to Muslim travellers.

The MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index 2015 - or GMTI2015 - provides useful and thorough insights into the Muslim travel market - one of the world's fastest growing tourism segments. These insights provide travellers, governments, travel services and investors comprehensive benchmarks across a number of important criteria. Read on to find out how GMTI 2015can be used to shape tourism strategies and help keep track of the Muslim travel segment.

The Muslim travel market is expected to expand rapidly over the next couple of years. The market segment was worth as much as $145 billion in 2014, with 108 million Muslim travellers representing 10% of the entire travel economy.

In response to this, the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) was launched to provide in-depth Muslim travel insights on travel and tourism services, to let travellers around the globe better understand the various facilities and services offered by holiday destinations to Muslim travellers.

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