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Over five million foreign tourists have visited Iran since the end of March 2015, despite the tourism industries of other regional countries not performing well at present. Industry experts noted that the situation provides a great opportunity for Iran to attract more tourists to the country as a safe Middle Eastern destination.

Experts also noted that Iran is a prominent destination for Halal tourism and identified the important role of Halal tourism marketing in its tourism strategy.

Peru's Leading Destination Management Company for Muslim Travellers - Travel Group Peru - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Based in Lima, Travel Group Peru is a leading destination management company in Peru that specialises in servicing travel arrangements for leisure, business as well as religious travel. It is an accredited travel agent of Crescentrating and offers a range of travel services for Muslim travellers.

Travel Group Peru's extensive knowledge and experience about worldwide market conditions and tourist resources - the Muslim travel market in particular - make it an excellent option for Muslim travellers around the world. For Muslim travellers, Travel Group Peru offers flexible individual packages as well as group packages to ensure hassle-free travel. Muslim travellers are able to choose from numerous Halal-friendly tours that have been carefully crafted and customised to meet the specific religious requirements of Muslim travellers.

Bandarawela Hotel is one of Sri Lanka's finest colonial and heritage hotels that has been in operation since 1893. Located in the heart of Bandarawela town, the hotel caters to holidaymakers and leisure travellers, with a wealth of facilities and services also offered to Muslim travellers. Bandarawela Hotel has been awarded a Muslim-friendly hotel rating of 3 by CrescentRating and is a great choice for Muslim travellers vacationing in Sri Lanka.

As one of the important criteria, GMTI takes into account the popularity of a destination for holidays as well as its family friendliness. More than 50% of Muslim tourists travel with their families - a much higher percentage compared with other travel segments. So GMTI takes into account the level of family friendly activities the destination offers.

GMTI40 tracks the average score of the top 20 OIC and top 20 non-OIC destinations to form a key index to monitor the performance of the Muslim travel segment throughout the year. The GMTI40 will be updated quarterly to provide frequent monitoring of the sector.

Currently, the top 20 destinations overall include only two non-OIC destinations, namely Singapore and Thailand. The GMTI40 will give a more balanced view of the Muslim travel segment.

A sign of encouragement for non-OIC destinations keen to attract this market can be gleaned by looking at Singapore, which came ninth in the overall rankings. This demonstrates the ability and potential for non-OIC destinations to attract the Muslim travel segment. A mention must also be made of Thailand, which has shown great improvement in the past few years and came 17th in the overall Index with a score of 60.3.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand projects a huge increase in Muslim visitors from the year 2016 onwards - particularly from the neighbouring countries of Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam. This increase in Muslim visitors is owed to the upgrading of Muslim-friendly facilities in the destination - with Halal food and prayer facilities becoming readily available and an increasing investor interest in developing Halal tourism hotels.

Industry experts noted that Thailand has always been a popular choice - especially for families travelling to Phuket with direct Emirates flights. Representatives from the Tourism Authority of Thailand identified the country's ability to cater to Muslim travellers by providing Arabic-speaking staff, Halal food options, prayer facilities in the airport, Muslim-friendly hotels and restaurants, and tourist attractions to its visitors.

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