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A Muslim-friendly seminar was organised  by the Embassy of Malaysia together with Tourism Malaysia, targeting the Thai-Muslim markets in southern Thailand. The two-day event was held in Thailand - in Krabi on the 22nd of April and in Hatyai on the 23rd April. 

The seminar was joined by numerous southern local media representatives from Krabi and Hatyai to promote Malaysia as a prime Muslim-friendly destination. A business to business meeting was also held between seven Malaysian sellers and more than fifty local buyers from Krabi and Hatyai.

The Muslim travel market is one of the most lucrative and one of the most rapidly growing market segments in the industry. It is also one of the world's highest spending tourist markets. Therefore it is vital that destinations, businesses and travel-related entities take the needs of this market segment into consideration when devising business models and plans.

Over the past four years, CrescentRating has evaluated destinations around the world and ranked them based on how well they cater to Muslim travellers.

These rankings were enhanced in 2015 to introduce the MasterCard-Crescentrating Global Muslim Travel Index – a global index that combines MasterCard's knowledge of shopping and tourism with CrescentRating’s in-depth Muslim travel insights on destinations and travel services.

The South Korean government has approved an annual budget of $4mn to promote medical tourism. The medical tourism sector in South Korea saw tourists from the Middle East spending the largest amount of money per person on medical services in 2014 - with travellers from the UAE topping the list.  

In 2014 alone, medical tourists from the UAE spent an average of $16,271 on medical services in South Korea, as stated by The Korea Tourism Organisation. The regional government’s statistics show a 370% increase in spending by tourists from the UAE over the course of 2013.

Istanbul is set to host the world's largest international showcase of Halal travel - Halal Tourism Conference 2015 - from the 1st of December to the 3rd of December this year. The three day event will be held at the Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre and will see the participation of 1,000 delegates from over 50 countries, including several industry experts.

Halal Tourism Conference 2015 will feature a wide range of speeches and discussions from experts on how Halal travel can be promoted and how travel experiences can be improved with the new technology. 

Australia's Gold Coast is expected to receive an influx of travellers from the Middle East due to the Australian Dollar declining to a level 30% cheaper than the previous summer.

The number of Middle East travellers to Gold Coast increased by 20% last year itself, with the rapid growth of the leisure sector. The average leisure spend also increased by 63%, benefiting the economy by A$ 523 million - an increase of 59% over the previous year. Figures are expected to rise further, with the decline of the Aussie Dollar.

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